Message Mind Control - Fear of Leaving:
"You're free to leave!" "Nothing is keeping you here!" "We don't have walls around our church!" "There are no armed guards with assault rifles!" "They went out from us because they were not of us!"
I never will forget the feeling when I first contemplating the idea of leaving the "Message." Only six months before, I would have gladly stood before a firing line to defend this mind control cult, and would have not have even considered that a person in William Branham's following could find any single thing to question. But after leaving, I started noticing all of the many pastors repeatedly making statements as though people were either leaving or considering to leave, and they felt very uncomfortable. I remember trying to tell myself, "This feels like a cult!"
One of the most important aspects of a mind control cult is the imaginary fear of leaving. For those on the "inside," this is not so much imaginary as it is reality. Like a hypochondriac believing they have the flu, all symptoms seem as though the real disease has infected the body -- or in the case of the "Message," the real torture, dismemberment, and death awaits on the outside, whether physical or spiritual.
Christians in normal (not programmed) Christian churches are free to come and go as they please. Often, Christians decide to change denominations of faith over doctrinal beliefs, and the church they are leaving looks at them no differently than when they came. Some Christian families I have spoken with have multiple members of different persuasions, and enjoy visiting churches of the varying beliefs.
But a mind control cult will program their followers to believe that there is only one version of truth: theirs. And any who do not agree with that version of truth are going to suffer unbearable torture or even death. When I left the "Message," I had almost too many "visions" or "dreams" of my future to count. My wife was going to divorce me within a year. My children would die. I would become homosexual and burn in hell fires for my sexual preference. My business would fail, income would stop, and I would lose my house. My future would be prison, I would become a drug addict, and I would commit adultery. There were so many "curses" placed upon myself and my family that I really cannot count them all.
One curse was placed upon my wife and myself by our former pastor. I never will forget the look on her face as she fought back tears. "Honey," I told her, "That has just about as much effect as if he had stood in our front yard and sprayed our windows with a water hose. In fact, I think more damage could be done with the water hose."
Hassan captures this fear of leaving well. Every mind control cult has similar retention strategies, and the Unification Church is no exception:
Members were repeatedly told horror stories about deprogramming. I had come to believe that group members were brutally kidnapped, beaten, and tortured by deprogrammersâ€” Satanâ€™s elite soldiers committed to breaking people down and destroying their faith in God.
- Steven Hassan. Combating Cult Mind Control
The first several people that we helped out of the "Message" mentioned very similar experiences. And those who actually did have some misfortune happen were in agonizing fear after having been under such religious and emotional abuse. One of my close friends was in the hospital with cancer shortly after leaving, a cancer that he was unaware had entered his body. Having left a Pentecostal-style mind control cult where "healing" was "evidence of the Holy Spirit," any sickness brings back painful memories of the mind control. Fortunately, the cancer was removed, and he is doing very well today in a fully deprogrammed and healthy life.
Why do pastors, elders, and even the common people of a mind control cult use such awful emotional abuse on their members? What would make a kind, loving person be filled with such hatred and condemnation?
We must remember that the cult identity has taken over during these times. The authentic identity still is a loving person, and wants to surface to give you a big hug and wish you well. The cult identity, like the central figure, cannot let you leave. Understanding how the mind control works and how to contact the authentic identity will empower you to be in full control as you decide to leave.
There should be no fear. Every person gets sick, and every body has the power to heal. God gave our bodies this power when he created them. Every person has hardship. God also gave us willpower to overcome. Every person is uncomfortable with change. But we can find peace during our trials.
Stay tuned for more!
Combating Cult Mind Control (Second Edition): http://amzn.to/1NCnN45
Profile of "The Message" on Freedom Of Mind Resource Center: https://freedomofmind.com/Info/infoDet.php?id=883&title=The_Message