I Googled my full name the other day (Athena Dean Holtz) and stumbled upon the latest twist in the ongoing rampage against my character. My jaw dropped as I read it…I was stunned at the blatant deception that was communicated. A perfect example of the truth becoming a lie. Here is the statement made about me:
Spokesperson calls Athena Dean a “rabid griper who makes a career of attacking the church.”
This quote was cited on the website created by Tim Williams to smear my reputation and cause people to question my character. The people he most hopes will continue to buy his lies are the handful of followers who continue to consider him a “man of God.” Those whom he’s convinced will be destroyed if they listen to anything I have to say. (Truth be told, if they actually did read everything I’ve written, they’d realize they too have been duped by this con-man who calls himself a pastor).
So how has this truth, this quote about me, become a lie, at the hands of Tim Williams? Here’s how. The way this quote has been cited leads you to believe someone else with authority agrees with Tim Williams, that I have made a career in attacking the church, as in, the body of Christ. But what is the context of this quote about me, and who actually said it?
Since their resignation, the Deans say church members have heckled and harassed them. Scientologists who worked for them have quit. The Deans believe it’s part of a church process called “disconnecting” or “striking a blow to the enemy.” That’s ridiculous, said Ruble, the local Scientology president. Ruble, who oversees 16,000 Scientologists in three Northwest states, called the Deans “rabid gripers” who are making a career of attacking the church.
The full article can be found at this link: http://www.xenu-directory.net/news/library-item.php?iid=1919
Pretty ironic, really.
This was a newspaper article from 1984, 2 years before I became a Christian. And the most compelling parallel is that all those years ago I was standing up to yet another cult… the church of Scientology… another toxic organization that bullies and intimidates anyone who speaks out against them. Amazing how all cults use the same tactics…threats, intimidation, lawsuits towards the defectors, and extreme isolation of those who are still buying the lie…heaven forbid they should learn the truth that they’ve been led astray.
So when you read the quote on the website that was created to expose my “lies” and bring to light the truth about “who I really am,” does it mean something different now…now that you actually know who said it and what church they were referring to?
But that’s just exactly how the enemy works. He doesn’t want you to know the truth, because it’s the truth that will set you free. Instead, he wants to keep you in bondage with word games that hide the truth.
See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Col 2:8
Please pray for all those still ensnared by the hollow and deceptive philosophy of Sound Doctrine and Tim Williams. Pray that they Holy Spirit would be able to get through to them and open their blind eyes, and that they would be humble enough to admit the truth…that they’ve been duped.
That’s a hard thing to do when you’ve burned all your bridges.
Just the other day I’d heard about “confirmation bias,” and was amazed at such an accurate description of what happens to people who stay in cults and turn against those who have the courage to leave and expose the truth.
Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true.
It is a type of cognitive bias and a systematic error of inductive reasoning. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs.
I must admit, I lived for 12 years being manipulated by a man who knew how to take advantage of our sinful human nature that looks for a way to prove we are right when we are really dead wrong. I think the Bible calls that PRIDE.
Please, please, please…pray with me that the power of the enemy would be broken in the lives of those who remain loyal to the wolf and that Jesus would draw them back to Himself.