The Gig is Up … God Will Not Be Mocked

Convicted pastor seeks new trial, judge denies request

Once again, the Sound Doctrine Gestapo has attempted to obstruct justice, and once again, God said NO WAY.

Praise the Name of the Lord, for He is just and will not be mocked.

One Year Anniversary – My God is Faithful

One year ago today, I was delivered out of captivity by a mighty God.

Darkness, oppression and hopelessness had become my new “normal” after twelve years of feeding on scriptures presented out of context with an evil motive to manipulate and control (i.e. intimidate).

Imagine my shock when God’s light pierced my world. Squinting at the brilliance of His holiness, I emerged from a deep pit of despair.

Imagine my amazement to find that what I had grown to believe God to be was a complete lie from the pit of hell.

Imagine my relief to re-learn that God’s grace means there is nothing I can do to make God love me more, or love me less, than He already does.

It’s by no accident that this time of year has national historical significance with compelling spiritual parallels.

First of all, this weekend we celebrate Veteran’s Day with those we honor who’ve fought to defend our freedom and lived to tell about it.

Not only did many of my friends and loved ones fight in prayer on my behalf while I was trapped in captivity, but I too fought the war for my soul, and praise God, survived and now live to tell about it.

Another historic occasion that occurred over the 9th and 10th of November was the fall of the Berlin wall. My Facebook friend Brad Sargent shared this with me:

November 9 is considered the “official” beginning of taking down the Berlin Wall, and there is a photo there from November 10th of people WALKING through the infamous Checkpoint Charlie, to experience the freedom of the West. It still took time for a complete dismantling to occur, but the way to freedom had been irrevocably opened …

There’s been much dismantling occurring this past 12 months, and I’m quite sure there is more to come…but the way to my freedom, as well, has been irrevocably opened and I look forward to complete healing and restoration in my future.

How fitting it was that last weekend, as I attended a church service with some very special friends, that a woman quoted a scripture that sliced my heart like a razor-sharp knife.

Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. (Jonah 2:8)

This is a scripture that the cult convinced me to wield as a weapon with which to bludgeon my firstborn son. Since he refused to throw his new bride under the bus (you know, “hate his wife” like Luke 14:26 says he has to do) and come and join the cult with us, he was clearly clinging to a worthless idol (his wife), and forfeiting the “grace” that could be his.

How freeing it was to realize, sitting in that church service last Sunday, that it was really I who was clinging to the worthless idol of Sound Doctrine and the false shepherd that I allowed to become my Holy Spirit. It was I who was forfeiting the grace that could be mine!

Bittersweet.

This is the kind of revelation that hurts and heals at the same time.

What a joy it is to have the Lord continue to undo every scripture wrongly applied in my life.

May I continue to be soft-hearted enough to allow Him to keep showing me more and more of His true goodness and faithfulness in exchange for the lie I believed for so long.

Eleven Month Anniversary – Melt Down

I had a melt-down of sorts a few days ago. A strange mix of emotions that included depression, profound sadness, and a bit of despair. I originally chocked it up to an adrenaline crash after my whirlwind of travel to Dallas and Branson, but I’ve come to realize it really was much more than that.

Today marks my 11 month anniversary of leaving the Christian cult I was trapped in for 12 long years, and as I consider the past months, I am reminded how important anniversary dates can be. In fact, I used to teach veterans and their family members all about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how things in the environment, as well as the anniversary dates of prior traumatic experiences, can trigger in the present, unwanted emotions and memories.

I started thinking back to what was happening in my life around this time of the month in October of last year, and was shocked to remember that it was one of the most stressful experiences I had endured, as the “Tax Oversight Committee” had finally finished their work and ominously commanded my presence in the WinePress offices. Under scrutiny of no less than 5 other people, I filled out the tax forms for the first quarter of 2010. I was bullied and intimidated into filing my own business taxes (I wasn’t allowed to have a CPA review them for me or get any outside advice at all), and on top of that I was not allowed to even keep a copy of the forms I’d filed. My income was right around $1500 a month and my tax liability was adding up to over $50,000 due to the capital gains that were calculated (even though I only received $10 in exchange for my 3.5 million dollar business!).

It was truly the most bizarre experience I’d ever experienced in my life, and all the while I was being manipulated into taking responsibility for tax liabilities that were not even mine to assume.  And all in the Name of God.  Every move I made was condemned, criticized, and demonized by the very people who I now know to be wolves in sheep’s clothing. One man for years had covered up his own sexual perversion and sick attraction to and vile abuse of little girls, and another who knowingly covered up his crimes. Not only are these men the “spiritual leaders” of Sound Doctrine, but those who manage what continues to be deceitfully promoted as a “Christian Publisher”, WinePress Publishing.

How kind and merciful it was for God to allow me to discover the full extent of the evil and wickedness that reigned in the midst of Sound Doctrine a little at a time. It was shortly after I left that I found out what was done to me with the supposed “sale” of my business to the cult was completely fraudulent and a gross violation of spiritual authority, but then it was five months after I left before I found out about Malcolm Fraser being a pedophile.  I honestly don’t know if I could have emotionally handled learning all of it at one time, so God had to spoon feed the revelation of the extent of the abuse and profound evil over a period of time.

So, should I be surprised at my recent emotional roller-coaster, mostly downward? I think not. When I consider the level of stress and trauma I endured last year at this time, along with the ongoing grieving God is having me work through, and the amazing restoration that God is continuing to work in my life, it’s clearly remarkable that I haven’t been in worse shape than I am. In fact, it is astonishing that I’m not, after all I’ve been through, locked away in a mental hospital.

My God has taken a horridly abusive and traumatic experience and turned it around to glorify His name in countless ways. Not only does He continue to encourage others as I walk through my healing journey with Him, but  I heard only yesterday that one young man who was trapped by the cult for the last six years finally escaped just a month ago, so I can only praise Him that one more captive has been set free.  The exciting part is that this young man was one for whom my friend Cindy Scinto consistently received visions from the Lord about and was urged by Him to fast and pray for him to break free from the horrific abuse he was under in Sound Doctrine.

I continue to pray for the rest of those in bondage, especially my own grandchildren, one of whom is also a victim of the sick pedophile Malcolm Fraser. I pray that they soon will have their spiritual eyes opened and have the courage to walk away from the insanity before it’s too late.

Ten Month Anniversary – You Can See It In My Eyes

Today marks 10 months since God opened my eyes to the deception I’d lived under for 12 long years.

It has been an amazing journey of having literally every scripture that I’d been taught out of context righted in my heart and mind.

The biggest delusion I believed in Sound Doctrine was that my salvation was at risk, and that there was more I had to do to earn it, namely whatever Tim Williams determined was God’s will for my life.

Believing this allowed him the ability to manipulate and control my entire life based on fear.

A close second was that unity with the brethren means you never question any decision or action taken by “the man of God”.

Believing this allowed the leadership in Sound Doctrine to do as they pleased without any consequence on their part.

As I sat in church yesterday and listened as Pastor Ross shared scriptures on unity in the body, it was so refreshing to hear the scripture being preached IN CONTEXT and in a way that builds up believers rather than tearing them down.

And this morning I opened my devotional, Jesus Calling, and I am reminded again that He is always available to me…that once I have trusted Him as Savior, He never distances Himself from me…any distance I feel is just that, a feeling, not to be confused with reality.

Looking back at who I became in those 12 years is sobering. I went from a strong, successful, business owner to one who allowed my emotions to be influenced by a master manipulator, all in the Name of God, leaving me second guessing God’s voice, His plan for my life, and His will for me.

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Below you can see the reality of how I was robbed of the joy of my salvation by a wolf in sheep’s clothing. How easily I was deceived because the wolf quoted so many scriptures and “seemed” so godly. But scripture is clear that Satan masquerades as an angel of light…and wasn’t it the Father of Lies who used scripture to tempt Jesus? How true it is that if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!  You can see it in my eyes…the depth of the darkness I believed was enormous.

I am eternally grateful for a faithful God who, ten months ago today, opened my darkened eyes so I could see, gave me the courage to admit that I had been duped, and has since been restoring all that the locusts had eaten.

New Chip MacGregor Post

Well, how could I not share this wonderfully witty update from well-known, well-respected literary agent, Chip MacGregor?

I know he caught heat after his last post on March 5 (Conspirators R Us), when the Sound Doctrine/WinePress bullies threatened to sue him. But God bless him, Chip just couldn’t stay quiet after seeing them at ICRS (the large trade show put on by the Christian Booksellers Association…stands for International Christian Retail Show).

His current post went up today, titled The WinePress Follies, and it will have you laughing out loud all the way through. At the same time you’ll be shaking your head at the blatant hypocrisy and utter insanity they have displayed.

I feel terrible for all the innocent victims (authors) who now have to live with the WinePress imprint on their books. The company is quickly becoming a laughing stock in the Christian publishing industry, and that’s so not fair for those who paid good money to have their book published and supposedly by a Christian company with credibility.

Someone reminded me the other day that WinePress was, at one time, a real God thing….it just got hijacked.

True statement. Sad, but true.

Desolate

In my quiet time this morning I came across a scripture that really spoke to me.

The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants; and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate. Psalm 34:22

I will have to say that this month has been an emotional roller coaster ride. The heights of joy and exhilaration at how God is at work in my life, followed by deep despair and desolation.

The dictionary describes the adjective this way:

Desolated: barren or laid waste; devastated:

The devastation of having everything stolen from me by the cult still stings. I still feel devastated, barren…the enemy having laid waste to my heart and life for 12 years. I think I am, in many ways, still in shock. I am ready for the emotions to be over and done with, but they seem to enjoy startling me with a surprise visit now and again. I surprise myself with how easily the tears still come, at the most inopportune times.

In my Key Word Bible I found that the word desolation comes from the Hebrew word:

Shamem: to stun, to grow numb, to devastate, to stupefy, to be astonished, to be appalled; to be desolate, waste, ravaged, solitary, or depopulated; to destroy, to lay waste; to despair, to ruin oneself, to be destitute….The word was used to describe Tamar after she was raped by Amnon (2 Sam. 13:20). It is something so horrible that it can leave a person speechless, (Job 21:5).

(From the Lexical Aids to the Old Testament)

As I read these words I grieve not only for the way I was ravaged spiritually and financially but once again for the victims of Malcolm Fraser. The desolation his perversion has caused his young victims, one of which I know is my granddaughter, is appalling, despicable, hideous. The horror of it left one victim speechless for 7 years until God began to work the courage in her heart to speak up. I long for God to work that same courage in my granddaughter.

And as I grab ahold of Psalm 34:22 and continue to trust in the Lord as He redeems my soul from the cult’s destruction and devastation, I choose to believe His Word. I choose to allow Him to heal my desolation even though the process is a painful one.

And as I allow Him to do so, I pray for the same work to be accomplished in the ravaged hearts of  the rest of his victims.

Disturbing

My friend came back from her counseling again yesterday with more disturbing news. Her counselor had given her a handout entitled “Sexual Offenders 101”, which described perfectly the way we were treated in Sound Doctrine. Not only that, it described exactly the way we were taught to behave towards other members or potential members.

Red Flag Behaviors of Offenders

  • Get to know you quickly; befriend you quickly
  • Helpful, reliable, will gain your trust quickly
  • Hangs out with kids/teens as much as or more than peers
  • Knows more about what your kids like than you do (music, video games, cartoons, movies, language, etc.)
  • Pays attention to target child, makes him/her feel special
  • Involves target child in activities so they can be together (alone?)
  • Ignores rules, limits, and boundaries
  • Touches children in non-sexual ways in front of adults
King County Sexual Assault Resource Center – Next Steps: Trauma Focused Parenting

Get to know you quickly; befriend you quickly – CHECK … Whenever new people came to church we were taught to lay down our lives for them. Our number one goal was to get into their lives and establish a relationship of accountability where the new person saw the need to “walk in the light” with us.

Helpful, reliable, will gain your trust quickly – CHECK … We were taught to jump right in and serve others, to be true to our word and reliable, to show how trustworthy we were (because, of course, we were REAL Christians and showed it by our actions). I also saw this being true in the way we made ourselves indispensable to organizations we volunteered with, being the ones who made things happen so that we built trust and quelled any questions about our doctrine by being so reliable and helpful.

Hangs out with kids/teens as much as or more than peers – CHECK … After the leadership had built the foundation with the adults in each of the behaviors listed above, they began making a big deal of focusing efforts on the youth, almost to the extreme. A friend shared with me an article outlining the 10 ways Hitler used mind-control on youth, and what do you know, I could see EVERY SINGLE ONE of the tactics used on the children of Sound Doctrine.

Knows more about what your kids like than you do – CHECK … I can’t tell you how many times I would hear Carla Williams tell other moms “I know your son/daughter better than you do!” Parents were constantly made to feel as if they were a terrible parent, couldn’t see their child clearly, didn’t love their kids, etc., etc. This behavior, exhibited by leadership and taught to the members by example, created a wedge between parent and kids, between husband and wife, making everyone susceptible. We were taught to learn the likes and dislikes of others so we could use that information to “get them to the cross” and I saw the information that was gathered misused against children and parents in abusive ways.

Pays attention to target child, makes him/her feel special – CHECK … Foundational to the cult was the way the leaders family was made to be more important and special than anyone else. Then the attention by leadership (the Williams family) was used as a carrot with children and adults, withdrawn if the individual was misbehaving and dangled in front of them to get them to “behave”. Singling out certain individuals, for either praise or public humiliation, was a sick way of making the person (child or adult) feel special. Often times Tim Williams would have special emails and private threads on the Sound Doctrine message board with individual children in the church, and if they did not behave appropriately this special communication would be withdrawn.

Involves target child in activities so they can be together – CHECK … Building on the relationship fostered with the special emails and private threads, the Williams would do special things alone with the children, like invite them up to their house in the mountains (Shiloh) for the weekend, or going to special events.

Ignores rules, limits, or boundaries – CHECK … The mother of the child rape victim told me of an incident where Tim Williams had directed her to put her 3 girls through “manners boot camp.” During this time she was supposed to instill in her daughters that her authority was not to be questions and that they were to learn complete obedience to her as their parent. At the end of the boot camp Tim told one of the young girls that “Grandpappy (Tim) has more authority over you than your parents do!” to which “Granny” (Carla) agreed. It was considered normal in Sound Doctrine for anyone in leadership to usurp parental authority. No one had any boundaries when it came to leadership…since they heard from God and no one else did, they could do whatever they wanted and never be questioned. Because of this, they were above rules, limits and boundaries.

Touches children in non-sexual ways in front of adults – CHECK … The Sound Doctrine culture was full of hugs whenever greeting or saying goodbye to children and adults.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not calling the Williams pedophiles. What I am showing is the techniques that pedophiles use to groom their victims are exactly the same techniques that Sound Doctrine cult leadership use on members. By using these controlling methods, they created an environment where a pedophile could thrive and go undetected.

To see the uncanny similarities between behaviors of sex offenders and behaviors of the Sound Doctrine cult leadership is disturbing, to say the least.

How anyone can turn a blind eye it is beyond me.

Perspective

Roger Petersohn’s sermon on Sunday really touched me. It was all about perspective, and how our focus needs to be on God and enjoying our relationship with Him, rather than on our “to do” and “do not do” lists.

It reminded me of how much my focus was always on my “do not do” list for the last 12 years…the cult had me so zeroed in on my sins and focusing on everything I’ve done wrong or am doing wrong, that my perspective was so far from objective it wasn’t funny. Then, of course, there’s the fact that whatever you focus on is what you’ll increase in your life.  No wonder I made no progress in my longing for righteousness…all I had my eyes on was my sin (my “do not do” list).

Changing my perspective to be focused on the Lord and my relationship with Him has been so refreshing and productive! It’s no wonder that I am growing, once again, and regaining a proper point of view. When I looked up the word perspective in the World English Dictionary, the first two definitions really hit home:

perspective  (pəˈspɛktɪv)
— n
  1. a way of regarding situations, facts, etc., and judging their relative importance.
  2. the proper or accurate point of view or the ability to see it; objectivity.

What’s important is loving God, not being so overly consumed with my sin, and all the hoops I think I need to jump through to make sure God keeps loving me. There’s nothing I could do or not do to make Him love me anymore than He does right now. Understanding that one thing should cause a wave of gratefulness to wash over me and motivate me to zero in my thoughts and affections on the loving God I serve.

Help us, O Lord, to judge the relative importance of our “to do” and “do not do” lists…help us have the ability to see clearly and objectively Your great love for us…and to focus on our relationship with You, the lover of our souls. May all that we do, or don’t do, be birthed out of love for You, and You alone.