Jump to content
GreaseSpot Cafe

People of Praise, an old cult getting new news coverage


Recommended Posts

Rebekah Powers was 11 when members of her faith group, the People of Praise, gathered around as she sat on a chair and laid their hands on her to pray. Powers’ sister had shown a gift for speaking in tongues, a defining trait of the followers of the small charismatic Christian community, and Rebekah was expected to do the same.
 

But after what seemed like an eternity, she proved unable to produce a sound.

“I couldn’t get it, and I stayed there an hour and a half before they gave up and finally said, ‘You just have blockage. You need to just work on your sin and be more open,” she said.

The 41-year-old had a rebellious spirit and left People of Praise when she turned 18. It has taken decades of therapy and hard work to overcome the intense feelings of shame and fear of damnation that she said marked her childhood. The Christian faith group, based in South Bend, Indiana, dominated every aspect of her early life, she said.

###

This thread can remain focused on the high profile nature of cults. I hope it does.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another one, Gloriavale, in New Zealand.  All males wear the same style of clothes, all females wear long blue dresses, all living done in common - communal meals, very little private life.  It's run by a small elite group of "shepherds."  The rank and file are allowed "holidays" - a week spent on the property.  The usual allegations of sexual abuse from some people; definitely the same coercive control.  They've been investigated several times by various govt agencies, who've come up with nothing (= closed ranks of the insiders).  But escapees tell a different story.

https://gloriavale.org.nz/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloriavale_Christian_Community

 

I feel very sorry for those trapped in this small cult.  I suppose every nation, every country, has a few charismatic but abusive wannabees, who can attract the lost or searching.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Rocky said:

This thread can remain focused on the high profile nature of cults. I hope it does.

Yes – I hope it does too – though it is hard to resist wondering what are the real reasons why the website removed certain material:

“The group has drawn media interest due to Judge Amy Coney Barrett's association with the group. Numerous media outlets have reported that Barrett is a member. In the wake of heightened interest in the group and its members following her nomination, People of Praise removed some materials from its website: "Recent changes to our website were made in consultation with members and nonmembers from around the country who raised concerns about their and their families' privacy due to heightened media attention ( from   Wikipedia - people of praise  )

 

Saying stuff was removed over “concerns about their and their families' privacy due to heightened media attention” seems odd and suspicious to me since they consulted with members and nonmembers. ....Grease Spot is transparent to members and nonmembers – there’s nothing to hide; but then again Grease Spot is not a male-dominated religious organization with intrusive and controlling tactics as another excerpt from the Wikipedia article seems to suggest:

“The highest office a woman can hold in the community is "woman leader" (formerly "handmaid"). Women leaders "teach women on womanly affairs, give advice, help in troubled situations" and lead specialized women's activities. The term handmaiden was chosen in 1971 as a reference to Mary, the mother of Jesus, who, in most English translations of the Bible, described herself as "the handmaid of the Lord" or a woman who is close to God. The community teaches that husbands are the head of the household as well as the spiritual head of their wives. While it emphasizes traditional gender roles, the organization encourages women to pursue higher education and employment.

In much of community life, men and women work together without distinction. Both men and women prophesy and exhort at community meetings, teach together in the community sponsored schools, serve together as counselors at community camps, or as members or heads of music ministries, and evangelize together in inner cities. Still, there are some significant distinctions in the roles of men and women. As noted above, women are not able to be coordinators.       The community, which refers to itself as a "family of families," sees this patriarchal tradition as following the biblical model of the family. Men and women meet separately each week in small groups called 'men's groups' or 'women's groups.' The purpose is to build deeper relationships as brothers and sisters in Christ by discussing their lives and other issues with the goal of gaining wisdom, deepening friendships, and encouraging one another to be faithful to God. Traditional roles are reinforced by encouraging men to do most of the heavier physical work involved when a family is moving to a new home or re-roofing a house, and when setting up for meetings and similar tasks. Women are encouraged to provide food and childcare and run an effective household. However, these distinctions are not absolute. For example, women have also labored side by side with men in the construction work involved in the community's Allendale outreach.”

 

Yeah….makes me think of the extreme-legalistic-intrusive-controlling phase of TWI in the years after I left – something I only know about from others who experienced that and shared on Grease Spot…and there’s some personal-prophesy-momentus-intrusive-manipulative vibes suggested  in this article too ( obviously I held onto my Top-Ultra- Secret-To-The-Nth Degree-Max-For-Your-Earballs-Only-Cult-Speak-Decoder-Ring and put it to good use occasionally  :evilshades:).

Edited by T-Bone
formatting, typos and a personal word of editing
  • Upvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/11/2020 at 11:16 PM, Rocky said:

Rebekah Powers was 11 when members of her faith group, the People of Praise, gathered around as she sat on a chair and laid their hands on her to pray. Powers’ sister had shown a gift for speaking in tongues, a defining trait of the followers of the small charismatic Christian community, and Rebekah was expected to do the same.
 

But after what seemed like an eternity, she proved unable to produce a sound.

“I couldn’t get it, and I stayed there an hour and a half before they gave up and finally said, ‘You just have blockage. You need to just work on your sin and be more open,” she said.

The 41-year-old had a rebellious spirit and left People of Praise when she turned 18. It has taken decades of therapy and hard work to overcome the intense feelings of shame and fear of damnation that she said marked her childhood. The Christian faith group, based in South Bend, Indiana, dominated every aspect of her early life, she said.

###

This thread can remain focused on the high profile nature of cults. I hope it does.

I can't relate to this emotional-psychological-peer pressure to speak in tongues at all!

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Raf said:

I can't relate to this emotional-psychological-peer pressure to speak in tongues at all!

Well before I first encountered twi, I was involved with "charismatic" fellowships in Biloxi, MS while in Air Force tech school. I wanted to SIT then but could never get started. Part of it was peer pressure. I was 18 or 19 yo at the time.

 

It wasn't until PFLAP session 12 when veepee explained to just start babbling (or however he said it) that I did it.

Edited by Rocky
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Raf said:

I can't relate to this emotional-psychological-peer pressure to speak in tongues at all!

There was peer pressure at the class instructor level, as well. You definitely didn't want to have to report that everyone didn't manifest.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...