Site Search:


Branham Cult Secrets - Calvary Tabernacle Church

Seek The Truth Blog

Branham Cult Secrets - Calvary Tabernacle Church:

Are elders of the "Message" mind control church concealing information from the people?

As with any mind control cult, a fundamental element of control is the control of information. Mind control cults often conceal any news that might paint their group in a negative light. By only allowing the positive, and by keeping followers from any negative, members of a cult cannot make informed decisions.

Such is the case with Calvary Tabernacle Church.

On September 27, 1999, an article was published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran an investigative report describing the strange and secretive "Message" cult church called the "Calvary Tabernacle Church." Like a scene out of a horror movie, women in Pentecostal-style holiness dress were catering to one "Reverend" John Asher. Demanding a 10% tithe even when patrons of his church could not afford food for the table, Asher enslaved his congregation both physically, spiritually, and financially.

One church member recalls their time in bondage, "We felt like slaves ... Asher build this little kingdom and we were his little slaves."

Like most ministers in the cult following of William Branham, Asher was given ultimate and absolute authority. And like some, he abused that authority, involving himself in the most intimate details of their lives. Not only did he encourage which persons would marry whom, Asher would urge their divorce if he suspected questioning the cult.

Those who refused, or those who were considered "backslidden," were subjected to harsh rebukes before the elders of the church and sometimes the entire congregation. One former member recalls the traumatic experience with severe emotional pain and anguish. "I'm in utter tears," she said. "I can't believe he's doing this. I didn't know what to do!"

And like other "Message" cult ministers we've examined, Asher built his kingdom by tapping into their nest eggs. Asher would collect their life savings as the members sold their properties, and even collect from the estate of deceased loved ones. While he and his family were living like royalty, his congregation was living like paupers.

"We were living on potatoes and macaroni and cheese while they were buying ice cream and steaks," one former member said.

Each time we find another cult church that went rogue, we have to ask the question: Why are we not following Christ's instructions? Why are we not examining the trunk by its branches? Are not the branches growing worse as time goes on?

But the bigger question has to do with transparency. In mainstream churches, any churches who go astray are publicized -- used as examples of what happens when the Fruits of the Spirit have left the church. And with transparency comes accountability. Mainstream churches do not give such a high level of authority to the minister -- the congregation has the power to both elect and remove. Why is there no accountability in the "Message" cult? I

According to the newspaper, Billy Paul Branham knew about the church gone rogue, and denied this minister followed his father's example. Yet this minister learned his "Message doctrine" from the sermons of William Marrion Branham.

Did Billy Paul Branham handle this situation appropriately? Did he warn the people that their pastors might be given too much authority? Did he warn the people against giving their life savings to wolves in sheeps' clothing?

... or did he keep this concealed, controlling the information as every other mind control cult has done?