Message Mind Control - Child Abuse:
When my family gathered enough bravery to make our decision to leave the "Message" cult, there was a sudden surge of others who at the same time had gathered enough bravery to make theirs. I can't claim any responsibility for that surge -- God was speaking to hearts, not me. But there were quite a number, all at once who gave the same story: "Suddenly, I just woke up!" Since 2012, most of the people that I worked with in that original group have moved on in life, never again wanting to think about the many problems they found in the "Message." As new faces appear into our private groups of support, "older" members simply slip away to a better life.
I'm often asked by ex-"Message"-cult members why I continue this site. Those who gave gotten to know me understand that there are a thousand things I'd rather be doing. I'd rather be thinking about practically anything besides this mind control cult and the grip of fear it holds on its people. But it is an easy answer, why I would push myself: For the children.
Of the elder crowd in the cult, most of them were given a decision to join this Pentecostal-style cult. They willingly chose bondage over freedom, with hopes of escaping the "coming" Apocalypse of 1977. They willingly chose to become an "elite" group of Christians that despised the vast majority of other God-fearing Christians in the denominations. They gladly severed themselves from the Body of Christ thinking they could bypass a much more in-depth version of Christianity by joining a cult that only looked at superficial "sins."
But the children have no choice. The best they can hope for is a life of bondage. Children are being programmed not to enjoy life, but instead look forward to the Apocalypse. Many are refused a proper education -- why will you need it if tomorrow you will be walking out upon the ashes of your educators!
To make matters worse, they are raised by parents who invested everything into a future that never came. Each and every one of the many doomsday years Branham predicted failed, and the elders were invested in those years. 1977 was the most difficult, because many churches watched victims of mind control suddenly leave the church. They had to "try harder" to achieve "rapturing faith," and did so by introducing new "sins" that their families must avoid. With each passing year, the elders of the church began to change from the authentic personality they had at recruitment to gradually worsened versions of their cult identities. And the emotional turmoil of this change began to manifest itself in horrific ways.
One of those ways is child abuse.
As with other fundamentalist Christian groups, the "Message" cult promotes corporal punishment. And though seemingly harmless, it is a door that when opened can lead to abuse of all sorts. Many ex-cult members describe physical abuse beyond a simple "spanking," some even sexual. But it all started with a man who took his anger out on the flesh of an innocent child.
And Branham promoted physical abuse often throughout his ministry. Not just a spanking with a belt -- Branham encouraged men to beat their daughters with boards, naked. One time, suggested that men should spank an unclothed child until she had so many welts on her buttocks that she could not clothe herself.
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.
Many times throughout his ministry, Branham promoted physical abuse. Most of the statements are directed towards daughters, exposing his internal issues with women. Some of the statements were against the wives. We have a sample list of statements promoting physical abuse here: http://seekyethetruth.com/resources-deep-abuse.aspx
This is a problem Steve Hassan discusses in his book, "Combating Cult Mind Control."
A related problem is child abuse. Many children have died or been scarred for life because of their parents' involvement in destructive cults. 72 Many people have forgotten that nearly 300 children were murdered during the Jonestown massacre. Those children had no choice but to drink the poisoned Kool-Aid. The public also doesn't know that many of these children were the wards of the state of California and had been adopted by Peoples Temple members to provide more income as well as serve as cheap labor. Some groups advocate beating and even torturing children to enforce discipline. At Jonestown, at night, some children were put into dark pits that they were told were filled with snakes. Members would dangle ropes from above to scare them. Although Jonestown was an extreme example, several groups do use rods and sticks to beat children, at times for hours and sometimes all over their bodies. Some groups subject children to sexual abuse as a matter of doctrine. Because children are often kept out of school and away from other contact with society, the abuse goes unreported.
- Steven Hassan. Combating Cult Mind Control
Stay tuned for more!
National abuse hotline: http://www.thehotline.org/
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