TESTIMONY OF “LINDA” – Free from a cult!
This is how it happened to Linda (not her real name). She also was travelling on her own and in a foreign country. She was approached in the street by several girls who asked her to go to their church. Responding to their friendliness, she went, and found the church meeting, held in a hall, to be full of dynamic, enthusiastic, and attractive young people. No pastors were visible, but a leader led them in rousing songs. Everyone was all smiles (“smile-busters” were a regular part of the meetings).
Linda was then asked to attend a Bible study. No time period was given for these studies. They just went on from week to week. Slowly but surely she noticed that when she rang home she was being less and less open with her parents, and deep down she knew that things were not right. Having come from a Christian background and a simple faith, she had no real problems with the group’s theology. However she found her time being more and more taken up with church activities – Bible studies, street witnessing, etc. She found that a simple weekend away was out of the question. Instead, she had to be at church.
By now she had found a job and there she met a man (whom we shall name Mike) to whom she was attracted. She asked him along to one of her Bible studies. There he was paired up with another person who the leader thought he was compatible with, i.e., who had similar interests, personality, etc. Soon he was regularly attending the church and Linda later testified that she watched him being slowly broken as the group kept pushing him into their mould. Linda was very active now and was leading Bible studies. Each Sunday, statistics of the attendees at the weekly Bible study had to be submitted. “Sin lists” were drawn up for each member, and these could later be used to keep people in line. Each person had two disciplers – one to do the teaching, and one to take notes. Linda was pressured to abandon all further travel plans and was not allowed to be baptised until she had done so. Her level of commitment needed to be constantly proven. She was often deprived of sleep, and seemed to be always attending meetings. Every night of the week was occupied, and at one point she found herself joining others at MacDonald’s at eleven o’clock at night in order to review her day’s “evangelism figures”. (A quota of about twenty-three people contacted per day had to be filled.)
Tithing, of course, was mandatory. As the tentacles of time and money control encircled both her and Mike, she began to realise that although records were being kept of members’ giving patterns, there was no accountability for the money used within the church. As for the preaching, the methods used were hypnotic. Sometimes the preacher would be shouting and other times virtually whispering. He would be alternately challenging and cajoling his listeners, manipulating their emotions from high to low and then back again. People who questioned any of this were labelled “independent” or “proud”.
After about six months, Mike and Linda decided to marry. They dated under strict control, never being allowed to be alone together. Of course, this proved to be stressful and their patience was pushed to the limit. Eventually, they were permitted to travel together to meet Linda’s parents. Contrary to the experiences of others, they were not contacted by the church during the three weeks that they were away. It was during this time that Linda’s mother (herself a committed Christian) gently asked her daughter some thought-provoking questions in a way carefully designed not to offend her. Linda and Mike now had time to think.
Upon their return, they were immediately confronted by the church and asked questions about their relationship. Wise now to what had happened to them, they became infuriated and resisted. Mike vowed never to return to the church. Linda was told that she was now out of the church and was not welcome back. After leaving the church (which we shall now refer to as a religious cult), Mike started to become depressed and had to go on medication. Linda also became mildly depressed, and periodically suffered from confusion and feelings of inadequacy, as well as fears that she could not meet other’s standards. She has, however, remained a Christian. Her husband, who was not a Christian prior to his cult experience, subsequently rejected anything to do with churches. (He and Linda are now attending an evangelical church together.) When they got married, no one from the cult came to their wedding. They have since returned to Linda’s hometown where they are making a new life for themselves.
When asked about the sort of people she encountered in the cult, Linda said that they were mostly young, good-looking, and motivated, but frequently came from unsettled circumstances and had joined the cult when they were at a low time in their lives. Some had just left university and needed friends, or were looking for a job and were new to the city. Many were in either a transitional or a crisis period of their lives.
Editor’s note: Please be careful about joining religious groups which are not accountable to the wider Church or Body of Christ. We recommend you check out “HOW TO IDENTIFY A CULT” on the Article pages of this web site. This will provide valuable guidelines on what to watch out for.
TESTIMONY OF “NICKI” Healed of M.E.!
“While working as a nurse in London, I met Mark, an English man whom I later married and we now live in Winchester, south of London.
This is my testimony of how I was delivered from M.E. which is a form of Muscular Dystrophy. This disease attacked my body shortly after I was married.
God had spoken to me in a prophecy that indeed He would. This is the prophecy: “Trust, and be not afraid. Life is full of wonder. Open child-trusting eyes to all I am doing for you. Fear not. Only a few steps more then my Power shall be seen and known. You are, yourselves, now walking in the tunnel-darkness. Soon, you yourselves shall be lights to guide the feet that are afraid. The cries of your suffering have pierced even to the ears of God Himself- my Father in Heaven. Your Father in Heaven. To hear with God is to answer, for only a cry from the heart, a cry to divine power to help human weakness, a trusting cry, ever reaches the ear Divine. Remember, trembling heart, that with God, to hear, is to answer. Your prayers, and they have been many, are answered.”
I felt that the Lord was confirming that He had received my sincere cry to him, and my attempts to have Faith in Him to heal me. In spite of this my health was deteriorating. I put my thoughts in a diary. This is what I wrote: “Every day the same pain!!! Totally fatigued, and this strict anticandida diet means that I can’t even eat or drink anything nice to cheer myself up. It has affected and minimized every single aspect of my life so that I have no control over anything.”
I was advised to call the elders of our church to have them anoint me with oil, and pray for me. On Easter Saturday our Minister came and anointed me with oil and we had Communion together, after which he declared that the healing had begun and said it with such authority and I BELIEVED it. That night I wrote: “I have reached out to touch the hem of Jesus’ robe and my bleeding has stopped. Bleeding from years of hurt, lost friendships, bleeding from a thousand disappointments bleeding from things I can no longer do but the healing has begun …Jesus anointed my head with oil today, and my cup overflows. It was He who touched my forehead today He who has begun the Resurrection Healing this Easter. Yes, I do believe it!”
Later that night Mark was very distressed. He had been looking after me as if I was a newborn baby. He was unemployed and the bills were piling up with no way to pay them. He was watching me deteriorate day after day, racked with pain. I could see he could not take much more.
By the time I got up to go to church the next morning I was in such unbearable pain that I didn’t want to go to Mark’s parents for Easter. It meant travelling to Bath, a town near Bristol. Mark bathed and dressed me and took me to his parents.
As soon as I could I was put in Trish’s bed (Mark’s Mother) where I dozed and cried, too weak to call out for a drink. Mark, Trish and Joan (a close friend of Trish’s) came into the bedroom to talk, Trish felt that there was spiritual oppression upon Mark and I, almost as if there was a curse upon us.
Ever since we have been together our lives have been plagued by things going wrong. Trish had been praying about this the previous Thursday and prayed against this attack. I did feel better that day, then the next day I was back the same. Trish felt something more permanent needed to be done. Joan arrived in Bath, and said that for the past few weeks she was being prepared for a great work of prayer and healing; she did not know who it was for until Trish described our situation.
Trish and Joan felt that there was perhaps a “back door” open in the spirit, through which the enemy was entering in and causing havoc. Both Mark and I have been Christians since age 14, and Satan never gives up trying to get God’s children back. This “back door” may have resulted from our own sin, or the sin of one of our ancestors. Just as special talents are passed down through generations, like the gift of music or mathematics, so the unconfessed sins of our ancestors get passed down, like perhaps the dabbling in the occult, or an involvement in Freemasonry, whose roots are entrenched in evil. Numbers 14:18 clearly states generational curses. The only thing we could come up with was a relative who had been a Freemason. As we began to pray, it became tangibly evident that the enemy did not want this prayer to go on.
We then asked the Lord Jesus to protect us by His blood which was shed for us. We repented of our ancestor’s sin, and we were set free from the curse. This would break the cycle of horrendous events in our lives. When the prayers were said, we distinctly felt the evil which had caused the chaos depart! Mark and I felt wonderfully peaceful. It was then that they began to pray for my healing, as if enough miracles had not been done!
Joan then placed her hand on my head, and immediately exclaimed how hot it was. I felt as if I was burning up, and yet it was not uncomfortable. Slowly and gently I felt the pains in my head, eyes and ears go, and I noticed that I could look into the sunshine without pain. I told them that all the pain had gone from my head and was slowly dissipating down my torso, though at that point it was still in my legs. After twenty minutes Joan said my head had cooled and I could no longer feel any pain at all. It was the most incredible moment. Joan prayed for my marriage and for God to bless us.
At the end of all this Trish asked me “Are you healed then Nic?” I thought and said firmly “Yes!”
I needed to affirm aloud exactly what had happened. I then bolted out of bed unaided and ate something without any problems. Mark and I then went for a walk – it was like a dream to him as here was the girl he had carried around everywhere that very morning. The next day I played tennis and I have been swimming, sailing and running ever since.
My doctor was also amazed, he cancelled the wheelchair that was ordered for me and also the appointment that I had with Social Security so I could receive a monthly allowance for my “disability.” My husband and I both believed God could and would heal, but the way and the method was totally unexpected. Jesus kept feeding that Hope and Faith by the prayers of others and countless confirmations of His promise of healing, which is a free gift from God who longs to give good things to His children.
SO IF THE SON LIBERATES YOU (MAKES YOU FREE MEN), THEN YOU ARE REALLY AND UNQUESTIONABLY FREE! (JOHN 8:36)