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Legal Discovery

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The "Message," the collective name for William Branham's religious mind control cult and several splinter groups, is not immune to marital and family issues. Cult escapees sometimes describe their increased trauma due to legal disputes, divorce and/or abandonment, physical and sexual abuse, verbal abuse, and especially spiritual abuse. While these types of issues are concealed to those under the undue influence of the cult, escapees are now bringing to light what has been hidden behind closed doors.

Victims and their legal counsel often use the research from our website for pre-trial discovery, and sometimes contact us for information as it relates to their situation. Though each case is entirely different, many similarities exist between them. To make this process easier for victims and their legal counsel, we have prepared a collection of resources to aid in legal discovery.

Absolute Authority

It should be first noted that cult victims are indoctrinated to view any quote by William Branham (also called "the Message") as their absolute authority. William Branham's viewpoint on each subject is supreme to any internal or external viewpoint from any other source, including but not limited to: pastors, the Christian Bible, local, state, and federal government authorities. In legal cases of abandonment, the "authority doctrine" is often the basis for marital or family separation by "disfellowshipping" or "shunning." The vast majority of cult escapees claim to have experienced "shunning."

Quote:
If this Message is your absolute then we can fellowship with one another. If you have another absolute, if you take another man's idea, another man's thought, his interpretation, then we can't fellowship. Brother Branham says that we have to have an absolute to come back to. And that's what will judge the Bride of Jesus Christ. So I think it's important first that we establish our absolute. Then we can have fellowship. Cause I can be wrong but the Word can't be wrong. It is become God's Voice to us. So if Brother Branham said it, I have to believe it.
- Joseph Branham, current central figure for the "Message" cult worldwide
Full text
Video


White Supremacist Ideology

Though some "Message" sects do not fully adhere to the views supported by the founders, the cult itself was inspired by and strongly linked to Roy E. Davis, official spokesman for William Joseph Simmons who founded the 1915 reincarnation of the Ku Klux Klan. During the height of the Klan's prosperity in the mid 1910's through 1920's, Davis and William D. Upshaw were fundamental in the recruitment and stability of the Klan. Shortly after the headquarters for the Klan moved to Indiana, Davis migrated to Louisville, Kentucky and finally Jeffersonville, Indiana to set up a base of operations. Coincidentally, a Klan headquarters was located in Jeffersonville until it was burned to the ground. Fleeing prosecution for grand theft, connection to murder, and violation of the Mann Act in multiple states, Davis fled Jeffersonville and eventually became the Imperial Grand Wizard of the Original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Newspaper articles and local, state, and federal government documents confirming this history can be found on our Roy E. Davis Page and our Government Documents Page.

Though transcripts of William Branham's sermons appear to have been heavily edited, multiple instances of the Klan's elitist and supreme ideology exist in the portion that remains.

Supreme Race:
Like Hitler, the Ku Klux Klan, and many other white supremacist groups and leaders, cult followers are indoctrinated to believe that a lesser form of humans was created through the sexual union of Eve and the serpent of the Garden of Eden. Disparaging comments against non-cult members such as "serpent's seed" are used often in sermons, and cult members are trained to believe they are descendants (either spiritually or physically) of the supreme race.

Now, on this hybreeding. You know, Eve was the mother of hybreeding. She misbred the human race. You know, after she had did this evil thing and... (I know this is on tape so we'll make it baby form for them, if they want to.) But when she had this affair with the serpent, which was not a serpent, a reptile... The Bible said he was the most subtle of all the beasts of the field. Science trying to find now, the—the bones of some creature between a monkey and a man, and applying it to colored race and so forth like that, they're as ignorant as they can come. The serpent was a man.
- Branham, 60-1113 - Condemnation By Representation

Against Interracial Marriage, Civil Rights, and Kennedy's Promotion of Civil Rights:
During the birth of the Civil Rights movements, Branham's sermons strategically aligned with the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups, both ideologically and politically. Those included well-known Civil Rights leaders of their time such as President Kennedy and Martin Luther King, but also men or groups who made a strong impact in the movement such as Elvis Presley, and the Beatles.

I've got hundreds of precious colored friends that's borned again Christians. But on this line of segregations and things they're talking about, hybreeding the people. What, tell me what fine cultured, fine Christian colored woman would want her baby to be a mulatto by a white man? No, sir. It's not right. What white woman would want her baby to be a mulatto by a colored man? God made us what we are. Let's stay what God made us; I believe it's right. {...} To my precious colored brethren and sisters, one of the greatest mistakes this nation made, it made it on November 11, this year. That's was its great fatal mistake. One of the greatest mistakes that the colored race ever made was down in Louisiana and over in there when they voted for Kennedy the other night, and put him in. They actually spit on that dress of Abraham Lincoln where the blood of the Republican Party that freed them; and voted a Catholic
- Branham, 60-1113 - Condemnation By Representation

Down there that day in Shreveport when that uprise come, and them—and there was all them young colored inspired out there, communistic... I've told you here in this pulpit, Martin Luther King is the greatest indebtment the colored people's ever had. Right. That man's going to lead a—thousands of them to a slaughter (That's right.), inspired by communism.
- Branham, 64-0830E - Questions And Answers #4

Against Integration:
Branham often referred to heated racial battles in current events in allegorical form, using undue influence to persuade masses to avoid standing up for their rights. With regards to desegregation of schools, Branham used different forms of psychology to influence African Americans to remain satisfied as segregated citizens.

"The white woman," raised up and said, "I don't want my children schooled by a white woman," said, "because they... she won't pay the—the interest, take interest in my children like a colored woman was in my own race." Said, "There, look at our schools. They got swimming pools. They got better schools and everything. Why do we want to go to their schools?" That's right. I believe God is a God of—of, well, I'd say He is a God of variety. He makes big mountains and little mountains. He makes deserts. He makes forests. He makes white man, black man, red man. We should never cross that up. It becomes a hybrid. And anything hybrid cannot re-breed itself. You are ruining the race of people. There is some things about a colored man that a white man don't even possess them traits. A white man is always stewing and worrying; a colored man is satisfied in the state he is in, so they don't need those things.
- Branham, 63-0628M - O Lord, Just Once More

"Isn't it reasonable, Brother Branham, that we should do this? I'm an American citizen, I—I have a right to do whatever I want to. That's my American privilege." It's your American privilege, but not your Christian privilege. For, by Christian, you are a sheep; and a sheep forfeits its rights. It lays still and lets you take away from it all the rights it has. But a goat will kick up a storm about it. That's right. But a sheep forfeits its rights. And a Christian always forfeits their national rights if it's contrary to your Christian rights.
- Branham, 62-0707 - Jehovah-Jireh #3


One "Message" cult pastor, Donnie Reagan of Happy Valley Church of Jesus Christ has been labeled by multiple sources as the "Most Racist Pastor in America".
Video (including examples of cult pastors' discrimination): here

Divorce

The male half of the cult are instructed to divorce their wives should her hair be shaven, cut or trimmed. According to the sermon transcripts, William Branham claimed prophetic commandment for this instruction, given to him by God.

Instructing Men To Divorce Their Wives For Violation Of Cult Rules
And the Bible rights gives any man a right to leave and divorce and leave his wife, that'll cut her hair. That's the Bible. That's THUS SAITH THE LORD.
Branham, 56-0218E - The Worst Sinner In The City

Sexual Abuse

The Woman Has To Say Yes (With Regards To Sex)
Branham's indoctrination of women to be under subjection of her husband also crossed sexual boundaries. As "sluts," the women of the cult are programmed to believe that they are unable to say "no."

No animal can be immoral. You call the dog a "slut," the female dog, you call the male... hog a "sow," but her morals is a million miles beyond many Hollywood star. That's how low she is designed to stoop. She can't... Just think of this now. There is nothing in the world, made in God's creation, that can be immoral, stoop that low. You say, "Wait a minute, 'man'!" We're going to get to that. The woman has to say "yes." Notice, there is nothing designed to stoop so low, or be filthy, but a woman. A dog can't do it, a hog can't do it, a bird can't do it. No animal is immoral, nor it can be, for it is not designed so it can be. A female hog can't be immoral, a female dog can't be immoral, a female bird can't be immoral. A woman is the only thing can do it.
65-0221M - Marriage And Divorce

Sexual Abuse In "Message" Communes:
Molestation by Branham's Promoters, Gene Goad and Leo Mercier
People v. Loker, 44 CAL. 4TH 691, 188 P.3D 580, 80 CAL. RPTR. 3D 630
James L. Jones
R. G. Stair

Abuse and Molestation

William Branham often praised and promoted physical abuse of women and children (never men). Some cult escapees describe situations where battered wives and children were reprimanded by cult pastors when physical abuse was reported to the church board, and abusive fathers are seldom (if ever) reported to the proper authorities.

Promoting Physical Abuse of Children to Swelling and Welts
And now, some of you talk about the illiteracy of the hillbillies up in Kentucky there. But how the old grandmas with their long bonnets and things on... You know what? They could teach some of you city people how to behave yourself. That's right. Your little Martha Ann come in of a nighttime, and mess-up all over her face, and half drunk, and smoking a cigarette, and blowing it through her nose, and the stomp her foot, and scream at you. Let her do that to one of them old Kentucky mammys one time. She'd top a hickory, boy, or take something, or a barrel slat. When she got through, she'd know who was mammy around there. If you'd do that, you wouldn't have so many wrong men, and boys and girls in the world tonight. Let one of them strip theirselves in some these old dirty clothes like you let your kids wear out here, little old shorts, and ever what they call them. And let them one time. Uh-huh. You would find out how illiterate they were. She'd beat her till she'd be so full of welts, you couldn't get the clothes over the top of them. That's what needs to be done tonight. That's right.
- Branham, 56-0728 Making the Valley Full of Ditches


Promoting Physical Abuse of Wives with 2x4 Lumber
Now, you can take some of these little two-by-fours if you want to, but that's what God said. That's what Christ said. Now, that's the truth. Oh, God be merciful. What must the great Holy Spirit think when He comes before the Father? You say, "Why you picking on us women?" All right, men, here you are. Any man that'll let his wife smoke cigarettes and wear them kind of clothes, shows what he's made out of. He's not very much of a man. That's exactly right. True. He don't love her or he'd take a board and blister her with it. You know that's the truth. Now, I don't say that to be smart. I'm telling you the truth. That's right. What must the Holy Spirit think?
Branham, 58-0324 Hear Ye Him


Promoting Physical Abuse of Children With Barrel Lumber
You talk about the ignorance of the Kentucky people, some of them old mammies out there... Let their daughters come home of a morning with lipstick all over their face, and hair all twisted up, and clothes half off of them, half...?... with a cigarette in their hand, they'd take a barrel slat, or one of them hickory saplings out there, and she'd know when she went out the next time. Then you say illiterate. They can teach this bunch of hoodlums how to raise children. That's... Oh, maybe I oughtn't to have said that. Well, no. I don't take it back. I said that when the Holy Spirit was anointing me. That's right, exactly right. Yes, sir. Today, huh... Oh, my.
Branham, 62-0714 The Uncertain Sound
Additional quotes promoting abuse of women and children

Examples of Abuse:
Rape and Torture in Chile Sect
Molestation by Branham's Promoters, Gene Goad and Leo Mercier
People v. Loker, 44 CAL. 4TH 691, 188 P.3D 580, 80 CAL. RPTR. 3D 630
James L. Jones
R. G. Stair
Colonia Dignidad (coming soon)

Polygamy

Though not as common in the United States, some "Message" cult sects practice the polygamous doctrine Branham introduced a few months before his death in 1965.

But not one of those women could even have one more husband. He is the original creation, not her. Not one of those women could have one more husband, but that one husband could have a thousand wives. That's THUS SAITH THE LORD. That's the Bible. Now I've went back, took my time and showed you back yonder where it started, what Jesus said. Now do you see it clearly? They could have as many... "Oh," you say, "that was just for Israel." Is it? {...} She must remain single, or to be reconciled back to her husband. She cannot remarry. She must remain single, but, notice, he never said about the man. See, you can't make the Word lie. "From the beginning," the sex law by polygamy. Now, the Word of God runs true with nature of God, runs in to continuity.
Branham, 65-0221M - Marriage And Divorce

Example:
Robert Gumbura

Mysogyny and Verbal Abuse

The male population of the "Message" are indoctrinated to have a very misogynistic view towards women -- both women trapped inside the cult and "outsiders." Female cult members are subjected to sermons containing very degrading and offensive subject matter, and indoctrinated to accept it in submission. One single sermon, "Marriage and Divorce," a transcript from February 21, 1965 is filled with ample discovery content to display verbal abuse, and arguments can be made in most cases that the statements contained within led to physical or sexual abuse. This sermon transcript can be found in its entirety on table.branham.org, tape index 65-0221M.

There is nothing designed to be so deceitful, as a woman that's deceitful. There cannot be nothing else; there is nothing made to be that way. Also, there is nothing that can be so easily deceived as a woman. Now, the fall proves this statement to be true, the fall in the beginning. She was not in the original beginning creation.
- Branham, 65-0221M Marriage and Divorce

Now, there is nothing designed that can deceive, and be deceived, as easy as a woman. There is nothing designed or can stoop as low as a woman can. Think now. There is nothing designed, in all creation, that can stoop as low as a woman can.
- Branham, 65-0221M Marriage and Divorce

No animal can be immoral. You call the dog a "slut," the female dog, you call the male... hog a "sow," but her morals is a million miles beyond many Hollywood star. That's how low she is designed to stoop. She can't... Just think of this now. There is nothing in the world, made in God's creation, that can be immoral, stoop that low. You say, "Wait a minute, 'man'!" We're going to get to that. The woman has to say "yes." Notice, there is nothing designed to stoop so low, or be filthy, but a woman. A dog can't do it, a hog can't do it, a bird can't do it. No animal is immoral, nor it can be, for it is not designed so it can be. A female hog can't be immoral, a female dog can't be immoral, a female bird can't be immoral. A woman is the only thing can do it.
- Branham, 65-0221M - Marriage And Divorce

Hidden Dangers

Cult leaders control the amount of information given to new recruits, and even long-term or lifelong members are not aware of this cult's connection to white supremacy groups or tragic events such as the Jonestown Massacre.

Resources:
The Intersection of William Branham and Jim Jones
The Message Connection of Jim Jones and William Branham
Colonia Dignidad (coming soon)

Undue Influence

The "Message" cult meets and exceeds the B.I.T.E. model (Behavioral Control, Informational Control, Thought Control, and Emotional Control) attributes of a dangerous destructive cult, and is listed on the Freedom of Mind Foundation as a destructive cult.

Resources
The Message (Destructive Cult)


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