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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.

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Old 04-03-2009, 10:50 AM   #1
djohnson
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Default SPLIT THREAD - Control and Addiction in the Local Church

Ohio in your post #39 you bring out an interesting point regarding Lee's behavior and those of his followers i.e. what and who did he really control? His claim that he controlled nobody is actually true in the literal sense. What did Lee actually make someone else do?

It's an interesting phenom. Why did people living in a country like America, Canada etc i.e. free societies feel controlled by a guy like Lee? Why do some still act like they are under his control after he is dead for over a decade? And even act like he is not really dead. At what point on the curve do we say: a person is responsible for their own emotions and thoughts and if they feel or think they are under control it is an internal reality but not an objective one?
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: This is the Witness Lee that I remember

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Ohio in your post #39 you bring out an interesting point regarding Lee's behavior and those of his followers i.e. what and who did he really control? His claim that he controlled nobody is actually true in the literal sense. What did Lee actually make someone else do?

It's an interesting phenom. Why did people living in a country like America, Canada etc i.e. free societies feel controlled by a guy like Lee? Why do some still act like they are under his control after he is dead for over a decade? And even act like he is not really dead. At what point on the curve do we say: a person is responsible for their own emotions and thoughts and if they feel or think they are under control it is an internal reality but not an objective one?
DJ,
Your question might be for Ohio, but if I may, I'd like to throw in my .02 worth into the hat.

People are attracted to 'power'. Often times, in the secular world for example, a beautiful young chickie-poo ends up marrying an old fogey...awww but the fogey has $$$ & power. And the old fogey gets a 'trophey'. So it's tit-for-tat.

There are many charasmatic preachers/teachers out there. Some are genuine and have been studying and studying the Word of God, living crucified lives unto the Lord, living in His Presence. Thus the Lord has 'rewarded' them..or should I say, called them to preach or teach. A true blue teacher will not only teach the Word of God but will draw people to GOD Himself..and to the WORD of God.

If a person under a teacher hungers for the Word & to be in the Presence of GOD & is drawn to the LORD through that person, he/she is a good teacher. The 'student' might give some credit to the teacher but is quick to give ALL GLORY & PRAISE to the LORD. That is a good teacher.

Lee may have started out that way...but by the late 70's many of us who had been under his ministry for a few years began to see the focus was on Lee not on the Lord.

How come they choose to follow a man be him dead or alive more than God?People are lazy! They'd rather sit under someone to teach them or preach to them than to search the scriptures and spend lots of time alone time with God getting to know Him. It's a lot of work searching the scriptures, learning to listen to the Holy Spirit guide you, counsel you, direct your heart & mind in Christ Jesus. A lot of WORK!

But it's BLESSED WORK! The work blesses us and we bless the Lord & bless people and if people are doing the same, then they become a blessing to us and a blessing to the Lord. This is how we build up the body of Christ.
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: This is the Witness Lee that I remember

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Ohio in your post #39 you bring out an interesting point regarding Lee's behavior and those of his followers i.e. what and who did he really control? His claim that he controlled nobody is actually true in the literal sense. What did Lee actually make someone else do?

It's an interesting phenom. Why did people living in a country like America, Canada etc i.e. free societies feel controlled by a guy like Lee? Why do some still act like they are under his control after he is dead for over a decade? And even act like he is not really dead. At what point on the curve do we say: a person is responsible for their own emotions and thoughts and if they feel or think they are under control it is an internal reality but not an objective one?
I hate to say it, but you are correct, and incorrect all in the same breath. In a free society in a religion that speaks of free will, control is exercised only on those who grant it (assuming you are not talking about prison or some other forced servitude).

But just like that question that got a bunch of people riled up at you in the other forum a couple of years ago in which you questioned the exercise of free will, the fact is that human nature causes many people to abdicate their free will in situations in which they would not do so if they had all aspects of their faculties and free will working properly. It is a little like the elephant that is said to never break away from the relatively small rope tied around its leg and a stake in the ground even though they have more than enough power to walk away without hardly noticing it. (I do not know if that is true or jungle legend.) The mind is a fragile and quirky thing. When you think there is authority, then you tend to follow it even if there is no actual authority. And if you revere that authority highly enough, you tend to allow it to get away with more than it should.

Now those of us who tend to over-think things first, then slowly submit where we see valid authority, we get upset at such displays of control and eventually will either speak out or just leave the situation. But everyone is not the same.

So in pure terms, you are right. But because of the nature of man, you are not entirely right.
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:59 PM   #4
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Default Re: This is the Witness Lee that I remember

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But in that quote from scripture, it is presumed that we love those who love us. And one of the ways that we show love is by helping others see their flaws — not as a way to shame them, but to help them improve. But when they refuse any counsel, then they seem to display even a lack of love for those who love them.
Yes but when we no longer think that they love us. When we believe that somebody has done something against us. Then do we get out the knifes. My point is that I believe Witness did. As soon as he saw something which was a threat to his work (and thus in his eyes God's work). It was open season on them. This could be somewhat akin to the mafioso who might be quite kind and gentle with someone until that person eventually refused to do him a favour (bow to his authority).

Also when we speak about control it should also be noted that Lee and his followers believe that he is the minister of the age, and hence to an extent his actions are equated with God's (Acting God). Therefore seeing as how Lee and his followers believe (at least at some level) that Lee's will and God's will are somewhat synonymous when he's controlling it's not him it's actually God. Furthermore when he is more overtly influencing the situation he's just helping God's will along.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: This is the Witness Lee that I remember

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Ohio in your post #39 you bring out an interesting point regarding Lee's behavior and those of his followers i.e. what and who did he really control? His claim that he controlled nobody is actually true in the literal sense. What did Lee actually make someone else do?
The issue of control is systemic to the LC's, beginning with WL, then the workers, leaders, elders, serving ones, saints, etc. Bad patterns were taught and duplicated throughout the program.

Here's a sad example of a story which occurred 10 years ago in the Cleveland hall #1 Lobby. An elder disagreed with a decision my wife and I made which affected a few saints. He knew of our decision well in advance, via prayer and much fellowship, yet disagreed with our decision. During break time, there was a short shouting match in a room filled with saints coming and going. At one point he shouted in my face, "can't you control your wife?"

Not being the fastest thinker afoot, I responded "it's against the law to control people." Fortunately, I was able to turn around and walk out the door before this little confrontation turned violent.

The point here is this: Define what control means. When is control ... control. Who sets boundaries for the word? Who determines when those boundaries are crossed? I could sit here and tell other more tragic stories of ones who felt they were controlled by leaders who would refuse to admit they controlled anybody. The LC lexicon for the word control obviously differed from that of the greater body of Christ.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: This is the Witness Lee that I remember

I define control as a person or person/s who can force you to do something against your will. Lee perhaps was perceived as such a person but in fact was not. In a free society very few people have that kind of power a/k/a "police power".
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Old 04-04-2009, 05:21 AM   #7
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I define control as a person or person/s who can force you to do something against your will.
I'm not sure if this definition works. Now we need to define what the phrases "can force" and "against your will" really mean, and what healthy limits or boundaries are placed on these definitions. In some cases, dear saints never realized the controls upon them until they left the program and reflected years later.

When saints place trust in the authorities over them, all too often those in leadership to not serve them properly, as Peter says (IP5.2) "Feed the flock of God, taking oversight, not by constraint, not for filthy lucre, not lording it over them." How easy it is for immature leaders to "play god" with the saints lives, thinking they can do better than the Lord Himself.
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Old 04-04-2009, 06:45 AM   #8
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Default Re: This is the Witness Lee that I remember

You guys need to google 'the spirit of Jezebel'. It's a controlling spirit obviously named after the wife of Ahab.

If you read up on that spirit, you'll find it's not a 'woman' spirit..it's a spirit running rampat in the church-universal church. It's a technique used by people..men & women alike. Sometimes the controlling technique is OBVIOUS and Blatant but the more dangerous one is the subtle one that sneaks up on an innocent person.

The RCC is notorious for having that spirit. It's exposed in Revelation 2. The church in Thyatira has the spirit of Jezebel. Why do you think Catholics are so resistant in leaving the RCC? The RCC doesn't care about their fornications, their adulteries, their sins...as long as you don't leave 'the one true church'.

How many threads/posts have we read about the similarities between Lee and the Pope? What do they have in common? Control-the spirit of Jezebel.
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Old 04-04-2009, 09:21 AM   #9
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I define control as a person or person/s who can force you to do something against your will. Lee perhaps was perceived as such a person but in fact was not. In a free society very few people have that kind of power a/k/a "police power".
I understand. That is the reason that you got the kind of reception two years ago and you will probably get some of the same this time.

But control is not just forcing to act against will, but also to control the will so that it aligns with the controller and therefore does what it would not do before the change in will. It includes an altering of the will so that you willingly do what you would not do at some time in the past. Your analysis is presuming a strong will that sees, hears, and recognizes the attach upon it before it allows itself to be changed. But if we, and our wills, are not on guard, we can often be persuaded to change in very small ways. Then more small ways. Then even more. Eventually, our will is very different.

It is potentially easier to do in a religious context because we must presume that God does change our wills. So if the one who seeks control can convince you that his/her direction is consistent with God's will, then they can take you where you might not otherwise go.

I sort of see this happen without a control issue when people begin to realize that they must love their "neighbors" and they are mostly sinners. So how do you love a sinner but not his sin? Some unwittingly drop their strong stance against certain sins rather than simply dropping their hatred of the people who practice those sins. They take a wrong path toward a desired goal. The result may not be that they would actually engage in that sin, but they may become vocal advocates of accepting such sin into the church. Churches that reach out to the gay community have this issue all the time. Are they trying to bring them to Christ and ultimately repentance, or are they trying to bring a sinful lifestyle into a Christian social circle without any thought of changing it?
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:08 AM   #10
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CMW,

I hate to say this, but I read the Jon Hamilton article on The Spirit of Jezebel again and had some of the same questions as I did before.

I admit that Jezebel was a wicked woman in the OT, and see that God referred to an influence in the NT as being from allowing Jezebel. But much of what Jon writes is his conjecture and add-ons. He adds one statement after another of what “a Jezebel spirit is,” yet only a few of those are from actual observations in scripture concerning the ways of the historical Jezebel, at least that are cited as such.

Then he goes on to state that this spirit is “the force behind” so many of the ills of American society. Yet Revelation is only concerned with what is being allowed into the church.

But the thing that is most troubling is the story concerning the Welsh revival and his version of the story of Evans Roberts and Jesse Penn-Lewis. Even if the chronological accounts are correct, the cast of evilness upon JPL is not substantiated. The reasons for the changes in Evans may have been true and spiritual.

It might have been that his leading of such a revival was more like phenomenon of the kid preacher (can’t remember his name) decades ago in the US. He could speak strongly and it wowed a lot of people. Many actually came to Christ as a result. But he had no actual conviction of his own — at least not one that would make him a viable preacher.

In any case, the character and reason for the events is stated as fact, yet there is no evidence that Jon has done more than cast his opinion about those events. Given that there is nothing more than an opinion about what happened and why it happened, it looks more like someone who has an ax to grind and can make his case by tricking us into believing his stuff as fact.

Even if there is some truth in the general premise of the article, the biggest problem I have is the kind of “watch out, there’s a snake under every rock” attitude that comes out. While we can argue that Satan is behind all the evils of the world, when you start to treat it as something about the spirit of the humans who practice the evil and some common denominator among them that must be avoided, it tends to make you want to run to the hills, build a private compound, stock up lots of food and water and retreat from all contact with them. It is the start of another separatism movement within Christianity. It will strike out at other Christians who do not see what they see. And having just read some of the other things on Jon's homepage, there is some hints at the truthfulness of that assessment. There's too much focus on the enemy. I will admit a prejudice of mine in saying that, in the contxt of the rest of what I read, the fact that he and his wife are homschooling their 8 kids adds to the picture that I suspected. (I have nothing specific against homeschooling except for some of the reasons given for doing it, expecially by people who have no business being the source of knowledge for kids that will need to know more than their parents know.)

We are to be wise. But we are also to be in the world, just not of it. Each day has enough evil for itself. If we start to put all the evil in the world into some huge interlinked web that is after us, ... well let’s just say that we don’t need to worry about the fact that all the world lies in the evil one. The scripture didn’t put this kind of fear into the believers about the world. Why should we accept it now. Surely Satan would try to destroy the church and our testimony. But that was true without a boogeyman in the form of a “Jezebel spirit.” Just don’t let it in the church.

I could be off with respect to the general message of the article, but what I see is to much of the things that I observe in some other "off the reservation" teachings, including Lee's.
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Old 04-04-2009, 11:32 AM   #11
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Default Re: This is the Witness Lee that I remember

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CMW,

I hate to say this, but I read the Jon Hamilton article on The Spirit of Jezebel again and had some of the same questions as I did before.

I could be off with respect to the general message of the article, but what I see is to much of the things that I observe in some other "off the reservation" teachings, including Lee's.
I had not heard of Jon Hamilton...so I checked him out before I replied to your post. You are correct he cast his own opinions on the Welsh revival and on JPL. I will also add, a person can go overboard and get paranoid that everyone in authority or leadership has a 'Jezebel spirit'.
As a personal observation..some of the characteristics of the Jezebel spirit are elements we experienced in the LC. I am listing a few:

A Jezebel spirit seeks control through manipulation.
It has a deep hatred of true spiritual authority, [I'm not sure what this actually means. I don't know if this is true or not]
It uses subtle persuasion to gain influence and get close to those in control.
It then uses this position to gradually dominate.

Were not the saints under Lee's ministry manipulated
Who did Lee answer to? Aside from 'God'. We 'know' he worked with Nee and a few others but by the time he was head of the 'local churches-that is 'the Lord's Recovery', he was 'the pope' and answered to no one to my knowledge.
He answered to no one but 'God' and correct me if I'm wrong, but did he ever take the fellowship of his 'co-workers' if they thought he was getting off the beaten path?

Though he is dead, it is LEE's ministry that lives on. Gosh, no one dares to be solely overlooking 'the Lord's Recovery' today. That's why the 'blendeds' are in charge.
Since we are mainly dealing with the Lee ministry on this forum and since I am a 'victim' of allowing myself to have been manipulated, I did a lot of personal research on controlling personalities.

I can be easily influenced and controlled if I'm not watchful and careful.
Growing up as a Catholic, I was 'afraid' to leave the RCC.
In the LC, I/we were told, the CHURCH-the LC church was God's MOVE on the earth. AGAIN a fear tactic.
In my personal journey, I attracted controlling personalities. UGH! And what a price I paid. So I had to figure out WHY these types of personalities were drawn to me or why I attracted these personalities.
That's how I learned about the Jezebel spirit. Jon Hamilton's opinions do not validate absolute truth. But there are elements to ponder. There are other websites that speak of controlling , manipulative personalities, the Jezebel spirit.

There is NO DOUBT in my mind we were controlled. I don't believe for one second "I" was the only one controlled!

It was/is obvious...the 'leading ones' all wear long sleeved white shirts with ties. No more skinny ties though.. (stores probably don't sell them anymore!) That look is a form of manipulation and control.
The Lingo that is exclusive to the LSM/LC from calling on the Lord in the LC tone to the 'amens'. It's all part of the LC control.
The books/messages/conferences/trainings....same look-same message.
--------------
The RCC-same mass all over the world. Don't matter if you're Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian, Caucasian, Nigerian. Every Catholic will feel right at home with the 'mass' no matter where it's being held...because it has 'the look' & the same 'message'.

Their message is once a Catholic, always a catholic. Why are Catholics who are raised in the RCC afraid to leave?...not afraid to sin...just afraid to leave the RCC.

The LSM/LC has the same spirit as the RCC. That's why there are forums like these to bring to light & help those who might be struggling to leave the LSM/LC. We did it...so can they.

In the Bible, Jezebel had a weak husband & she controlled him. Even Elijah was afraid of Jezebel!
The question to quote Ohio is that:
Quote:
It's difficult for most of us "common folk" to understand the complexities of gifted, talented men, since they seem to possess enormous powers which, for the most part, are foreign to us.
The best answer I can offer is it's a 'spiritual' thing. (not in a good way.) But that's not to say every leader or person in authority has a controlling spirit on them!
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Old 04-04-2009, 02:19 PM   #12
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Ohio I think "can force" and "against your will" are not that difficult to understand: Did Lee put a gun to your head and make you do something you did not want to do? Doubtful.

His claim that he did not control anybody is valid. That people let themselves be controlled by him is another story altogether. And if the argument is taken further i.e. into the realm of involuntary mind control then we are taking about a cult aren't we?
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Old 04-04-2009, 04:14 PM   #13
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Ohio I think "can force" and "against your will" are not that difficult to understand: Did Lee put a gun to your head and make you do something you did not want to do? Doubtful.

His claim that he did not control anybody is valid. That people let themselves be controlled by him is another story altogether. And if the argument is taken further i.e. into the realm of involuntary mind control then we are taking about a cult aren't we?
djohnson, your comments here are extremely naive. If some one held a gun to my head, then I die a victorious overcoming martyr, how glorious ...

OBW has done well in his recent post to identify the type of control that we are talking about. To put this in context, I remember discussing with other young brothers back in the mid 70's, how we can trust our lives in the hands of the older brothers, because they "cared for our souls" ... but ... some of these elders were barely 30 years old. The culture we lived in was different then, and many young people were vulnerable to immature elders. In the end, too much "fellowship," was really manipulation.
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OBW: But control is not just forcing to act against will, but also to control the will so that it aligns with the controller and therefore does what it would not do before the change in will. It includes an altering of the will so that you willingly do what you would not do at some time in the past. Your analysis is presuming a strong will that sees, hears, and recognizes the attach upon it before it allows itself to be changed. But if we, and our wills, are not on guard, we can often be persuaded to change in very small ways. Then more small ways. Then even more. Eventually, our will is very different.
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Old 04-04-2009, 05:11 PM   #14
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djohnson, your comments here are extremely naive. If some one held a gun to my head, then I die a victorious overcoming martyr, how glorious ...

OBW has done well in his recent post to identify the type of control that we are talking about. To put this in context, I remember discussing with other young brothers back in the mid 70's, how we can trust our lives in the hands of the older brothers, because they "cared for our souls" ... but ... some of these elders were barely 30 years old. The culture we lived in was different then, and many young people were vulnerable to immature elders. In the end, too much "fellowship," was really manipulation.
DJ,
I was waiting for Ohio to respond to your statements/comments:
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Ohio I think "can force" and "against your will" are not that difficult to understand: Did Lee put a gun to your head and make you do something you did not want to do? Doubtful.
His claim that he did not control anybody is valid. That people let themselves be controlled by him is another story altogether. And if the argument is taken further i.e. into the realm of involuntary mind control then we are taking about a cult aren't we?
Now I understand why people on this forum & the other one keep an arms' length around you...a very long arm's length.
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Old 04-04-2009, 05:26 PM   #15
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Default Re: This is the Witness Lee that I remember

countmeworthy there is no need to be afraid of the truth that Lee did not control anybody and could not do so in a free society. As OBW has pointed out either one aligned their will with Lee's and thus their actions were voluntary or there was involuntary mind control going on in which case it was a cult.
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Old 04-04-2009, 06:12 PM   #16
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countmeworthy there is no need to be afraid of the truth that Lee did not control anybody and could not do so in a free society. As OBW has pointed out either one aligned their will with Lee's and thus their actions were voluntary or there was involuntary mind control going on in which case it was a cult.
That's why people have been leaving by the hundreds if not thousands over the last 30-40 years. At one time in their tenure in the LC,
people believed they had 'the truth'...'the answer'. Fellowship at the lowest level of the totem pole proved to be very good. It has to be for people to stay and stick it out. It was for me. I also know I needed to be there for the time I was there. It was GOD HIMSELF who led me there and it was GOD HIMSELF who led me out.

For many, many others, leaving the LSM/LC was more complicated...more complex. The closer they were to the top, to Witness Lee, they either saw through him or they embraced him wholeheartedly. That's part of the reason I inquired about the 'promotions' in the LC...co-ordinators, service group leaders, deacons, ushers, elders, co-workers etc.. They didn't just jump into the LC and were given those titles. They 'earned' those titles somehow. They were trusted probably as they demonstrated their loyalty and their commitment.

In the 70's, I would hear John Ingalls was the closest co-worker to Brother Lee. Where Brother Lee was, there was John Ingalls. When I heard he left, I was shocked. No one ever would have imagined John & Lee going separate ways. Max on the other hand was shafted very early on. He was blamed for the debacle at Berkely and who knows what else. Some of it was true I'm sure and some of it not. But no matter, he ended up getting the bum deal..until the next wave of 'rebels' which came from the higher ups questioning Lee's doings.

Still, many continued to hold on to Hope...the Hope of Glory...the HOPE that there actually was a body of believers who stood in one accord with THE WORD of GOD. As time went on, it became clearer and clearer to many that the "in one accord' was about being in one accord in Lee's ministry. Not in Christ.

IF YOU WERE NEVER AN INSIDER, YOU WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND what it was like to be there....no matter WHO YOU KNOW who was in it or is IN IT. You might think you have a handle because of what you know, what you've heard, what you read...but you were never there. Even I who was only there a short time, can only imagine how hard it was for many people to leave who were there for a much longer time than I ever was.

You may pride yourself in thinking you can walk out of controlling situations..walk away from controlling people but you certainly have your shortcomings and weaknesses. And those shortcomings and weaknesses CONTROL YOU, not always perhaps but at times. You are NOT EXEMPT from being manipulated or controlled. It could be something as simple as a candy bar that you can't say no to. Maybe candy bars are not your weakness but something is. And when it grabs hold of you, it's got you under its' control.
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Old 04-04-2009, 08:34 PM   #17
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Default Re: This is the Witness Lee that I remember

countmeworthy you contradict yourself. You suggest that nobody outside the Lee church can understand the control involved and then you say in essence everyone has experienced control by somone/thing eg. candy bar thus making the experience a universal.

As a correction: I never implied or even remotely suggested that those in Lee's church would have an easy time of leaving. This forum is a clear demonstration of quite the opposite. But with your candy bar example you do bring up a possibility that others including myself have explored in another thread on this forum: addictive behavior. I do believe that many in Lee's church were in fact addicted to him and his ministry. But in coming out of addiction please note that none of the 12 steps blame anyone else i.e. the one with the addiction takes responsibility for their actions after admitting they have a problem in the first place.
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Old 04-04-2009, 10:59 PM   #18
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DJ.
If I can weigh in on this. To do with control. You gave the example of putting a gun to peoples heads. Well if we were to take the example of a gun and replace it with a thousand years outer darkness (as well as the various other curses which could come upon you for rebellion) would that suffice. Sure in this case the gun is fake but if a person comes up to you and says give me all your money whether or not the gun is loaded or fake as long as it looks real you will feel threatened. Add into the mix teaching that suggest that even to pray as to whether or not to take his leading being a subtle form of dissent (In my view cutting believers off from the Lord), and his teaching on the tripartite man, and the self (anything within us suggesting that the he was wrong is of Satan. Everything in you which reacts negatively to his teaching's must be of the enemy (I would say that this is the most cultlike aspect)). Based upon this I would say that from Witness Lee's side that yes indeed he did control many.

However from the our side I would agree with you. We should have sought the Lord's leading regardless, We should have listened to Him inspite of what Witness or anyone else said. That was our responsibility and we must take it. We will not be able to say but Witness Lee forced me to. What I'm saying is that Witness Lee's should be held culpable for manipulating and controlling, Whereas we should be held culpable for allowing ourselves to be manipulated. Or to put it another way if we found ourselves to be doing something in the same vein as what Lee did we should be wary that we are trying to control the saints and repent of this. If we find we are being controlled like Lee did with many of the saints we should be aware that ultimately me are responsible for our own actions.

As to the matter of whether or not people are addicted to Witness Lee and his ministry. While this may be true of some I personally believe that if you were to look at most you would find it would be a combination of long time friendships, fear of 1000 years outer darkness, having the idea that there was nothing outside drummed into you, the idea that if you were to fallback that would cause others to, and the fact that if you spent 10+ years devoted to Lee's ministry leaving it could be considered on some levels to be tantamount to admitting that those 10+ years had been wasted. Somewhat like an investor throwing more and more money into a bad investment hoping against hope it will eventually turn a profit. (That said I guess that might be considered to be somewhat addictive (problem gambling)).

P.S.
For my part at the ending the reason why I left was because the thought of putting more of that stuff into me seemed so horrible that the thought being under it for 10, 20, 30 more years was just intolerable. There was absolutely no thought of getting just one last fix. Quite the opposite. Not saying that the entirety of his stuff is bad. Just that there is some extremely bad stuff mixed in there which for my part made me want to vomit.
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Old 04-05-2009, 05:34 AM   #19
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... addictive behavior. I do believe that many in Lee's church were in fact addicted to him and his ministry. But in coming out of addiction please note that none of the 12 steps blame anyone else i.e. the one with the addiction takes responsibility for their actions after admitting they have a problem in the first place.
djohnson, I don't buy your theories on addictive behavior. No one leaving the ministry needs a 12-step program ... I'm starting to believe you when you say you never were a part of the LC's ...

I'd also say that it is not only the teachings of WL which have control over the saints ... these must be reinforced by leaders on a regional and local level. Since local manipulations affect us personally, they are far more damaging to our personal lives.

I like to see someone analyze and dissect those 3 You-Tube videos of Minoru Chen speaking in Toronto? refuting numerous accusations against the BB's. Perhaps they have been transcribed? MC learned these control techniques well, and of all the BB's, he is perhaps the best. Understand these techniques, and you can understand what holds the saints.

UntoHim, do you think that would be a good thread to start? How to connect You-Tubes to the forum? The other forum has them on the Origens of Shaming thread.
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Old 04-05-2009, 07:21 AM   #20
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Ohio,

I agree that those leaving the church do not need a 12 step program. Well at least most do not. But it is not for the same reasons as you.

A 12 step program addresses your personal issues that have driven you to become your own problem. For the most part, that is not the problem with the LC. It is not about recognizing our own failures and turning it over to a “higher power.”

Instead it is about failure to assert your own sensibilities when they are offended. It is about failure to listen to your own good mind when it says “that is not what the scripture says.”

Instead of a 12 step program, a crash course in critical thinking centered around scripture, with the examples all coming from Lee’s teachings would be excellent. We need desperately to be deprogrammed — not in the manner of those “kidnap and deprogram” guys, but in a setting more like a classroom where the personal esteem of those being corrected rises with every personal discovery that they do have their own anointing and can trust their own understanding of scripture. (I do not mean to say “lean on our own understanding” but to point out that as John said in 1 John, we have an anointing and can recognize truth and also recognize error.

“Hi, I’m Mike and I still struggle with leftover scriptural error from 14 years in a personality cult.” At some level I can say that after over 21 years. But if I had immediately begun to question Lee’s teachings and search the scriptures, I might not still be finding as much LC garlic still hiding in the corners of my house.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:19 AM   #21
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Ohio I think you are missing the point i.e. getting lost in among the trees and missing the forest.

Was the audience forced to go and listen to Chen or did they voluntarily assemble? My guess is the latter. Was anyone forced to view the YouTube streams and read the materials or listen to a podcast or CD of Chen? Probably not. I don't have any podcasts on my ipod by Chen or any of the other Blended Babbler do you? But probably some people have chosen to do so.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:48 AM   #22
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His claim that he did not control anybody is valid. That people let themselves be controlled by him is another story altogether. And if the argument is taken further i.e. into the realm of involuntary mind control then we are taking about a cult aren't we?
As djohnson and most of us are quite aware, there was something that Witness Lee dubbed "The Vision of The Church". Lee even called it "a controlling vision" which was to guide and motivate just about every aspect of a Local Churcher's life. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HERE. This is how Lee controlled his followers. He didn't have to tell them where to move - the "vision" did. He didn't tell them who to marry - the "vision" did. He didn't have to tell them what to read and what not to read - the "vision" did.

But who controlled "the vision"? Witness Lee. Actually the vision was changed and updated by Lee many times over the past number of years. There were "flows" which came and went. The "New Way" was nothing more then just the final "flow" initiated and defined by Witness Lee. Since it was at the end of his life, of course it was the most important and most "God ordained" of them all. To this day this is the "flow" that controls most of what happens in the Local Church. Since Lee is dead and unable to initiate any new flow they are stuck. This is what "controls" them.

All this is a very refined and simplified answer to this issue of "control". There are many other intricate and involved issues, such as the matter of fear and addiction. These have been addressed and discussed at length over the past on these forums.

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Old 04-05-2009, 01:47 PM   #23
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Ohio I think you are missing the point i.e. getting lost in among the trees and missing the forest.

Was the audience forced to go and listen to Chen or did they voluntarily assemble? My guess is the latter. Was anyone forced to view the YouTube streams and read the materials or listen to a podcast or CD of Chen? Probably not. I don't have any podcasts on my ipod by Chen or any of the other Blended Babbler do you? But probably some people have chosen to do so.
DJ,

The biggest problem that I have with your discussions on control, free will, and the like, is that you are taking the position that only willful control of people who don't want to allow it constitutes control. No matter how hard you come back to this position, you are simply wrong. Control includes the slow an methodical changing of the minds of people so that they do what you want on cue and they are happy to do it. To keep coming back to this "there's no gun to their head" notion is simply ignorant. There's more ways to control than by guns, chains, ropes, etc.
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Old 04-05-2009, 03:08 PM   #24
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Ohio I think you are missing the point i.e. getting lost in among the trees and missing the forest.

Was the audience forced to go and listen to Chen or did they voluntarily assemble?
DJ, the audience here gathered to break bread, remember the Lord, and worship Him. Instead they got an ambassador from LSM neutralizing any legitimate concerns they might have had from their brothers and sisters in Christ whom they used to assemble with, and attacking those brothers who formerly their leaders.

We are on different wavelengths here DJ -- as we have many times before -- so I see no reason to continue in this "forest."
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Old 04-05-2009, 03:39 PM   #25
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In regards to these "re-take the ground" meetings in Toronto (the ones that Minoru Chen spoke at), those who attended knew fully well what was going on. Those with "legitimate concerns" (about outside control as a matter of fact) had a pretty good idea that they would be better off just staying with the original Church in Toronto, which after all never stopped meeting. It was the ones who didn't mind being "controlled" by the LSM that ended up splitting away. It was their choice. They went to this meeting of the "LSM/Local Church of Witness Lee" knowingly and willfully. There were nothing but thunderous and appreciative "AMENS!" to everything Minoru had to say. One of the recordings captured Minoru emphasizing how "the LSM does not control anybody"

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Old 04-05-2009, 09:38 PM   #26
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Exactly my point UntoHim: they went knowingly and willingly to hear Chen's babble and no doubt "amened" him after every other sentence.

OBW if I change my mind about something I changed my mind. For example: the communist tried to systematically indoctrinate Nee to denounce Christ. He would not change his mind about it even after 20 years of imprisonment. Some others in the same circumstances did. They recanted their faith in Christ. Ultimately it was the individual's personal choice even in those dire circumstances. Surely in a free society like those enjoyed in America, Canada, etc one cannot claim that someone else "controlled" them and "forced" them into certain behaviors. This is a cowardly and irresponsible claim. Even secular jurisprudence will not accept this as a legitimate defence.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:43 AM   #27
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Exactly my point UntoHim: they went knowingly and willingly to hear Chen's babble and no doubt "amened" him after every other sentence.

OBW if I change my mind about something I changed my mind. For example: the communist tried to systematically indoctrinate Nee to denounce Christ. He would not change his mind about it even after 20 years of imprisonment. Some others in the same circumstances did. They recanted their faith in Christ. Ultimately it was the individual's personal choice even in those dire circumstances. Surely in a free society like those enjoyed in America, Canada, etc one cannot claim that someone else "controlled" them and "forced" them into certain behaviors. This is a cowardly and irresponsible claim. Even secular jurisprudence will not accept this as a legitimate defence.
Yes, if you change your mind, it is you that does the changing. And yes, if you have principles and someone causes you to make microscopic changes to those principles, it is you that does the changing. And if they manage to get you to make microscopic change after microscopic change until your principles no longer reflect anything like what they previously did, then you are still the one who changed your own principles. And if you are truly happy with your new principles relative to the old ones, then so be it.

So how do you deal with purely mental addictions? Are they not controlling? Maybe you have never been the type to become addicted to anything. But many people are. And under the right circumstances, almost all of us are.

There is at least one form of alcoholism that is not about physical addiction, but purely mental and emotional. Surely if it is just mental and/or emotional then anyone should be able to simply walk away from it. Right? If you say "right" then you are even more ignorant than your statement that making such a claim is "cowardly and irresponsible."

The depth of your ignorance is further established when you try to define control in terms of whether or not a court would allow it as a reasonable defense. Reasonable defenses are typically based upon established precedence and in this kind of thing, science. If you are certain that science would not back such a defense, and that some court might allow it to be considered, then you are stuck with the notion that nothing changes. In any case, whether or not something is true is not determined by its admissibility in court or whether it could be an allowed defense. Courts do not decide truth. They decide legality. For example, a gun found in an illegal search may be inadmissible in a trial that ultimately finds the party that is actually responsible for murder "not guilty" simply because the prosecutor was unable to sufficiently establish the link between the perpetrator and the crime. He is then legally free to leave unfettered, but he is still guilty of the crime. Laws do not regulate or determine truth.

And when you belittle by saying that claiming control is "cowardly and irresponsible" you are attempting to control this conversation. And unlike some who might back away and let the sound of authority sway them — sort of like so many of the LC membership does with respect to the words of Lee — I am not so easily swayed. It is almost as if you are trying to control this aspect of the conversation by claiming that it can't happen. "Master is tricksy!"

And the question that has been hovering for a couple of days now: Where does eliminating any consideration of any kind of control from this discussion take us? I have some possibilities. First, it makes all those who follow Lee and the LC out to simply be morons who willingly think and do stupid things. In fact, it simply makes everyone who ever was a part of the LC long enough to have intentionally stayed for some period out to have been that kind of moron, at least in the past, and therefore puts a question mark over their current judgment. Last, it leaves only the true outsiders — those who were never actually part of the LC even if they did attend a few times — as the only reasonable people on the forum.

Funny, the only such person that I have seen around here like that lately is you. Oh, I guess you knew that. You have already established that position without this new attack. You have already stated fairly straight-out that anyone who was ever an elder in the LC can never be trusted and will always be the enemy. You have suggested that people from within the LC cannot change it for the better. They should just disband and disappear.

It seems that you are more interested in an argument than in truth. "Management" may not ever ban you outright for this kind of stupid behavior, but if it persists, then some of us probably will on an individual basis. It should be quite an insult to find yourself in the same place as Steward on the other forum. Quite a few just got tired of her nonsense and turned her off.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:28 AM   #28
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OBW if you'll read my posts carefully instead of fabricating notions that I'm trying to "control" this thread then you'd realize that I readily accept the idea that some in the Lee church are addicted to him and his ministry. In fact on another thread I introduced the idea. You'll also note that the idea was considered highly controversial and rejected by many. (Denial is not only a river in Egypt as they say.)

Also note that I was discussing jurisprudence not court procedures. With few exceptions e.g. self defense, insanity, etc. one cannot murder someone and claim: "My pastor made me do it". And even: "The devil made me do it" won't fly. Of course if someone does truly believe this kind of thing then the court might rule them insane.
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:41 PM   #29
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Default Re: SPLIT THREAD - Control and Addiction in the Local Church

dj,

If control were not possible then no one would ever seek to control anyone because their efforts would always be futile. But we know that such efforts are not always futitle. So attempts to control are sometime successful, therefore controlling sometimes works.

Controlling does require consent. But the question is, would the consent have occurred if the controller had not taken certain steps to see that it did?

Did the Nazi's control the Jews? Of course. But you would say that no one held a gun to LCers' heads. But as Kevin Costner said in Open Range, "There are things that gnaw at a man worse than dying." Like being judged unworthy by the Lord, for example.

You are simply hung up on the semantics of the word control. How about replacing it with "influence for self-serving purposes?" Would you agree that is possible? That's what people mean by control in this context.
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Old 04-06-2009, 03:35 PM   #30
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Yes Igzy I would agree that "influence for self-serving purposes" is possible in a free society as the advertising industry well knows. But ultimately we are responsible for our actions regardless of the influences.

You mention the tragedy of Jews under Nazi occupation of Europe. An example of real control with police power to impose the will of leaders on to innocents. And to systematically incarcerate them without due process of law. Even in such a horrific context some came out of the camps and went on to lead productive and healthy lives e.g. Elie Wiesel, Vicktor Frankl, etc. Others did not fare so well. Those who moved on and did well admit that it was their choice to do so even after such a dehumanizing experience.
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Old 04-07-2009, 07:47 AM   #31
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We do not need to get into theoretical examples or point to the extremes of the Nazis when discussing this matter of control in the Local Church. Those of us who were active members while Witness Lee was around know fully well just how he controlled his followers. (albeit the "why" he controlled is a little fuzzy)

I brought up the matter of "The vision of the church". As I noted, Lee even referred to it as a "controlling vision". For the most part, Local Churchers knowingly and willfully submit to this controlling vision. Why? Because they are told that this is the "God ordained way". Back in the day we heard a lot of talk that it was "God's eternal purpose". Who would not want to be controlled by God's eternal purpose? What Christian would not want to follow the "God ordained way"? This is one of the main reasons that the Local Church draws mostly from the ranks of people who are already Christians - because, after all, what Christian would not want to hop on board to God’s eternal purpose and be the ones to “bring the Lord back” and “give him the bride”? These kinds of concepts are something that unbelievers don’t get excited about, much less be controlled by (at least not initially)

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And the question that has been hovering for a couple of days now: Where does eliminating any consideration of any kind of control from this discussion take us?
I don’t think djohnson is “eliminating any consideration of any kind of control” (he can correct me if I’m wrong)…I think what he is saying is that we (LCers) voluntarily submitted to being controlled. If this is what he is saying then I agree. However I think it is worth noting that Witness Lee did not simply walk up to the podium and announce that he was some controlling false apostle who was going to lead us into false religion. God’s enemy is much smarter then that (and so was Lee for that matter).

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Old 04-07-2009, 08:31 AM   #32
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I don’t think djohnson is “eliminating any consideration of any kind of control” (he can correct me if I’m wrong)…I think what he is saying is that we (LCers) voluntarily submitted to being controlled. If this is what he is saying then I agree. However I think it is worth noting that Witness Lee did not simply walk up to the podium and announce that he was some controlling false apostle who was going to lead us into false religion. God’s enemy is much smarter then that (and so was Lee for that matter).
I agree. But the way it is being presented by DJ is to say that it simply is not control. Unless I have forgotten some of the details, no one put guns to the heads of the faithful in Jonestown. Yet to suggest that the members of what had been a relatively prominent ministry in California (SF area?) who now “willingly” drank poison and died did so entirely of free will is nonsense. The control of the will is far more sinister than the control of the body via shackles or threat of violence or death. And you generally cannot cause someone to commit suicide by threatening to kill them if they do not. The threat is pointless. If you are going to die anyway, let the evil ones do it on their own.

But slow erosion of the natural defenses of the mind against illogic, error, and even harm is control even if the state of the person is to have a will to do exactly what their controller wants.

No one ever starts by admitting that they are going to control your mind, will, pocketbook, and even actions. No one would step to the microphone and say that they are going to teach you things that directly contradict the agreed authority on the subject (in this case, scripture) and that you will stand up and applaud them for it. If they did, you would stand up and walk out.

No. They use tricks of argument, logical errors that are most-times easy to miss. They get you to focus so much on one part of the “authority” that you miss the other parts that would make their argument false. It is seldom in big steps. Instead, it is little bit by little bit. Like the frog in the kettle. I do not like to assert absolutely that Lee came to the US with impure motives. But there is something about the progression of his time in the US, beginning as benignly as he did. He gained acceptance as merely a wise teacher. Slowly he worked to be seen as someone who’s word on anything would be trusted. Then he sent Max out to stir things up, then he tossed Max out. (There were lesser things that only those in some areas saw.) Then the lawsuits. (There’s a twist of scripture.) Read the transcripts of Lee’s answers concerning him being an apostle and other such things. The nuanced wording that could not be pinned down. Many of his answers technically did not answer the questions. Those first lawsuits were barely over before he was being exalted, and he admitted he liked it. Was that something new? Who knows.

Then came the direct speaking about “the ministry” and the status of the one who brought it. He never directly said he was the one, but it was a thinly-veiled claim to Apostleship. Then the Oracle. His teachings became “high peaks.” And as Ohio said elsewhere, coming to the pure Word of God turned from battle cry to “a must to avoid.” The scripture could only be understood as interpreted by Lee. So HWMR and other materials spoken/written by Lee, or recompiled by the BBs from Lee became the source of spiritual knowledge. Scripture became a footnote to Lee’s words. Only the snippet that would support his words was used.

Am I wrong about fearing our own understanding of scripture? When we were having the one serious discussion with my parents about the LC about 3 years ago, my mother said, in so many words, that we could not be so certain about what scripture said. She all but said that you just have to call on the Lord and trust him, which in the context of the other things said that evening, meant that you trust what the “brothers,” especially Lee, told you.

We left the Assemblies of God at the end of 1972 because we had already been seeing more and then came across the LC. Now they can’t see for themselves that the error in the LC is greater than the AOG ever was. But they will not look on their own outside of what the LC says.

Yes, they allowed it. But it is a subtle form of control. And to deny it is to whitewash the actions taken by those who have used it to their personal and financial advantage. It is spiritual fraud. And people who are defrauded typically set themselves up for it. That doesn't make them responsible.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:05 AM   #33
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The control of the will is far more sinister than the control of the body via shackles or threat of violence or death ... But slow erosion of the natural defenses of the mind against illogic, error, and even harm is control even if the state of the person is to have a will to do exactly what their controller wants ...
OBW, you make some compelling points.

I believe the Bible is balanced in this matter of "control," yet the responsibility placed upon the leaders is far greater. The scripture does instruct us to honor and submit to those ruling us, obeying them as unto the Lord, but the warnings placed upon the leaders was far greater, "he who stumbles the least of my brethren, it would be better for him to swim out to sea with a millstone around his neck."

Over time, the teachings of the ministry emphasized the former at the expense of the latter. Local leaders thus were required to submit to regional leaders and/or WL and the BB's. The needs and wants of the ministry and the program always took precedence over the needs of the flock or the individual saints. Stories like the judgments upon Ham, Mariam, and others were emphasized repeatedly (Authority and Submission) in order to maintain lines of command, and silence any and all "concerns" which might arise. Teachings concerning "evil shepherds" were neglected for the most part.

I personally have witnessed many gifted brothers, those who either put the word of God or people first and foremost, leave the program over time. Since I knew them well, I couldn't buy into the story that they were somehow "changed." If dozens and dozens of precious brothers leave the LC's for no other reason than that they "had a problem with so-n-so," one might begin to wonder if it wasn't "so-n-so" who really had the problem. The number one reason for them to leave was mistreatment -- one of the primary symptoms of control.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:14 AM   #34
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Default On the matter of control

Control is not exercised merely by means of threats of violence, that is true. But I'd tend to agree that some means of coercion must be employed. Control is an exercise of the power of authority (legitimate or not.) In fact, the hellfire and damnation preachers are attempting to control their listeners. It frequently doesn't work because it requires a willing acceptance of the authority of the Bible.

Lee did not coerce me to stay out of shopping malls and movie theaters, even though he clearly suggested I should not go. Elders, on the basis of such teachings, did attempt to exert this kind of influence, but I generally didn't listen to their interpretations of Lee's teachings as rules to follow. To the extent that Lee himself suggested I follow this or that rule, I discounted that as well as his religion, culture and desire to be a teacher of the law.

But I don't feel Lee ever really tried to control me. I am 100% certain my local elders attempted to do so. I met the man once. I read and considered his books and spoken ministry. But most of the bad LC culture that I picked up was transmitted by the traditions of local eldership, not Lee's printed or spoken ministry. (NOTE: This was prior to 1989.)

Regardless, though, the thing I don't think is appreciated is that once you willingly buy into the premises of the system, coercion, and therefore control, becomes possible. If I assent that the elders in my locality are rightly bearing the deputy authority and they give me rules to follow, do I really willingly obey the rules or am I coerced into doing so on the basis of my assent to their authority? When every indication you can perceive is that you cannot walk away and also remain faithful to the Lord, that's where the ability to control arises.

If I'm in a room and the door is locked and I conclude I cannot get out, I'm likely to dance to whatever tune is called by the guys with the key. The fact that there may also be a window that could allow me an exit is no proof of my willing submission, especially if the window is not allowing light currently and is therefore more than a bit obscure to me.

The best thing that happened to me is that the elders told me to get lost. Whether they were deputy authority or not deputy authority, my practical response was the same - I got lost. But most people did not leave under such conditions, to be coerced and controlled out. They are coerced and controlled to remain. Until they are freed from the bondage of the myth of deputy authority, they may be controlled.

The alleged power of deputy authority is the same as that exercised against Ananias and Sapphira. That's even more potent than a gun, isn't it?
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:57 AM   #35
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The point here is this: Define what control means. When is control ... control. Who sets boundaries for the word? Who determines when those boundaries are crossed? I could sit here and tell other more tragic stories of ones who felt they were controlled by leaders who would refuse to admit they controlled anybody. The LC lexicon for the word control obviously differed from that of the greater body of Christ.
On the matter of control, one could say I don't control anybody. In a sense that is true, if you're not giving orders.
You could also say there's control indirectly via influence. By nature of relationships, there is indirect control when one's influence can impact another's decision making. This aspect of control can happen locally or extra-locally in church matters.

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Old 04-08-2009, 10:41 PM   #36
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OBW it is interesting that you use Jonestown as an example. I have reiterated many times that in the case of a cult and/or addiction control of the will is quite possible. So we agree on both counts as far as I can tell. But you'll notice that members (of course) and also many who left the Lee church refuse to accept that they were engaged in either of these two possibilities. Most in this forum will admit neither.

Igzy has presented a third alternative reducing the idea of control to influence such as advertisers use to influence buyers. Never let is be said that Lee and his LSM are not master marketers! After all they convinced grown adults that he was God's sole oracle on the earth, his church was the only legit one and even had the gall to introduce a one publication policy. And surprise of all surprises the one publication publisher was none other than his very own LSM. A few people (thankfully only a few) people bought it lock, stock and barrel and created a captured exclusive market for his wares.

Should we blame the sellers of this fairy tale or the buyers? Personally I think at minimum 50% should go to the buyers for being so gullible and naive. After all if someone advertises that their dog can fly and you buy it for $500 are you likely to admit with your out loud voice that you got ripped off or will you save yourself the embarrassment and chalk it up as a life lesson?
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:10 AM   #37
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DJ,

The talk is more reasonable now. But while in human terms I might quibble with you concerning which side of 50% the responsibility falls with respect to the people v the leaders and Lee, in spiritual terms I cannot accept that anywhere near 50% is the people and much more falls on the leadership.

Why? Why when some of Paul's and even John's writings seem to indicate that the Christian has responsibility concerning what he accepts? Because they also, along with Jesus, identified a higher responsibility on the leaders. Jesus did not condemn the people for following (or trying to follow) the heavy-yoke rules of the Pharisees. He condemned the Pharisees. And in 1 Cor 3, Paul clearly put a large charge on those who built (the builders) on the building of the church (the church in Corinth).

While it may seem in human terms that "we the people" have our own responsibility to revolt against bad teaching, that is not entirely true. It was primarily the responsibility of the leadership to refuse the bad teaching, and it was their "punishment" for building incorrectly. 1 Cor 3 said nothing about a "cost" to the Corinthians relating to the bad stuff that Paul, Apollos, or others "built" there. In those various words from Jesus and Paul, there a sense that it is expected that the people will follow those who are leading. We may be warned to watch out for ourselves, but I'm not sure that it is the same as the charge put upon the leadership.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:30 AM   #38
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I agree with Mike. Although there is responsibility on both sides, the leader has more because the nature of the relationship necessitates trust and thus vulnerability on the part of the follower. The leader, on the other hand, is not vulnerable in the same way.

If the follower needs to be vigorously skeptical of every directive of the leader, the one must ask why he is following him in the first place. In practice, there is a certain benefit of the doubt afforded the leader, or the relationship simply cannot work. So if the leader abuses this benefit of the doubt his sin is greater.
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:46 AM   #39
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I'll accept that leaders have more responsibility. Maybe the split should be 60/40. Nonetheless both parties are responsible. And for either side to argue how much the split should be is really moot because regardless of the exact number some of it is squarely on their shoulders.

If a leader and the yes men he surrounds himself with teach that he is God's one oracle on the earth today, his is the only legit church and his publications the only ones allowed then once this is accepted no further discernment on the part of the followers is required and the leaders are free to do whatever they want. (Contrary to this sick situation believer/followers are expected to exercise ongoing discernment e.g. the church in Ephesus and false apostles.) If this fairy tale is never accepted in the first place then leaders can be held accountable and protocols with checks and balances can be put in place that protects followers from abusive leadership.
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Old 04-09-2009, 03:05 PM   #40
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I'll accept that leaders have more responsibility
Well that's good of you since after all it is a major biblical theme
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...regardless of the exact number some of it is squarely on their shoulders.
Nobody is saying that people are not to blame for their actions (that's a biblical theme as well). Maybe part of the recovery process for ex members should be a cold, hard assessment of how it is they fell pray to this kind of control, maybe helping them and their loved ones to avoid such pitfalls in the future. I understand fully why ex members are kind of resistant to this kind of painful introspection...it ain't real fun, especially when you are going it alone. Of course this is part of the need and value of this forum here, and it is a big motivation to keep it going
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...If this fairy tale is never accepted in the first place then leaders can be held accountable and protocols with checks and balances can be put in place that protects followers from abusive leadership.
Nice afterthought my friend, but that is a whole lot of water that has already passed under the bridge for a whole lot of people. In my view it is not going to do anybody much good to start estimating how many gazillion gallons of water have passed through, but rather just issue the wake-up call and maybe help some people get the heck off of the bridge.

In any event, it is more then obvious that there was/is a whole lot of control, abuse and addiction issues taking place in the Local Church of Witness Lee. One would have hoped that when Lee passed along things would have gotten a bit better in this regard....and, unfortunately, we now know that one would have been dead wrong about this. It just goes to show you that when the "personality" of a personality cult (sect if you like) dies, the cult (sect) does not necessarily pass away in turn. This also goes to show you that the Local Church is something much more then just a church or group of churches, it is a religion, or to be more technical, a religious system. This particular system is not only fueled by doctrinal error (a real biggie to be sure), it is fueled by all kinds of control, abuse and addiction, which are all aspects of the modern human condition I'm afraid.

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Old 04-09-2009, 05:01 PM   #41
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I remember one brother told me that basically he wasn't experiencing anything, but that he had faith that he was experiencing even though he wasn't. Anyway I get the impression that when it came down to it he had been brought to a point where it didn't matter whether the ministry matched his experience, his inward feeling, his outward situation, anything, all that mattered was that the ministry was the correct interpretation of the bible, and that if anything within him disagreed with the ministry that was from the self and the soul and not to be trusted, after all the ministry said so. This definitely seemed to be my experience anyway, and from looking around I wouldn't be shocked if it reflected the experiences of many. My point is that I think that to a certain extent the ministry brings people to the point where they due to the inherently subjective nature of spiritual experiences (How can you really tell the difference between the spirit and the soul anyway) are unwilling to trust what they are experiencing simply to trust what is spoken in the ministry, after all it was from the minister of the age hence his spiritual experience is to be trusted. I.E. people are brought to a point where they are no longer capable of trusting any of their own faculties. Would this count as mind control? I don't know. I would be interested in hearing the experiences of others related to this.
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Old 04-09-2009, 05:54 PM   #42
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Maybe part of the recovery process for ex members should be a cold, hard assessment of how it is they fell pray to this kind of control, maybe helping them and their loved ones to avoid such pitfalls in the future. I understand fully why ex members are kind of resistant to this kind of painful introspection...it ain't real fun, especially when you are going it alone.

When I first entered the LC's in the mid 70's in Cleveland, I truly was filled in the Spirit thru the fellowship in the meetings. They truly were life-changing to me in so many ways. I tasted and experienced something purely divine according to God's word, and the normal result in my heart was to submit myself to these ones in the fear of God. From where I was coming from, firstly the RCC and then headlong into the world, this all was new territory for me. The exceeding great joy within produced the fruit of submission in me, and that in itself was a great miracle.

Within a very short time, LSM operatives had begun to take advantage of this godly submission within me and others. By the summer of '77, I was literally told by an older Cleveland brother that, "get yourself ready, you are in the Lord's army, He is moving to the campuses, and you will be told where to move to." Here you can see the effect LSM had upon the LC's, with shepherding brothers reinforcing LSM directives, all at the expense of the young saints, whose only desire was to be pleasing to the Lord.

Slowly, as time passed by, the level of joy slowly subsided, while the levels of control and mistreatment ratcheted up. Sometimes the changes were inperceptible, other times, like during the "new way," radical changes were disguised by "spiritual talk." Of course, each person's character and context was slightly different, and each had his own acceptable limits.

I place nearly all the responsibility squarely on the leaders. They took advantage of God's heritage. Shame on them. Shame on all the evil workers who have hurt God's children. They have become savage wolves preying on God's sheep. (Acts 20.29)
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Old 04-10-2009, 03:21 AM   #43
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Frankly any adult who seriously believes that Lee was God's sole oracle on the earth, their church is the only legit one and there should only be one publication i.e. LSMs is really gullible and infantile. The marketing masters at LSM have got them duped. As mentioned previously I equate it with someone buying a dog that the owner claims can fly. Or an adult believing in Santa Claus. If your neighbor told you tomorrow that he seriously believed in Santa Claus and was going on an dogsled expedition to the North Pole to visit him and Mrs Claus and all the elves what would you think?
djohnson, Why is it so obvious to many of us that you also were once "duped" by LSM, and that is why, like us, that you decided to post on this forum?

I bet you used to believe in Santa Claus too.
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Old 04-10-2009, 05:22 AM   #44
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Ohio,

I don't think he was duped like we were. Or at least never at the same level. That sets him apart as never being one of those gullible and infantile people duped by the LC. As long as he can keep making it all about the sheep and not the self-proclaimed shepherd(s), then he stands out as wiser — at least in his own mind.

He's quite proud that he is an outsider with limited first-hand knowledge, but with a friend who feeds him all the stuff so he can dish it out. Since he can't really understand it from an insider's perspective he is neither LC nor ex-LC and can skewer all. It's sort of like when those Hollywood actors start providing "facts" about the environment and politics. They speak loudly and demand that we all listen and follow them. But they have no evidence that what they say has any substance.
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Old 04-10-2009, 06:37 AM   #45
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He's quite proud that he is an outsider with limited first-hand knowledge, but with a friend who feeds him all the stuff so he can dish it out.
Where was he all those years while his "gullible and infantile friend" was being "duped by the LC."
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:20 AM   #46
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Steady as she goes me mates! Let's stay on course, shall we?

From "Regarding registering and posting on this forum":

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...hread.php?t=32

* Personal attacks, insults, flaming and trolling will not be tolerated. A good rule of thumb would be to not post anything on this board that you would not say to somebody's face.

Maybe djohnson should consider running his posts by his "friend" before he places them on the forum here. Or better yet, have your "friend" come here, register and post. Why should he not join in on all the fun?

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Old 04-10-2009, 11:05 AM   #47
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UntoHim,

Sorry, my bad.

I posted a personal testimony (possibly a more vulnerable moment?) thinking back 30+ years of my life, so that others could maybe understand some of the personal dynamics within, (considering myself as a typical LC'er) concerning these matters of "control vs. submission," hoping to get some helpful feedback from others, but ... I got caught off guard by the words "gullible infantile duped."

Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:29 AM   #48
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I place nearly all the responsibility squarely on the leaders. They took advantage of God's heritage. Shame on them. Shame on all the evil workers who have hurt God's children. They have become savage wolves preying on God's sheep. (Acts 20.29)

Actually Ohio your personal testimony was very helpful and supportive of the points being made many here. Hopefully there will be some good feedback - this is what a discussion forum is all about!

My only concern here is that we don't get into flame wars. Words like "infantile" and believing in Santa Clause comparisons are inflammatory, and I just wanted to nip this in the bud before it got out of hand. dJohnson knows this, he is a longtime poster on these forums and knows what buttons to push.

Carry on guys.

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