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Old 01-21-2020, 11:23 AM   #1
stillseekingtruth
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Default shepherdingwords.com

Has anyone checked out the new website put up by the co-workers in North America? I scanned some of the articles. It's basically answering to/refuting/justifying themselves regarding the accusations made in Jo Casteel's letter. I watched a few youtube videos about Mormonism and Scientology. Some of the control tactics are too similar to the LCs.

Any thoughts? I probably shouldn't even read the shepherding words, but I don't want to censor myself anymore. I really, really want to know and believe the truth.

Lord Jesus, increase my faith!
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Old 01-21-2020, 01:46 PM   #2
aron
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Originally Posted by stillseekingtruth View Post
It's basically answering to/refuting/justifying themselves regarding the accusations made in Jo Casteel's letter. I watched a few youtube videos about Mormonism and Scientology. Some of the control tactics are too similar to the LCs.
Actually Mormonism went through something like this a few years ago. Similar to the Jo Casteel FB letter, someone wrote a document called "The CES Letter" which stated concerns and questions to their director of education (CES = "Church Education System"). It got posted online, and a lot of church members read it and left.

https://cesletter.org/

But in the Mormon church you're still "in" unless you force the issue: you have to be actively dis-enrolled, to petition authorities. So one enterprising fellow opened a service for all who want to be dis-enrolled, like a clearinghouse. He said that he can tell every time something dramatic happens because the numbers requesting dis-enrollment will suddenly spike upwards.

https://quitmormon.com/

Of course the LDS church did what DCS has done, put up their own answering website, trying to massage history.

https://www.fairmormon.org/

To wit: "FairMormon is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of LDS doctrine, belief and practice. Every time they persecute and try to overcome this people, they elevate us, weaken their own hands, and strengthen the hands and arms of this people."

I read an essay, explaining how in 1978 (!!!) they got a 'revelation' to allow black clergy. It will satisfy only the most die-hard cult member. "See! There's your answer!" Anyone else will laugh.

Here's a quote from the LDS' official historian: "We have hired someone that’s in charge of search engine optimization"

https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/1/18...ternet-seo-lds

The LC leadership says they're an "unique expression" and a "particular people" but if one looks about they seem neither unique nor particularly chosen. There are unfortunately lots of scams, many of which work in similar manner. But now they're less effective, with information from the outside world available.
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:12 PM   #3
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But in the Mormon church you're still "in" unless you force the issue: you have to be actively dis-enrolled, to petition authorities. So one enterprising fellow opened a service for all who want to be dis-enrolled, like a clearinghouse. He said that he can tell every time something dramatic happens because the numbers requesting dis-enrollment will suddenly spike upwards.

https://quitmormon.com/

Of course the LDS church did what DCS has done, put up their own answering website, trying to massage history.

https://www.fairmormon.org/
A lot of these types of groups simply refuse to acknowledge the concerns of their members, so people take to the internet to voice their concerns, and then these groups fire back on the internet as well.

The LC tells members not to read anything on the internet. After Jo's letter came out, they held a meeting for past FTT graduates where some of them spoke and also claimed to have not read the letter (I suspect that many of them did). Everything since then, the LC has been obsessed with trying to refute all the things that people supposedly never read in the first place.

This is where it is interesting to read between the lines a little bit. By publishing a site like shepherdingwords.com, they are inadvertently admitting that: 1) their members read 'negative' writings on the internet, 2) that their members might tend to agree with some of those things that they read and 3) that the past 'turmoils' that were supposedly resolved really aren't.
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Old 01-21-2020, 08:23 PM   #4
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A lot of these types of groups simply refuse to acknowledge the concerns of their members, so people take to the internet to voice their concerns, and then these groups fire back on the internet as well.

The LC tells members not to read anything on the internet. After Jo's letter came out, they held a meeting for past FTT graduates where some of them spoke and also claimed to have not read the letter (I suspect that many of them did). Everything since then, the LC has been obsessed with trying to refute all the things that people supposedly never read in the first place.

This is where it is interesting to read between the lines a little bit. By publishing a site like shepherdingwords.com, they are inadvertently admitting that: 1) their members read 'negative' writings on the internet, 2) that their members might tend to agree with some of those things that they read and 3) that the past 'turmoils' that were supposedly resolved really aren't.
And the walls came a tumbling down (a verse from the song "Joshus fought the battle of Jerico").
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Old 01-22-2020, 03:57 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
By publishing a site like shepherdingwords.com, they are inadvertently admitting that: 1) their members read 'negative' writings on the internet, 2) that their members might tend to agree with some of those things that they read and 3) that the past 'turmoils' that were supposedly resolved really aren't.
It's sort of like a firewall, to prevent the curiosity to spread further. For example, they present "Facts concerning Daystar Motor Homes", apparently hoping this will end someone's quest to learn more about the story. Because what if they begin to learn from Steve Isitt and Don Rutledge?

"Starting around 1972, Witness Lee expressed a concern for the financial suffering of the migrating saints and their need to be able to purchase proper meeting places. I was in a meeting of visiting elders and co-workers in which he introduced the Daystar business. He shared that his son Timothy had approached him about a business and that the business seemed to Witness Lee to be ideal for us (the local churches). The brothers and sisters could invest money, earn a nice profit of around 35%, and generate significant profit for the support of the new churches. He then spoke of manufacturing only the finest product. We could produce the product in Taiwan, which would help the believers there with employment and sell the product in the USA. He spoke at length concerning how the members of the churches should only invest their surplus and that he felt very positive that this was of the Lord. The business consisted of manufacturing and selling an expensive motor home. This was certainly a very different meeting than anything I had ever attended. I and others left with our heads spinning. I was bothered and asked James Barber what was going on. He replied that Witness Lee was God’s anointed and I should be very careful about criticizing. He declared that even if Witness Lee was wrong, God would bless the endeavor."

Rutledge wrote that in a meeting, WL said his son Timothy came up with the idea. I believe several others on this forum and elsewhere have noted the corrosive effect of his sons on WL's relations with the LC members and affiliated assemblies. Why doesn't shepherdingwords.com talk about this?

When the erstwhile leader of a church group takes church member $$ to set up a for-profit business directly benefitting his immediate family, that's a perceived problem. Yet the Recovery studiously ignored it, and continues to do so. Paul said to avoid every appearance of evil. What possible gain is there to ignore this? You're simply pushing off the inevitable day of reckoning, as the price gets higher and higher.
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Old 01-22-2020, 06:31 AM   #6
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And the walls came a tumbling down (a verse from the song "Joshus fought the battle of Jerico").
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=U-0Mkr25Hew This link might work.

Great tune, BTW. Give it a listen. Turn up your speakers! (I know. Off topic.)

Many artists recorded it and this one’s a classic in the genre of “Negro Spirituals”.

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Old 01-22-2020, 08:37 AM   #7
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The LC tells members not to read anything on the internet.... Everything since then, the LC has been obsessed with trying to refute all the things that people supposedly never read in the first place.
To rephrase my earlier point, who exactly are they trying to fool here, except people who are already fooled and want to stay that way? Do they really think that the mass of people who read Don Rutledge's account, John Ingalls account, Steve Isitt's account, to name three, and then read the half-dozen "facts" (assertions really) on their essay will then say, "There, that's settled. LSM surely produced the last word on this!"

The fact that they don't even mention Timothy Lee shows me how little they really want to cover this subject. They just wave the three or four items that might possibly exonerate WL's ministry, then skedaddle.

But like I said, the simple point that Timothy Lee was instrumental in its inception, and benefitted personally from its enactment, over-rides all their "facts". And it doesn't matter if it did actually generate 35% profit and fund 16 meeting halls. You still have the appearance of a clear conflict of interest.

The fact that they won't address says that they're not interested in the slightest in actual resolution.
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Old 01-22-2020, 08:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: shepherdingwords.com

Don Rutledge, former co-worker in Texas, wrote:

Quote:
"Starting around 1972, Witness Lee expressed a concern for the financial suffering of the migrating saints and their need to be able to purchase proper meeting places. I was in a meeting of visiting elders and co-workers in which he introduced the Daystar business. He shared that his son Timothy had approached him about a business and that the business seemed to Witness Lee to be ideal for us (the local churches). The brothers and sisters could invest money, earn a nice profit of around 35%, and generate significant profit for the support of the new churches. He then spoke of manufacturing only the finest product. We could produce the product in Taiwan, which would help the believers there with employment and sell the product in the USA. He spoke at length concerning how the members of the churches should only invest their surplus and that he felt very positive that this was of the Lord.
If you read the historical record of Lee's passionate sales pitch, everyone is a winner -- migrating saints, new meeting halls, investing saints,Taiwan workers, new local churches. What's not to like? Note that there was no mention of Lee or his ministry benefiting in any way from the Daystar enterprise.

Then fast forward 5 years, and what do we learn?

No investor saint, no migrating saints, and no LC was ever helped. No meeting halls were built. The Taiwan assembly workers all got fired.

Only Timothy Lee got wealthy!
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Old 01-22-2020, 09:00 AM   #9
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But like I said, the simple point that Timothy Lee was instrumental in its inception, and benefited personally from its enactment, over-rides all their "facts".
Since the first day I linked up with the Recovery, I was taught to hate the Catholic Church for what they had done back in the Dark Ages.

And now the Blendeds expect the reader to forget about what happened back in the 1970's?

Perhaps "the reader" might be interested to know why the "glory days" of the Recovery ended so quickly.
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Old 01-22-2020, 04:56 PM   #10
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To rephrase my earlier point, who exactly are they trying to fool here, except people who are already fooled and want to stay that way? Do they really think that the mass of people who read Don Rutledge's account, John Ingalls account, Steve Isitt's account, to name three, and then read the half-dozen "facts" (assertions really) on their essay will then say, "There, that's settled. LSM surely produced the last word on this!"
We have no way of knowing how many people have read these various writings, but just here on this forum, the Speaking the Truth in Love book post shows 28,000 views. Even if half those views were bots, where is the other 14,000 coming from? It might be reasonable to assume that many in the LC have read these writings.

Interestingly enough, it doesn't mean they became 'negative' immediately upon reading it. Quite to the contrary, everyone makes their own decisions. Some read these things and don't assign any particular meaning to them. Others read it and feel that it's not an important enough issue to worry about. Then there are all those who have left who felt the issues were too important to ignore.

In other words, people still in the LC who have already read these writings have already made their own decisions about it (at least for now). The DCP comes in after the fact, telling people not to read what they've already read or trying to explain away issues that people have perhaps already dismissed. I guess the LC wouldn't be the LC without being the echo chamber that it is, but my point is that LC members really should see the way that leadership reacts to these things as suspect.
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Old 01-22-2020, 05:55 PM   #11
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Interestingly enough, it doesn't mean they became 'negative' immediately upon reading it. Quite to the contrary, everyone makes their own decisions. Some read these things and don't assign any particular meaning to them. Others read it and feel that it's not an important enough issue to worry about. Then there are all those who have left who felt the issues were too important to ignore.

In other words, people still in the LC who have already read these writings have already made their own decisions about it (at least for now).
Very true, Freedom. Each of us responds differently to the same info.

I read John Ingalls' account STTIL and I immediately lost respect for WL. That was 2005, I found it on the old Bereans forum. Prior to that, TC had slowly eroded away my respect for most of the Blendeds. I remember my own conclusions after reading STTIL. I could forgive Daystar. I could not accept the coverups of Philip Lee's abuse and debauchery. But what really upset me was the wholesale smear campaign of all those like JI who attempted to protect the saints from this abuse.

But one brother, who helped my departure, later went back to the LC on the LSM side. I was somewhat surprised by this move since he also had read JI's account. His justification for returning: he said that the workers at LSM had always treated him well. Well of course! They just stole one of TC's most gifted co-workers.
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:53 PM   #12
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Very true, Freedom. Each of us responds differently to the same info.

I read John Ingalls' account STTIL and I immediately lost respect for WL. That was 2005, I found it on the old Bereans forum. Prior to that, TC had slowly eroded away my respect for most of the Blendeds. I remember my own conclusions after reading STTIL. I could forgive Daystar. I could not accept the coverups of Philip Lee's abuse and debauchery. But what really upset me was the wholesale smear campaign of all those like JI who attempted to protect the saints from this abuse.

But one brother, who helped my departure, later went back to the LC on the LSM side. I was somewhat surprised by this move since he also had read JI's account. His justification for returning: he said that the workers at LSM had always treated him well. Well of course! They just stole one of TC's most gifted co-workers.
I think that in the minds of the blendeds, what they perceive to be the greatest threat is not so much what people can read online, but the possibility of people reading things and then being able to relate to them.

A lot of past LC events are now just part of history. Different people will interpret it in different ways. But within that history, there are a lot of reoccurring issues and common patterns - abuse of authority, coverups, smear campaigns, etc. When there are all the sudden more and more LC members who can relate to such things or speak to their own experiences, suddenly the blendeds have a problem on their hands and go into damage control mode.
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Old 01-23-2020, 03:37 AM   #13
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But within [LC] history, there are a lot of reoccurring issues and common patterns - abuse of authority, coverups, smear campaigns, etc. When there are all the sudden more and more LC members who can relate to such things or speak to their own experiences, suddenly the blendeds have a problem on their hands and go into damage control mode.
DCP does have a problem if members begin to see these recurring issues and common patterns. Imagine if a 30-something young mother, grew up in the LC, went to the FTTA, gave her life to the LC "church life", suddenly found that 45 years ago WL started a motor home business with church members' 'investments', put his son in charge and then the $ was gone and the son was on the lam and WL was stone-walling a lender, Sal Benoit, on the phone? "None of your business", said WL. It was Sal's loan but WL's business.

Now, imagine if that woman publicised her findings on FB? Others might begin to search out info, as well. Patterns might emerge from the information. Then, they might publish their findings! Who knows where things might go?

Because if people do begin to read the Steve Isitt or Don Rutledge or John Ingalls accounts they might see other things as well, which corroborate with Daystar and their own experiences. I think of Ray Graver telling DR about WL, "You have to read between the lines. He doesn't tell you what he wants." Then, 40 years later, RG is firmly in LSM leadership, with family on the payroll as well. Or, James Barber telling DR, "Don't touch WL, or question his ideas or plans. He has the special anointing. God will blessed him, and us, even if he's wrong."

Slowly, the reader starts to connect the bits of information and see patterns emerge. He starts seeing Chinese culture, lurking behind such un-Biblical statements and practices. He begins to appreciate more fully what Jesus prayed on the cross, "Forgive them Father, for they don't know what they're doing." He begins to suspect that these are just ignorant and superstitious people doing the best they can in the midst of their lacks, that "Fermentation of the Present Rebellion" and "ShepherdingWords.com" are just fig leaves trying to hide the nakedness and shame of the fall.

That's what happened to me - I kept reading. The ShepherdingWords website looks like a firewall, an attempt to get people to stop reading. "Here are the facts. (Actually, here are some facts. We don't want you to see all the facts.)"

Of course, I'm also an ignorant and superstitious person. But I'm not opening training centres world-wide, inculcating others with my ignorant suppositions. And I note James 3:1, here: "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." (NIV)
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Old 01-23-2020, 08:08 AM   #14
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Others might begin to search out info, as well...

Patterns might emerge from the information...

Because if people begin to read ...

Slowly, the reader starts to connect the bits of information and see patterns emerge...

That's what happened to me - I kept reading.
Same thing happened to all of us.

I can never forget the realization I had one day. I had experienced abuse on the local level. Read Thread of Gold. Read about WL cold showers and public shaming. Remembered endless stories of brothers leaving the Midwest .. had a problem with TC.

The lights went on: This program changes beloved brothers into bullies.

OK let's go back and compare this to the facts. Check. Check. Check again.

This is the mental process known in the Recovery as being "poisoned."

I never understood how it could happen to anyone ... until it happened to me!
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Old 01-23-2020, 01:08 PM   #15
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