Sunday, November 18, 2012

New News: From Paradise Recovered's Joyfully Sublime to IHOP's Sadly Tragic

The Joy
If you haven't taken up this invitation offered here a few weeks ago to watch the film, Paradise Recovered, today is a good time to catch up. It is available via streaming with Amazon, Netflix, Blockbuster, iTunes and a couple of other providers, or you can simply buy the video about the journey of a young woman who risks leaving her cultic Christian group. On the Paradise Recovered blog right now, they're taking a month to note the people who inspire them with daily hat tips of recognition. I didn't think that I could be more proud to see No Longer Quivering, Quivering Daughters, and Free Jinger listed there this past week, as I have proudly participated with all of them. Most people do not realize how formidable it can be to risk everything to leave the Quiverfull and Patriarchy movements, the very thing that prompted me to start this blogging business in the first place. Not only is it beyond difficult for most people to walk away, it takes a tremendous amount of valor to speak openly about the movement's special variety of suffering and injustice. People who leave suffer great loss, and those who come forward to speak generally suffer even more. I couldn't be more proud of these valiant ones.

But then, I find Christopher Peterman named by Paradise Recovered, too!  I deemed Chris as BJU's Tank Man of Tienanmen Square this past year, another who also suffered great loss for his stand against the tyranny of spiritual and sexual abuse within the IFB through the Do Right BJU protest. And today, I found faithful friend Lewis Wells' name on the list, too. Add to this great stuff that Andie Redwine, the author and producer of Paradise Recovered, supports Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center. I would not go so far as to say that I wouldn't be around today if it hadn't been for their founder, Dr. Paul Martin, but I would certainly be the lesser without his encouragement through his writing, excellent research, presentations, and his friendship. And neither the counter-cult nor the anti-cult effort would be the same without Wellspring and Paul. So this made my day and many days over this past week, and I am both grateful and proud. 

Visit the Paradise Recovered blog and buy the film since proceeds benefit Wellspring, and note that their scholarship fund is always empty. If you want to help the wounded folks who make it out of patriarchy, consider helping to sponsor someone at Wellspring by contributing to the scholarship fund. There are few causes that are more noble.

The Justice

For those of you who followed the Tina Anderson case, you'll be happy to note that she now has a blog where you can read her encouraging words and lessons learned. She calls it Glimpses of Hope. Those who recall from her personal account, she suffered injustice at the hands of her stepfather, but it was announced that she may see even more justice. In August, the Concord Monitor announced that her abusive stepfather was indicted for sexually assaulting her. This coming week, follow the posts here at Under Much Grace concerning repentance, false repentance, and the terrible pain that injustice creates for victims of abuse, considering what people like Tina have suffered. Justice is a function of ethics and righteousness, and mercy for the guilty cannot be done without it. Neither can forgiveness.

The Independent Fundamental Baptist (Roloff Style) reform homes were featured in the Tampa Bay Times after a year long investigation of the homes in Florida alone. Read all three installments of the series at the In God's Name page at the Tampa Bay Times and weep. I did. Time Magazine picked up on the series and reported on it nationally, and I was personally pleased to see it. TBT did an excellent job as did all those who assisted in the investigation.  I applaud them.  

To help stop the abuse in these and other abusive residential homes, visit this post to learn more and link over to sign the Stop Child Abuse in Residential Teen Homes Act.

Late entry:  Not much to say that Google can't turn up for you, but after many years of working at it, it looks like Noel and many others at Sovereign Grace Ministries might just have their day in court over the injustice suffered when their children were molested.  A class action suit was filed for the suffering of these families.  The churches and SGM system treated the families of the sexually abused children like the real criminals.  Well done, Noel and happymom and many others, for your patience.  I know it has been a long time in coming.  Many victims will not get justice, as the rumors of abuse go back further than the suit identifies.  May God have mercy on all and bring vindication to all of the victims who suffered in silence.

And last but not least in the justice section, Julie Anne won in court when the judge threw out the charges against her earlier this year.  She gave her church a bad review on Google, and her pastor sued her.  You can follow her saga out of spiritual abuse at BGBC Survivors.  This is old news to you who keep up on blogs and almost everyone in the blogosphere has commented and felt I didn't need to do so, but it deserves more than honorable mention here today.  Dr. Barb Orlowski did a great job in her cheering section and mightily celebrated the victory.  You couldn't for better encouragement in a pinch.  FBC Jax Watchdog reported on Julie Anne's situation, too, and he can well relate.  He saw some justice this past year as well concerning the charges his church raised against him.  That dog on his blog looks scrawny, but he can fight like bulldog!

The Sorrow

Branham's spawn is at it again. Four years ago, a five month old baby died in the “care” of his parents due to severe neglect while his parents experienced the spiritual “party all the time” lifestyle at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO. Jeremiah Candler, the decedent, actually weighed less on the day of his death from neglect than he did at his birth. Though people from the church kept in touch with both parents while they did their short time in custody for the homicide, the church denied knowing them publicly and attempted to distance themselves from the case.

For those who are unfamiliar, the International House of Prayer is operated by Mike Bickle of the Kansas City Prophets, the progeny of William Branham – something of a brother to Wimber's Vineyard Movement, Joyner's Morning Star, and whatever you want to call Bentley's mess. It's not bad enough that the lot of these Charismatic dominionists get their prophesies from spirit guides and mediums (just Google “Emma,” a KCP favorite)... At the International House of Prayer, they offer a 24/7 holy roller praise and worship fest, essentially, to worship God in sexual overtones ("Jesus is my boyfriend") with mind-numbing, repetitive praise and worship music. Young Candler's parents were there, doing their spiritual thing while they left their infant at home to starve to death.

Well, Ken Silva of Apprising Ministries emailed me this week, alerting me to the latest crisis at IHOP on his quest for more details. It appears that one of IHOP's cell group leaders, someone who was listed as a “Division Coordinator” for the cell group program (midweek home gathering groups) ordered a “hit” on his wife to keep her quiet about their sex club. The husband/ IHOP “Friendship Group” Division Coordinator enlisted the help of an IHOP student and member of the cell group to commit the murder which they tried to make look like a suicide.

In keeping with IHOP's past behavior, they're denying that they had any substantive relationship with Tyler Deaton, the husband, and claim that he was not ever a leader in their group. Damage control... I'm too disgusted to put in all of the links, but you can read all about it and follow the case at Truthspeaker's Weblog.  Truthspeaker is my Yankee friend and fellow survivor of Word of Faith and other Charismatic madness. I appreciate all of the work that this fine iconoclast does online as well as important missions work in NYC.

My mom was born again at a church that traces its roots through Gordon Lindsey to Branham, and that church suffered its share of sex scandals. My cultic patriarchal Shepherding Discipleship church had loose ties and interest in various strains of the Kansas City Prophets, I ended up on an insane and painful missions trip with some KCP folks at one point in my life, and a close friend of mine sent her daughter to school at Rick Joyner's whatever you want to call it. I have trouble calling it an actual facility or school. My heart breaks for people who are still trapped in this group. Aside from the altered states of consciousness and brainwashing, it apparently may not be good for your health if you're a woman or a child.

And BTW, glad to see that Mishel of Deception Bytes is back blogging again.  For a good window into the Latter Rain/Branham Spawn movement, start HERE on her blog.

I would like to add...

Please pray for children who suffer harm every day at the hands of their parents who profess the Christian faith. There are many who need your prayers today, not to mention that this abuse makes a mockery of Christianity.  Many cases don't get reported because the children barely escape death, otherwise, they would be reportable to the public.  I hear about these abuse cases all the time from concerned friends and family, but the system protects the privacy of these children. If we don't hear about them, it means that the children survived, but we don't hear the details. But know that there are small children today that need your prayers for survival, comfort, and sometimes for a peaceful passing.  Please remember them today.

There were a bunch of other things I wanted to mention here today, catching up on tidbits from here and there, but I'm too upset to remember them.  I'm kinda bummed.  I started to like the "kinder, gentler" side of blogging.  But they had to go and kill somebody else.

Now, can you can imagine how sweet it has been for me to read Andie Redwine's Paradise Recovered blog this week?

Sweet indeed.