Nothing New Under the Sun When it Comes to Cults

If you’ve ever heard my story, you know that I come from a New Age background and was involved in Scientology back in the ‘70s before I ever heard the gospel. This last Sunday evening, we watched the HBO documentary on Scientology, called “Going Clear” which included a number of people who have had the courage to leave the cult, and stand up and tell their stories. They spoke out even though each one experienced tremendous backlash and ongoing harassment by the “church” and their loyal followers.

There were so many similarities in how Scientology deals with criticism and former members who speak up and how Sound Doctrine behaves it was chilling.

I sat stunned as the video footage of L.Ron Hubbard spilled across the screen, giving me a glimpse of what a nut case he was. I realized as I was watching the documentary that, for the seven years I was involved and on staff at the Celebrity Centre, I never saw even one of those interviews with him. The only thing I was ever exposed to was the headshot of him in his skipper’s hat where he looks pretty normal and credible.

Ding, ding, ding!

First parallel

LIMIT ACCESS TO TRUTH

Limit what the loyal members of the organization see and hear about the leader and his activities. Only let them see and read what makes him look good. It’s much easier to play word games with a printed document than it is to edit a video. And words can be quoted completely out of context and end up looking and sounding completely different than when they were originally spoken. Those who are intent on keeping others controlled and in bondage will twist words like a pretzel if it gets them what they want.

THREATS & BLACKMAIL

Using private information against a potential threat (or as Scientology calls it, a Potential Trouble Source) in an attempt to shut them up is the order of the day in cults. The church of Scientology amasses intimate information about each member’s life through their process of counseling (called auditing), and threatens to use it to destroy a person’s reputation if they happen to question the abuses they see or show in any way that they may be thinking about leaving the organization. Because of this, many high profile people have stayed in the organization against their better judgment because of the promised threat of humiliation. And everyone involved in speaking out on this documentary had smear campaigns launched with dedicated websites and all manner of lies spread all over the internet.

Tim Williams was a master at this. He would have me put my repentance and confession into writing to document whenever he got me to a point of turning everything back onto myself and believing I was wrong for questioning his integrity or actions. These situations would always turn inward to search my heart and repent for my accusations, which were surely of the devil. I would have to apologize in writing and admit that I had a bitter root, and that I was focusing on the speck in his eye instead of the log in my own.

I was persuaded using scripture to say that Tim was the man of God that He put in my life and I was in sin to question his authority. I would then be required to list all the sinful aspects of my character and personality and grovel in order to prove my repentance, (this was supposed to show that I was walking in the light and the only way I could be healed by the Lord). He would then file these documents away to use at a later date to disprove that any criticism I could ever possibly make if I ever left Sound Doctrine. These documents would be used to try to prove that anything I say that is negative is a lie since I have apologized in the past for the same behavior.

More specifically with the fraudulent sale of WinePress, he made sure I wrote up a statement saying I was selling the company of my own free will, that it was my desire to do so, that I was unfit to run the company, and that if any of my children say otherwise not to listen to them. I was made to feel that I would be in rebellion if I did not declare my allegiance in writing and that was the last thing I wanted to be. As is fitting with this characteristic of a cult, he has some of those very documents I penned posted on the website he created to destroy my reputation!

FEAR OF PUNISHMENT

One of the long time Scientologists in the documentary talked about how he never read any of the stuff online about Scientology. That he was loyal and was convinced that anything negative online was put on there by suppressive people who’d left the church and been excommunicated, so their words could not be trusted. It was actually only after 35 years and a nagging inside that he finally started reading what others were saying and realized they were speaking truth, and it really was abuse that he was experiencing, and it was wrong!

The more I thought about it, I realized how the Scientology leadership is able to keep people from looking at what people are saying or doing any kind of research on criticism. And it’s amazing how similar it is to what Sound Doctrine did! During the course of a Scientologist’s auditing, the question would always be asked by the counselor “Did I miss a withhold?” A withhold being something you don’t want them to know about. Actually, I just looked it up on a site that exposes the cult:

A Withhold is an unspoken, unannounced transgression against a moral code by which the person was bound.

As a loyal member, dedicated to the moral code of Scientology, if you read any of the critical analyses of the organization, you knew good and well that, if you admitted it, you would be in big trouble, disciplined and abused in horrific ways. But of course, you believed that you would have deserved that kind of discipline for your bad behavior. That’s all part of the brain washing and mind control.

WOW.

Tim Williams did the same thing. We were convinced early on, with lots of scripture, that anyone saying anything negative about Tim or Sound Doctrine was in sin, a “wide road Christian” with a bitter root, a false witness, a Judas, and generally just someone who is selfish and doesn’t really want God but just wants their own way so we should have nothing to do with them. I can’t even find the scripture now, but Tim always used to quote “Whoever listens to a false witness will be destroyed.” So of course, if you ever read anything critical about Tim’s handling of scripture or the doctrine he pushes, you’d feel incredibly guilty (even if you wondered if they were right in the criticism). So guilty, in fact, that you’d be compelled to confess it as sin, and would then be disciplined for your rebellion, your bitter root and for becoming a Judas. You would be cut off from fellowship from the rest of the body, and likely put “outside the camp” like Miriam was when she rebelled against Moses. If that happens a time or two, you definitely determine to avoid reading anything that could bring Tim or Sound Doctrine into question…out of self-preservation!

INTIMIDATION THROUGH ATTORNEYS

The last huge parallel I will mention today is the standard practice of Scientology utilizing lawsuits to bully others into giving them what they want. The documentary talked about them taking on the IRS to get their 501©3 status, and how they had members file lawsuits against IRS tax auditors INDIVIDUALLLY, to the tune of thousands of individual lawsuits. It was a tidal wave of intimidation that the IRS finally caved under and gave them what they wanted to get all the lawsuits to go away.

That reminds me of Tim Williams having all the cult members write letters to the Insurance Commissioner to try to get State Farm Agent Tony Truax’s license suspended. All because he was willing to stand against them and their bullying.

Tony had told me that 3 single women from Sound Doctrine had tried to purchase million dollar policies and put Tim down as the beneficiary. All three of the ladies came into his office at different times and used the same reason and story as to why there was an insurable interest. He was so troubled by this when it happened that he reported it to the Enumclaw Police. When Tim got wind that I’d been told about this he demanded an apology from Tony and Tony would not offer one, on any terms. When Tim couldn’t get what he wanted, he had all the members cancel their insurance policies. When that didn’t work he had them all call State Farm and complain and try to get him fired. When that didn’t work, he had them all write letters to the Insurance Commissioner and filed a formal complaint to get his license revoked. When all was said and done, Sound Doctrine LOST the suit they filed with the state agency. Praise God they didn’t cave like the IRS did!

With today being April 1, 2015, exactly 5 years from when Tim Williams and Sound Doctrine got legal possession of WinePress Publishing (albeit fraudulently), I thought it timely to have seen the documentary of a secular cult and discover how similar the tactics were in a conservative Christian cult, both organizations originating from the pit of hell….hmmmmm…. nothing new under the sun, huh?

An Update from Chip MacGregor re: WinePress and Me

Chip MacGregor is a hero in my book…a well-respected literary agent who has refused to be intimidated by the thugs at WinePress. This is his most recent post…be sure to read the comments as well!

http://www.chipmacgregor.com/current-affairs/last-last-word-winepress/

The Latest from Well-Known Literary Agent, Chip MacGregor

You know, Chip always knows how to shine the light in the darkness and expose the hard, cold facts.

Here’s his latest blog post about WinePress Publishing and their final demise. I’d encourage you to read it and share with your social media networks.

http://www.chipmacgregor.com/current-affairs/last-word-winepress-publishing/

And as a side note, I think his timing is impeccable. We just announced the founding of Redemption Press, where we are doing everything we can to help the authors who have been abused and orphaned by WinePress Publishing. Pass the word!

The Double Standard of Tim Williams

I heard from an author that WinePress is finally admitting that they are, in fact, going out of business. The cult member/employee said “it was the result of attacks on the business and the landlord’s desire to get paid, which he wasn’t.”

Hmmmmm. Their landlord let them go ONE FULL YEAR without paying their rent, and finally said enough is enough. Start paying or get out, to which they whined and made more excuses.

One of the most recent employees to leave said “The last thing I heard from Josiah was that Mike was jerking them around.”

Here is a perfect example of the Sound Doctrine / Tim Williams /WinePress  double standard.

Their landlord gives them way more grace than they deserve, and they accuse the landlord of jerking them around.

HYPOCRISY!

If you are more than 15 days late on a bill you owe WinePress, they charge you exorbitant late fees.

But if they owe you money, they expect you to wait for months, and if you complain, YOU are in sin.

HYPOCRISY!

Tim Williams convinces his followers that I constantly beat Carla down when we went to writer’s conferences together.

The truth is, when we had a chance to talk without Tim around, and I showed her how we were wrong to charge so much for authors to buy copies of their books, and that some of the decisions Tim was making were BAD FOR BUSINESS, she completely agreed with me and tried to get Tim to listen. Uh oh. Bad idea. He doesn’t listen to anyone.

In reality, Tim was the one who constantly beat her down once we returned from the conferences. Verbally beat her into submission. She even told me once that because of our conversations at conferences we attended together, they nearly divorced more than once!

And here’s the last example I’ll share for the moment. A deaf woman who almost got sucked into the cult many years ago makes comments on this site and forwarded me an email she just received from the man himself.

Greetings Colleen Simsa,

You do understand that spreading lies is a sin and places you under God’s judgment – unless you repent?

Like Jesus, the book is very clear that all is a matter of love. It can’t be helped that you only want to love with human sinful love, rather than the selfless love of Jesus in you. However, it is stupid to attack those who love by the power of the Holy Spirit.

We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.  (1 John 4:6)

That you have aligned yourself with a self-confessed manipulator proves you need to do some serious repenting.

Timothy Williams

For someone who spreads more lies than anyone I’ve ever known, both on the internet and in his scripture-out-of-context preaching, I find it almost laughable that he thinks he can continue to get away with his intimidation tactics. I must admit I laughed out loud when I read it, as did Colleen.

The last line, however, was the most telling…the master manipulator himself refers to me as a self-confessed manipulator.

Yep. I wrote all about it in my first book Consumed by Success. I admitted it and actually REPENTED for it.

Something he has yet to do.

If anyone is wondering why WinePress isn’t answering their phones…

I was asked by the attorney for the landlord to take these posts down because they were getting harassed by Tim Williams…the last thing I want do to someone who is trying to deal with the leadership of WP in a civilized fashion is make things difficult for them.

Well, now that their landlord finally kicked them out of the office building, I think it’s safe to say that the world should know the truth about why they aren’t answering their phones today. Of course, anything bad that happens to WinePress is blamed on me, or on the employees who won’t “repent” to Tim Williams’ liking.

But the truth is, just as I’ve been saying all along, the Williams family will pay themselves, their lawyers, the church building rent, and whatever bills they deem to their advantage, but will not pay their rent, their printer bills, their editor bills, their employee salaries or their author royalties! Here is the letter I received in early September showing them owing $150,000+ in back rent, and this doesn’t even count what they owe on the warehouse!

Amazing that this letter came in the DAY AFTER Tim Williams told the reporter for Publisher’s Weekly that WinePress was doing great.

And what does that prove? Just what I have been saying all along. The people in charge of WinePress are liars, and they use scripture to justify lying (hey, Abraham lied about Sarah, right?!). They lied on the witness stand, and they continue to lie even now. The truth is, they have only been living on the good reputation WinePress had when I still had some control of the company.

page 2 demand notice

I’m sorry so many authors didn’t believe the bizarre story I’ve told here could possibly be true, but it was then and it is now, even moreso. Especially since 2 key employees just left WinePress and Sound Doctrine a few weeks ago. The stories they will tell will only confirm everything I’ve been saying for two years.

If you are one of those authors who paid for a special deal on books in December and never got them, that’s because they owe the printer $50,000 and have not paid it down far enough so the printer won’t print any more books. Did they know that when they ran the special? You bet they did. And who got your money? Hmmmm….I will let you speculate on that one. If I were you, and if you paid by credit card, I would immediately do a charge back since you did not receive your product. And even if WP made you sign an agreement that disallows you any option to do a charge back, that’s ridiculous. If you paid for a service or product and didn’t get it, your credit card company is there to protect you!

The Tyranny of Tim Williams

I attended a Domestic Violence Awareness workshop a few evenings ago and was stunned by what I learned.

I was still processing the emotions surrounding the passing of Carla Williams, a woman whom I once called a friend, but now I was labeled her enemy (and the cause for her brain tumor) because I was willing to stand up to her husband and expose his tyranny.

Tyranny: arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority. Synonyms: despotism, absolutism, dictatorship.

But here is one of the main things that really stood out to me.

Domestic violence doesn’t start with a gun to the head. It starts with:

  • Put downs

  • Name calling

  • Control

  • Isolation

Reeling through my mind were the many times Tim Williams would shame me (and others) with scripture, and yes, it really did escalate to name calling. I even have copies of the posts where he would name call and heap shame upon many of us. I don’t have to worry that my memory blanked out those painful moments…I have the proof to remind me of what I endured.

It’s amazing to me, now that I’m on the other side, that I put up with the verbal abuse he heaped on me, and I’m sure continues to heap on the other loyal followers…but it’s just another way he would take scripture out of context and use it to justify his shameful and abusive behavior…after all, “no discipline seems pleasant at the time” is a great line to keep someone trapped in bondage, and shame them into silent submission.

The control and isolation were two other components that kept me captive, but at the time, of course, I didn’t see it. The “us vs. them” mentality of the group fed the acceptance of such control and isolation… we were convinced it was for our own good. Now that the scales have been removed from my eyes, it’s clear as day.

So, to those who still believe in the lie, I am praying for you. That someday you will have the courage to see what is right in front of your face, come out of denial, and allow God to rescue you out of the pit you are in. He has been raising red flags for years, but you have been conditioned to turn those red flags around onto yourself and declare yourself “in sin” for questioning.

Disgrace is Coming to WinePress and Sound Doctrine

Today marks 22 months that I have been delivered from deception.

Just yesterday I received the demand letter I showed in the last post…so timely that it arrived only hours after the Lord had me reading Psalm 25.

This verse jumped out at me, unbeknownst to me that God was, at that very moment, continuing to prove Himself to be a God of justice!

No one who trusts in You will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others. Psalm 25:3

To watch, from a distance, God’s judgment on this group is a sobering thing, to say the least.

  • One pastor/leader in prison for child rape,
  • Founding pastor’s wife soon to die from a brain tumor*,
  • Lies being exposed for all to see.

And while they blame me for all their woes, the word is clear, that those who try to deceive others will be disgraced.

*I do not believe Carla’s brain tumor is judgment on her, rather it is judgment on her husband, who has, for 35 years, used others to do his bidding. Carla and Malcolm have been his primary puppets (along with his 2 sons), and it is obvious that God is taking away all his props. He will stand before God for the destruction he has caused to so many.

My prayers continue to reach the Throne of Grace for those whose lives have been ravished by these abusive leaders…one woman who used to be my roommate, was listed on the demand letter, showing she now lives back in Northern California. Praise God she escaped, but I can just imagine the shape she is in. After selling everything she owned (over half a million dollars in property) and “laying it at the apostle’s feet” (of course, manipulated completely by Tim Williams to give everything without holding anything back…after all, if she did, she’d end up struck dead like Sapphira in the book of Acts), I’m sure her condition is devastating. I watched her become the brunt of so much abuse by the wolf in sheep’s clothing, I can only pray that she will come to realize that God was grossly misrepresented by Tim Williams, and that she will allow God to gently restore her and surround her with safe people.