G12 Testimony Two: Control, in Order to Better Reign
Iam an adult female who was happy and contented. Until one day, the church I had been attending for some years declared that the Lord had given them a new direction. I thought to myself "again!" The pastor tried to reassure us by saying that it was for our spiritual growth and mostly to bring new souls to the Lord.
Slowly and in a subtle manner, preaching became more focused on the importance of submitting to authority; of being one in the Lord; of dying to self and desires, to serve Christ in the church.
Retreats were organized as a preparation to serve Christ and fulfill the Great Commission in an effective manner. They were meant to bring deliverance from whatever curses might have been transmitted from generation to generation; to heal and restore the soul by the means of teaching on sin, curses and blessings. These week-end long outings were attended by either men or women, not both in the same group. For a cost of $90.00 transportation, food and shelter were provided.
Our group of approximately forty-five women who were of all ages had come to experience freedom from whatever obstacle(s) preventing us from blossoming and serving the Lord (the G12 way). After a short orientation, we were told to take a time of prayer, to write a letter to the Lord and remain silent for the rest of the evening
The next morning, our pastor taught on sin, curses and blessings. Afterwards, she handed out a sheet where we had to tick off any sin on the list that we or any member of past generations (that we were aware of) had committed. After we had done our ticking in private, we were invited to kneel before God and cry over these sins, asking Him to forgive us while imagining Jesus on the Cross.
Most of them were in tears but I reasoned that since I already had sought forgiveness for my sins, I saw no valid purpose for this whole exercise. I had repented and had not Jesus paid it all? Helpers to the pastor (they called them 'guides') would walk around and lay hands on us, praying in tongues and would sometimes have a personal word for one of us. The rest of the time was spent teaching/praying for our physical body and ended by teaching/praying for our spiritual life/walk.
You were totally drained when everything was over.
The evening was a time of deliverance from generational ties. The pastor sought to reassure us by saying to open up to the Lord and wait upon Him. She mentioned she had fasted with her leaders that we may all be set free. She went on explaining that we may physically react as follows: nausea, vomiting, stomach ache and for this reason, newspapers were spread on the floor.
She also said that some may scream and that all of this was normal when a Christian is being freed from a demon. So, she started naming sins, one after another, binding in Jesus' name, from the tenth generation up till then. It was horrible. Most women kept yelling, some banging the floor or the wall with their fists, while others were sick. The 'guides' quickly moved around, laying hands and taking authority in Jesus' name. A real sceance!
Once this was over and that everyone calmed down, it was testimony time (positive reinforcement).
Some women talked about their personal experience and proclaimed they were now free. On the last day, cheers and greeting cards were given to each woman (this was pre-arranged between the leaders and a friend or family member of each woman). We would end the week-end back to church.
Upon our arrival, friends and family were there to greet us, each one holding a lit candle in the dark. This was another time for testimonies because invitations had been made to unbelievers also. (Friends, read your bible. You will find that none of this was used by the Lord Jesus to set people free. The Word of God declares that Jesus was made a curse for us. Simply believe His Word!)When someone disagreed with her leader, she was often told that she was rebellious, had a problem with authority and was strongly suggested to attend another retreat. Many women went twice, some more. It was very distressing to constantly focus on the past instead of realizing that we were already free.
Cells: A New Pyramidal Structure
A new home-cell structure was implemented (a pyramid based on twelve). The pastor had his twelve disciples who in turn each had their twelve and so on. The word 'leader' started to be used frequently.
A school of leadership was set-up which had three levels: a winning combination/solution to get your twelve disciples and become the one chosen by God to influence the lives of others and bring them into maturity in the Lord (in other words, get them to adhere to the same vision). We were told to lean on the Scripture "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations..." If someone refused to take the course, they had a problem and were told to attend another retreat. If they refused this also, they were sent to another cell group in the pyramid.
Changes started to take place in the cell structure when the pastors began to choose their twelve disciples after praying on the matter. Suddenly, men and women were made separate groups (divide and conquer?) A leader was assigned to us and we had no say in this.
We were told that the leader had prayed and that this was the will of God for us. Personal meetings between the elder and each of his disciples were held frequently (the more active the disciple, the more frequent the meetings). Weekly cell group meetings were held where the leader would share on a God-inspired subject and then promote attendance to the retreats and the school of leaders, usually by the means of asking for a testimony. These 'precious' testimonies were used as peer pressure to incite others to plunge in (total brainwashing). If you didn't accept the leader's 'enlightened guidance' you had a problem submitting to authority, according to them. And since the leader's goal was to help you grow, you felt a misfit.
With time, closer ties were formed between the leader and her twelve. All were encouraged to think as a group. Once all the women of a cell had gone to a retreat and were involved in the school of leaders, this cell group was then called a cell of leaders (increased mind control). One day, the leader told each of us to sing spontaneously unto the Lord in front of all; some women did but one couldn't. She felt sick in her stomach and the leader laid hands on her and started casting out a spirit of shyness...The woman ended sitting on the floor, curled up and crying, while the leader kept on taking authority.
This is only one of the many examples of control and intrusion into the lives of the members of the congregation to mold them into the image of what this leadership thought a Christian should be or how they should act. At another meeting, we were told that we were all going to a retreat (another one!) but that this one would be special because it was for leaders only. The process was the same but more intense.
Concerning the structure of the personnel of the leader's course:
- The teachers were some of the twelve disciples of the senior pastor and his wife. The proof-readers were some of the disciples of the pastors' disciples.
- The proof-readers had the right to call you if you were absent and ask you to justify your absence.
- If the proof-readers thought you had a problem, they would inform the senior pastor who in turn would call your leader.
- If you missed more than three courses throughout one level, you had to restart from the beginning.
- All homework and quizzes were given a percentage note.
- If the proof-readers and your leader thought you worked well, they would write you a word of encouragement (reinforcement).
At first glance, this may look spiritual. However, there were many problems. Some were:
- The leaders put a lot of pressure on us to take the course.
- A punishment/reward system was used.
- Having a family and working 40 hours per week was not accepted as a reason not to take the course because, they said, "Jesus has died for you and me and what do YOU do to spread the Gospel?"
- Having children and not being able to afford a babysitter just meant you were to find a solution because, they said, "a true servant of God makes sacrifices."
If you were in a cell of leaders, meetings were frequent - up to four per week (different nights for men and women), plus one extra day per month where we held a consolidation meeting. In the latter, we prayed and rehearsed how to hold up banners and make a wall behind the new converts that came to Christ. We also rehearsed how to explain salvation in Jesus and take down their personal information. There were also special conventions that took most of your week-end, plus the going out times to spread the Gospel. Obviously, this made it very difficult for couples and families to find the time to grow and nurture their relationships.
This was a description of the structure of the G12 movement/government. I will now share a part of my personal testimony.
My Personal Testimony
I started to think that something was seriously wrong when I realized that my partner and I had almost no time for each other or our families. This lack of free time was affecting my studies negatively and resulted in my being constantly exhausted (mentally, emotionally and physically).
One evening, my partner told me "If this is what the Christian life/walk is all about, I want to die. I'm so exhausted." His words pierced my heart and I started asking myself some questions and cried out to God. It had been a while since I had taken a personal time with the Lord in prayer - we were told how to pray and what to pray for. At that time, I did not have the strength to search and find what was wrong with the system in which we were captive. I cried unto the Lord and He answered me in different ways.
A situation arose where a decision needed to be made. Following the G12's teaching, I told my partner to decide. However, contrary to the teaching he said "we will pray about it together and decide together".
Later when I advised the elder/leader of our decision, her frustration was evident as she rebuked me for not seeking her advice before making the decision. I couldn't believe this! The following Sunday, the senior leadership commented to the congregation that even though some members claim to like their leader, they do not seek their advice in important matters.
Oops! I felt an accusing finger pointed at me.
By then, my partner and I had no quality time together. When he mentioned this to his leader, he was told to ask God to grant him the wisdom to properly manage his time. My partner's protest of the lack of quality time with me was met by standard rhetoric about the importance of quality time being for the benefit of the Church. Even though the church was now some distance from our residence, we kept going there but not for much longer. (The time it took for the Lord to open my eyes before I'd lost my sanity).
The fact that we were not multiplying as quickly as the senior leader wanted was a great concern to her. So, on our knees, we asked God's forgiveness for not serving Him more/better because we entertained fears, blah blah.
Once when my leader prayed for each one of us individually, I was hurt and perplexed by her prayer for me. It seems she thought I needed to be more rational and be more of a 'team player' to be accepted. Because I personally felt accepted, it was necessary for me to ask my leader why such a prayer. Her response was that it was on her heart to pray that way. At the next regular service, the senior pastor advised the congregation that if your leader prays for a certain change in you, it is because the Lord has showed the leader that this change is desirable or necessary. So even if you don't agree, you should trust in your leader. Again, i felt the accusing finger pointed at me.
Because the senior leadership felt that my leader did not exert enough influence on me, I was assigned to a different cell group where its leader happened to live closer to me.
When I met the new leader privately (so she could get to know me), the meeting became an inquisition and then a heated confrontation. She did not like the fact that instead of blindly following her, I wanted to put myself into the hands of the Lord and therefore I would try to attend all the meetings but my studies and fatigue might prevent me from doing so.
Another example of this group's fanatical need to control every aspect of our lives was evident when I was reprimanded for doing what I considered to be a very innocent t hing. I had quietly given a word of encouragement to someone in the group. However, since the leader could not hear what was said, I was advised that she needed to know what I intended to say and she would let me know if I should say it or not. Needless to say I was shocked!
The stress of trying to do everything that I needed to do (studies, housework, etc.) in the very little time that was allotted by the church began to take its toll on my health. When I was advised of yet another week-end convention that I was "required" to attend, I didn't know how I could continue this way. I prayed to the Lord for guidance and was rewarded with understanding and direction. This gave me the strength to take the decision not to go and to stand firm in this decision despite my leader's anger and insistence that I attend.
The Lord Makes The Difference
I want you to know that what I'm about to say is quite personal but I believe that I must share this.
When I came back home, I ran to my room and cried. I asked the Lord to please show me what was going on, why I often felt demolished inside, why my personal relationship with my partner was crumbling and also, I was starting to contemplate quitting my studies.
The Lord spoke to me clearly and I wrote down His words: "I permitted that you go through this for a few reasons." I said why Lord? He answered:
- I want to set you free from the importance of people's opinion, even that of those in authority.
- If you do something because someone in authority asked you to and that I have not laid it on your heart, you are obeying man and not Me. It is sin and is of no value to Me.
- I want you to wholly depend on Me and that you learn to wait on Me and obey what I lay on your heart to do.
- I want you to walk in my rest and be happy in Me.
- I want you to learn to take a stand and keep it.
I was surprised to hear all this and asked the Lord how I was to learn to take a stand and keep it. He answered: "Meet with the leader of your leader and explain the situation concerning the coming convention and the conflict with your leader." I was petrified and said to Him: "But I will look as and be tagged as a rebellious person, defying authority. Nevertheless, I'll do what You want."
I took an appointment with her and explained what had happened. It came down to my view of events versus my leader's view. She made it very clear that she backed my leader 100%. The rest of the conversation was more of a lecture on my failings. How my past (which she said she knew very well) could still prevent me from accepting authority as I should. My lack of total obedience had been the subject of a discussion with the senior pastor. It was thought that my transfer to another cell might allow me to become more as they wished. My devotion to answering God's call in my life was questioned. She then recounted her achievements in the church and left no doubt that it was her future for ever. I thanked her for her time and left.
I went back before the Lord with all of this and cried. My eyes were starting to open up on all the mental and emotional manipulation that had been going on for a long period of time.
The Lord told me: "You did what I told you; now I want you to leave this place and never go back, even if they offer you something according to your heart's desire." My, the Lord knew what to say. I did have the desire to, someday, be given the opportunity to help women in certain areas. I found it difficult to obey the Lord but I did. Now I needed to trust the Lord to give my partner the same conviction: walk out of the place and cut ties.
I fasted three days before sharing with my partner on the matter. I wanted to know what I had been into at this place and what was really going on. The Lord has been good to me. He spoke to me and confirmed in His written Word. However, it wasn't all rejoicing. The very first thing He told me was that I had been brainwashed. I was stunned! I simply asked Him to please remove from my mind and heart whatever wasn't from Him and to guide me into all truth.
Then I saw a map of the earth. There were stickers all over, in different countries. This represented the spreading of false doctrines and the Lord said that it would continually increase.
When I shared this with someone, the person was surprised because she had seen something similar on a G12 web site. I was looking through the window when the Lord asked me: "What do you see?" I answered: "The sky is blue, some people are having fun, others are busy, everything seems normal." The Lord spoke again saying: "It is exactly under the same conditions that I will return." This made me think of Noah when he was building the ark but outwardly, everything seemed to be the same.
On my second day of fasting, I was interceding for those who sincerely love the Lord but were blinded and stuck in this G12 system. I asked God to rescue them out of it. He gave me a word concerning this and I found the same when I was searching in the Scriptures. I also saw a tower with the name Babel written on this church.
On the third day, after interceding, I shared with my partner about what the Lord had showed me. He decided to go in prayer for himself and had the same conviction. He took an appointment with his leader. When he told him that we were leaving, his leader answered: "This is impossible because I'm praying to have my twelve disciples and you are one of them."
He also said to my partner that since man is the head of the family and that the Lord had not spoken to his heart personally first, then he needed to discard all of this. When my partner came back home, he was very mixed up. This created an intense conflict between him and I and I had to go back on my knees, very anxious, when the thought of staying at that church came to my mind. I let time go by and only asked my partner to make this a matter of prayer. Finally, he took another appointment with his leader, who was very angry with him. He even referred to people - who he said - regretted leaving the church but were too ashamed to return. As for me, I did not meet with my leader but clearly communicated my decision.
After doing what the Lord had asked me, I felt very relieved and since I lived quite far from this church, I wasn't in touch with anyone from this place.
First of all, I found out that those who I thought were my friends weren't really friends after all. This really was no surprise as the senior leadership stressed that it was not a good thing to stay in touch with those who were not within the church and that we should not attend another assembly. I found this to be painful. One of my "friends" had told me that whatever happened, we would stay friends. This did not come to pass. Also, when I shared to another "friend" that the Lord told me to leave the place, she said that my eyes were upon man, and not God, and that it was impossible that the Lord could ever tell me or someone else to leave that church.
Consequences of Control in the Name of God
I ended up alone in new surroundings. I felt rejected, rebellious and very guilty. Thoughts such as: "you're not a real Christian; you are an easy prey to the enemy because you are now out of the church" haunted me.
I spent a good part of my days crying. I was extremely tired and I still had to do my homework and prepare myself for exams. I did not understand everything I was going through. However, I would've never imagined that leaving a "Christian" church could have so many repercussions in my life and on my mental health.
Two weeks after I left, I started having horrible nightmares.
I would wake up screaming and crying in the middle of the night. This happened very often and for many months. I noted down all the nightmares as the Lord would have me understand what happened then and now. I understood that I had been manipulated mentally, emotionally, that they had tried to pit my husband and I against one another, that I had been programmed mentally and spiritually in order to become what they wanted me to be.
But, most of all, I realized that I had been spiritually raped by people who were trying to play the role of God in my life. All of this was very very painful. I couldn't believe that these people, who could be so nice on the outside, could be torturers in the name of the Lord. I also had incredible panic attacks, coupled with flashbacks and this lasted many months after I left.
One evening, I felt like going to an event with my partner. Today, one year after we left, I'm still having panic attacks. I finally understand why. The church I attended was almost exactly the same layout.
Since their tool was the Bible and that they subtley controlled what we read, etc. it took quite a while before I was able to read my Bible again. Whenever I tried, it was like torture to me. All I was able to do was to say short prayers like "Lord, help me not to lose my mind; set me free and protect me." These few words were the only ones I could say for a period of six months. Over and above all these emotions, nightmares and panic attacks, I was visited by demons many times as soon as we left, and for a long period of time. This still happens even today but less often.
The Lord laid on my heart to buy the book "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse." It talks about false authority; how to recognize it and not be a prey to it; the strategies that are used, etc. This helped me a lot but it was very difficult because the author gives examples and is explicit. I would read a few pages and then run to my room, put my head against a pillow and yell and cry. I understood that the Lord had removed me physically from an environment of spiritual abuse but that now He was removing what was in my heart concerning it. It was painful and long.
Today, I thank the Lord for His love and His faithfulness towards me. He set me free and is continuing His work in me. I prayed that He would lead me to another assembly. It is now a full year that I haven't been "going to a church." I have my personal relationship with Him and share His Word with friends who went through the same scenario that I did.
Also, I will be getting my bachelor degree this coming April and I am proud and thankful to God of not having abandoned school.
The personal relationship between my partner and I is doing much better, thank God, as we now have the time to see one another and take care of one another. Another thing is that we now know that we will never again let someone put their nose in our private life. When you are taught the opposite during five years in a church, it is something to learn.
The Lord has taught me on different things concerning the true Church versus the apostate church, false doctrines, etc. I have learned to stand up in the face of opposition. It is sometimes difficult, especially when friends or family is involved. By God's grace, never again will I let someone or an institution put me in a cage, in the name of God.
I can now see that the G12 movement is far from the truth of the Gospel of Jesus- Christ. The end times are not marked by a universal revival, nor conquering and dominating this earth in the name of Christ. Also, I've learned that when authority tries to convince a Christian by the fear of authority, and that there's never room for discussion, there's a big problem at that place and it is very dangerous.
Concerning the dreams I had, I can share them with you - should you want me to, in another email as the Lord used them to make me understand the fruit of their activity.
My greatest desire is that each child of God learns to think by himself, reflect on things, stay free in his thinking process and actions. And, above all, that he/she enjoys a living personal relationship with our blessed Lord.
May God bless you.
© Tricia Tillin of Banner Ministries. All rights reserved. Cross+Word Website: http://www.banner.org.uk/ This document is the property of its author and is not to be displayed on other websites, redistributed, sold, reprinted, or reproduced in printed in any other format without permission. Websites may link to this article, if they provide proper title and author information. One copy may be downloaded, stored and/or printed for personal research. All spelling and phraseology is UK English.