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2016 - A Year in Review

Seek The Truth Blog

2016 - A Year in Review:

2016 was a very interesting year for Seek the Truth. We have much to be thankful for. We've had some huge successes, some big surprises, and an overwhelming amount of support and encouragement. We want to thank those of you who reached out to us this year for encouragement, and especially thank those of you who are researching and sent in pieces to this strange and unusual puzzle we used to call the "Message of the Hour." Your added research was vital to the success we all enjoyed.

Only a handful of people know this, but 2016 started out in "auto-drive". Just like the driverless cars designed by Norman Bel Geddes in the early 1930's, it was self-guided for about six months while I took a much-needed break to spend more time with my business and family. I still answered the emails sent in through social media and the website, sometimes responding to them in our blog, but tried to focus on other things. Most of my time was spent recovering from the countless hours spent on research from 2011 to 2015.

As many of you business owners know, it takes a great deal of time and effort to run a company. This website and blog is my "part time expense," and my consulting company pays the bills to keep the servers running and fund the research. My time away allowed me to get my business back on track, gain more hugs from my kids and wife, and gave my entire family more time to enjoy our newfound freedom.

I was very surprised, however, when I returned to spending time on the Seek The Truth website. I'd fully expected for the website traffic to be down, and a large number of people to have lost interest. Without my activity in the comment treads of our social media, I did notice that our activity under posts had significantly decreased. But it was unexpected to see views on our posts to have dramatically increased from what it was before.

From 2013 to 2015, my business funded thousands of dollars in paid advertisements to spread awareness about this religious cult, and traffic to the site reaped the reward of those advertisements. In 2016, however, under $300 was spent advertising. While $300 is still a lot of money, those of you who are business owners are also aware that this is next to nothing. I thought that our web and social statistics were incorrect when I started posting again and noticed traffic to our posts was several times higher than in 2015! Viewers had not lost interest -- they'd gained interest many times over!

It should come as no surprise that the greatest number of viewers started arriving at the end of the year when we began publishing articles from the 1948 Shreveport, Louisiana "Voice of Healing" magazine. Traffic to our posts increased by almost 50 times over prior years, and we started seeing higher traffic with each post than we'd seen with any of our advertising campaigns. Cult victims and escapees alike were flocking to our website to learn more about the "historical brother Branham," which many quickly learned was far different than the "mythological brother Branham" that exists in cult churches today.

For years, cult victims have been told how Jack Moore and Gordon Lindsay "discovered" William Branham, and began publishing articles of his "miraculous" healing campaigns in the Voice of Healing "magazine". Many, like myself, grew up believing that this publication was a written documentary of sorts, detailing the one-of-a-kind miracles by William Branham -- miracles that were unlike anything the world had ever seen. But as our viewers began to examine the articles, many were shocked to learn that Branham was just one of many in a long line of "miracle workers" and "healers" of the day. And Voice of Healing was just as happy to publish articles about Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, and hundreds of other men. In fact, there were more articles about other "healers" than there were printed about William Branham!

But the real shock came when it was learned that William Branham himself was the publisher. While we all grew up listening to stories of an uneducated, unlearned "prophet," we slowly began to realize that his articles in Voice of Healing were not so bad, grammatically speaking. It drew a laugh from many readers, because his English was better than many cult ministers who preach that he was "uneducated." And though he appeared to have demoted himself from publisher after a failed 1948 doomsday prediction, William Branham continued to be senior editor for the magazine for years after he formed the business. As both publisher and editor, William Branham knew former Congressman William D. Upshaw long before the very agile and physically fit former Congressman entered Branham's "prayer line" in the disguise of a wheelchair invalid.

Visitors to our website began to read articles from a very different William Branham. A very different life story began to unfold through the articles, one that was strangely similar to what he later described, but without several "supernatural" claims. Even cult members were surprised to find the story they'd heard for years, from William Branham himself, without seven prophecies, supernatural lights, and an angel for a spirit guide. Some were angered when they heard Branham describe the "log cabin" he grew up with in Kentucky. He described a large structure with multiple rooms that was now paved over by a developed neighborhood. Some people called or wrote us to express their anger, having been dragged out into the middle of nowhere in Kentucky to see empty land they say that the Branham family now claims to be the "cabin's location."

Reading through the articles, many began to realize that it was, indeed, a business. It did not start out as a religion, or a movement by God. What started as an advertising company for his own meetings gradually turned into a money-making machine. And while charging above current market rates for the publication, Voice of Healing appears to have been quite a money-maker. One that did not require money to advertise (as we had to prior years with our website) because William Branham collected names and addresses on the backs of "prayer cards" throughout his ministry. These same names and addresses could easily be used to increase sales without advertising. And key figures who have supported and started new businesses with the Branham family, such as T. L. Osborn, were connected to the Branhams long before anyone realized. T.L. Osborne was also an editor for Voice of Healing. He later started a business with Billy Paul and Joseph Branham, and used his televangelist ministry to help promote William Branham's ministry.

As you would expect, this would be the most viewed series of blog posts for the entire year. Even for those of us who are rarely shocked at anything else we find out about William Branham's actual life story as compared to his stage persona, this came as a big surprise.

The second most popular area of interest is not as surprising. In 2015, we began publishing Federal documents about Branham's mentor, Roy E. Davis, who rose from official spokesperson of the Ku Klux Klan to the Imperial Grand Dragon of the Original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. At this point for our website, Davis has a widespread interest -- and not just by those who have been influenced by the "Message" cult following of William Branham. Very little is known about the original group of men who created the ritual and bylaws of the 1915 reincarnation of the Ku Klux Klan. Learning that William D. Upshaw and Roy E. Davis were key players has gained the interest of even non-religious groups. We found and published newspaper articles describing Roy E. Davis as one of the original Klansmen who wrote the by-laws and ritual for the 1915 rebirth of the terroristic organization. Since so little was known about Davis prior to our publications, and since Davis was deeply involved in the Civil Rights protests leading up to the assassination of President Kennedy, many have been pouring through the newspaper articles, F.B.I. documents, and other materials on our website. This has quickly become another area of interest that needs no advertisement.

2016 brought out several interesting articles about Davis, raising several points of interest. Many of the facts being presented were relatively unknown by "Message" cult victims, cult leaders, and cult escapees. All began to take notice when key figures in the Ministry of William Branham were identified as collaborating to help spread the Ku Klux Klan, and that interest grew when multiple instances of criminal activity were identified and published. These men were working together, had a secret agenda, and the cult we see today is a result of their work.

The information that was most surprising of all pointed back to Shreveport, Louisiana -- the location Branham chose for the headquarters of his Voice of Healing publication. In the height of the Civil Rights movement, Roy E. Davis became very active in Shreveport. Banners were placed throughout the city with hooded terrorists on horseback, using the slogan Branham also used in his ministry: "Yesterday, Today, and Forever."

During this time, Roy E. Davis held large membership drives in Shreveport, inviting newspaper and magazine journalists to Ku Klux Klan rallies. Interestingly, Branham also held long campaigns in the city while Davis was most active. "Message" cult members in town would have driven on streets holding the banners. They would have opened their morning newspaper and seen Roy E. Davis' picture on the front page wearing a white robe and hood issued to new Klan recruits. They would have tuned in to their radio to listen daily to the news of Davis being arrested, exposed as the Imperial Grand Dragon, and escaping conviction. All while listening to recorded sermons of William Branham, praising and promoting the leader of the terroristic organization. Many began to ask, "Why has the cult in Shreveport today concealed this information for all this time?"

In 2016, documents were also published describing the results of their recruiting. Under the disguise of the name "Louisiana Rifle Association," Davis' terroristic organization were stockpiling weapons. The group, strongly against Civil Rights, were preparing to go militant. Only days after William Branham's death, these weapons were moved and all documents for the Original Knights of the Ku Klux Klan burned. As you can imagine, this information also brought a lot of attention to the website, and awareness is spreading quickly.

Other items of interest to our readers include research in the local history of Jeffersonville, Indiana and its impact by the Klan's one-time headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana. Many were unaware that Jeffersonville was such a busy river port before the 1937 flood, and fewer were aware that it was the lawless casino, liquor, and gambling town that attracted the likes of Al Capone and John Dillinger. While William Branham describes growing up in the wilderness far from civilization, he was raised from age three in the heart of it. In 2016, we published local newspaper articles describing Charles Branham's liquor production, and his bond being posted by millionaire liquor tycoon Otto Wathen. Several in the cult following were aware that Branham's father made liquor and worked for Wathen, but not many knew how deeply this connection ran. When we published articles describing Wathen's "medicinal liquor" (what many used to call "magic elixir"), and found statements by William Branham describing his family traveling the west doing "shows," quite a few began to put two-and-two together. There was a reason Otto Wathen the billionaire bailed out the poor "drunkard" Charles Branham.

There was an equal amount of interest in our posts about the Klan's cleanup of Jeffersonville. Researchers identified several Ku Klux Klan newsletters from Indianapolis in the early 1920's, and some of those contained articles describing the Klan's "heroic" cleanup of the city. For a period of time, the Ku Klux Klan had a headquarters in Jeffersonville, and Mr. Brumback held the key that opened the entrance into the mysterious offices of the terroristic White Knights. Though they prided themselves as "heroic," it was not well received by the law-abiding citizens. Eventually, the local newspapers acquired the membership books and began printing the names of recognized city leaders who had secretly been donning white hoods.

This little-known Jeffersonville history eventually led to the arrival of Roy E. Davis and his brothers, shortly after Davis fled Louisville on charges of swindling and narrowly escaping charges of underage sex. Causing a church split in Ralph Rader's (brother of Paul Rader who wrote the song, "Only Believe") Jeffersonville church and stealing a large portion of the congregation, Davis and his brothers began building a church from which to base his Klan-motivated operations. It would be at this church that William Branham would be ordained by Davis, introduced to the Pentecostal faith, become assistant pastor, and work closely with his first wife Hope Brumback while she led the children's ministry. Surprising many, we also learned that it was Davis' "Pentecostal Baptist Church" that Branham later referred to when he described having "Seven prophecies" as he went along "on the way to the Baptist church." But as many found out later in the year, the "Seven prophecies" were never mentioned in the very different life story Branham presented in his Voice of Healing publication, and the total number of prophecies he claimed as the "seven" numbered fifteen. It's no wonder Hope Brumback's mother did not want her associated with this group of criminals.

2016 surprised us. A growing number of people are waking up, realizing they were under the undue influence of their cult leaders. Moving very slowly and cautiously, they read through the information we published with great skepticism. But many were brave enough to push through their indoctrinated fear to examine the findings for themselves. Most who examine the information for themselves end up breaking free from the cult's clutches of fear and into freedom. 2016 was the first year we noticed this transition happening so quickly. In past years, it took several months for cult victims to conquer their indoctrinated fear and break free. Last year, we saw many who broke free in just a few weeks of study.

They say there is strength in numbers, and this is evident from what we are now seeing in the exodus from the cult following of William Branham. Entire churches have left the cult, their pastors now preaching from the Bible instead of what the recorded sermons ... say ... about the Bible. Many former members are now helping others escape to freedom. Those who escape no longer leave to emptiness -- they leave to find many helping hands that are offering support and encouragement.

In 2016, we began peeling back the cover on William Branham's ministry to better see "what made it tick." From the political agenda of the Ku Klux Klan to the financial agenda that appears to have funded an arsenal of weapons in Shreveport, we started to examine the engine behind the freight train that later became known as the "Message of the Hour." But we have just skimmed the surface. There is no end to the hundreds of trails leading from this religious cult's purposeful deception. And each new trail that is identified has very strong similarities. Deception was used to mask trails leading to swindling, theft, questionable financial strategies, terroristic organizations, arms dealers, hate crimes, murders, and even more deception with more trails to examine. We have only skimmed the surface.

There's a new year ahead of us. More deception will be exposed. More cult victims will awaken. Strength will grow as those who escape begin to help others. Each new face finding freedom will be a pillar of strength as we watch their oppression change into freedom. Let's work together to make 2017 even more exciting!

Happy New Year!

From John Collins
Author and Webmaster