Exposing Cult Secrets - Billy Paul's Divorce:
Growing up with a recognized last name in the "Message," my life was much different than others in the cult. I often jokingly use the phrase "cult royalty," as if there could be anything royal about having been under undue influence in an oppressive mind control cult. But my life was different, and it was "royalty" as far as the following was concerned. I had access to "special" information that others in the cult did not have. I got to listen to people that others in the cult could not hear, and heard stories that are never published. As with any mind control cult, there was a significant amount of information withheld from the people. And because this information was never made public, certain key people became more than royalty -- they were and are worshipped as gods before the people.
In 2012 when I started this website, my first thought was to simply "tell all." If the people knew everything, they'd never worship these men. I really thought that the cult would instantly implode if they had access to what was hidden for so many years. Who was divorced and remarried? Who had went out-of-state to have an abortion to hide a child? Who used drugs and who sold them? Who stole money from the offering plate, and who stole much more?
When the cult started spreading false accusations about myself, my wife, and others close to me, I decided to take a much different strategy. I was above this. But it wasn't until I had been in our new church for several months that I began to realize that not only would this be stooping to the level of my own accusers, this would be denying my own belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Christ came to forgive, and it does not matter who you are, what you've done, or what you struggle with. The Apostle Paul murdered. Hosea was asked by God to marry a whore. David danced naked. Noah got drunk and lay naked. And Noah was a righteous man, blameless before God! (Genesis 6:9)
But the cult following of William Branham does not take this viewpoint. Once you fall, you're out. Once you divorce, you can never remarry. In fact, once you are engaged, you can never remarry. According to cult theology, should you remarry, not only are you doomed to hell -- so are your children, your grandchildren, and their generations.
I have friends who have personally had "private interviews" with the "sainted" in this "Message" whose lives were ruined after the conversation. Told that they had made a mistake in the eyes of God, that they must now suffer for it all of their days. Those once engaged? Never marry again. Those divorced? They must remain single while their life on earth is punished. Those who remarried after being engaged? I personally know people who were refused baptism by these "cult royalty" who have access to this "private information." They can't even be baptized!
Recently, I have started publishing documents that share the information hidden from the people. But I want to make a clear separation between what some call ill-intent and what others call helping the oppressed: My focus is not the men who are sinners. I am a sinner, saved by the Grace of God. I am no different than them. Quite frankly, as "cult royalty," I was once a bigoted, self-righteous, prideful sinner -- just like they are. The men are sinners. They are not gods. You are a sinner. I am a sinner. We are not gods.
Instead, my focus is on the doctrine of the cult and the false statements by the cult leader. There are certain aspects of the government documents that I may decide to black out, to protect the "sinners." There may be parts that are not blacked out, and shocking to all, but remain to protect the people. I will do everything within my power to protect those still living in any way possible, and will remain fully within the legal rights given to me by the United States government. I ask that as we review this particular document and the upcoming government documents that you all do the same.
All this being said, let's compare what actually happened with the eldest son of William Branham, and "cult history" as proclaimed by the cult leader himself.
On August 11, 1953, Billy Paul Branham wed Ollie May Christopher. While William Branham claimed that he did not support this marriage, the marriage certificate clearly states, "consent of father, Wm Branham." According to my understanding of the legal system, this would mean that not only did William Branham agree and consent to the marriage, Branham was present during the signing of this binding legal contract between Billy Paul and Ollie May.
Branham claimed that this was a "little girl" in "common school," and spun a tale that made it sound very much like Billy Paul had married a 12-year-old child after eloping. But according to the marriage certificate, this woman was older than Billy Paul, and the Reverend P. E. Franz signed the document. According to my understanding of the process, this would mean that the wedding happened at a church. According to "family secrets," and my discussions with key people, the woman was a Baptist, and some remember the wedding happening at a Baptist church.
But over thirty days later, on 9/23/53, "May Branham" filed for divorce from Billy Paul Branham. Not just divorce, she filed for and was issued a restraining order. This is no small discovery.
William Branham tells a much different version of the story. Making it sound like Billy Paul ran away with a school child, Branham told his followers that he and the woman's father "annulled the wedding." The word, "wedding," is also key, because Branham did not claim to end the "marriage," but the "wedding." This also supports the idea that the marriage took place in a church.
You know what he done? Run off with some little kid still in common school and got married. We annulled the wedding, the father of this girl and myself.
Branham, 64-0830M - Questions And Answers #3
But the court documents paint a much different picture than simply two fathers undoing a mistake by Billy Paul and a "school child." The fully-grown woman filed for divorce and appears to have asked the court to keep Billy Paul away from her. Why? Was there abuse? Was it verbal, emotional, or physical? The court asked for statements from the husband and wife.
On December 14, 1953, the divorce proceeding ended the marriage. Like Branham claimed, it was annulled. But not by the cult leader and the father of the fully-grown-woman. In my understanding of the documents, Billy Paul filed a cross complaint and accused his wife. It appears that the court agreed with his allegations, and after hearing his answer to her allegations, the marriage was annulled and declared void.
According to Indiana law, a marriage can only be annulled for the following reasons:
* one spouse was underage at the time of marriage
* one spouse was convinced to marry by fraud
* one spouse was coerced to get married (married “under duress”)
* one spouse didn’t know the other spouse was already married at * the time of marriage (bigamous marriage)
* one spouse was mentally incompetent at the time of marriage
* the spouses are more closely related than second cousins
At first, we thought the first bullet point was the case. Billy Paul's year on the marriage certificate does not match his birth year on branham.org. But if this was the case, what were was his allegations that resulted in the annulment? The court document does not state "underage" as the reason for declaring the marriage null and void. Is there much more to the story?
For the time being, let's focus upon what William Branham said rather than what was read in the court proceedings. Why was William Branham leading his followers in a direction other than the truth? If "Marriage and Divorce" was one of the "divine mysteries" required for "rapturing faith," why was his own son excluded from the "divine mystery?" Not to mention his brothers, who William Branham helped marry and remarry as is shown on government documents. Did the "prophet" really believe in this "mystery?" And outside of Branham's introduction of the "covenant of polygamy" into the sermon, "Marriage and Divorce," what was such a "mystery" about this teaching that could not be obtained from simply reading one's own Bible? Was the "Marriage and Divorce" sermon part of a public relations campaign for the Branham ministry?
More to come! Stay tuned!
Read this and other government documents here: http://seekyethetruth.com/records.aspx https://www.facebook.com/SeekYeTheTruth/photos/a.281312795303458.48697.214739791960759/686414711459929/?type=3