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Public Apology and Retraction - End Time Youth

09/01/2017
Seek The Truth Blog

Public Apology and Retraction - End Time Youth:

A researcher has sent us a list of "corrections" that have been demanded upon our website by cult leaders claiming to "expose" Seek The Truth. We continue to stand by our original statement: If anyone can find error in the research we have published, and offer proof that we were in error, we will issue a public apology and a correction.

The list references a series of fourteen videos published by "End Time Youth", Faith Tabernacle, Cullman, AL. (https://www.youtube.com/user/EndTimeYouth) These videos start with examination of some of the more trivial research material. Towards the end of their "exposure," they begin to slander John Collins with false accusations and hearsay. We had seen a few of the videos of "exposure" several months ago when a researcher sent us links to review. In the words of the person who informed us, "they are making themselves look pretty bad by using partial facts." At the time, their claims had very little substance and lacked solid evidence.

Over time, however, it appears that their claims have transitioned to including some actual research. One video in particular included some legitimate information that we did not have. We agree with the researcher that sent us the list: we should examine further.

As always, we continue to be fully transparent. We have published thousands of pages of research material, some of which before discovering large amounts of additional facts. There are things we got right. There are things we got wrong. If we are fully transparent, and correct our mistakes as we continue, then both sides of the argument can learn something. In doing so, we proceed further towards truth, and further away from error.

While we praise these cult leaders for their attempt to provide legitimate answers, we do not condone their use of slander and defamation of character. Their personal attacks are not only untrue, they have crossed the line between harmless hate speech to slander and very damaging defamation of character. Therefore, we will examine the statements focused upon research, and let our legal experts examine the character assassination attempts.

Here is the list of questions:

#1 Why did you say that the eagle was an abomination when the Bible says that God does not?

In the "Message" cult, the eagle is used for symbolic, spiritual association with various topics. Unless proven untrue, cult leaders would be forced to admit having referred to spiritual leaders as an abomination before the eyes of God when they refer to them as "eagles." The cult's song, "I am an eagle", would be literally translated as, "I am an abomination."

The producer of the video tactfully distracts viewers' focus away from the verse in Leviticus we referenced when we first discovered the issue. They claim that because Bible authors describe Israel using characteristics of an eagle, God does not consider the eagle to be an abomination. The answer to this question should be as simple as quoting the Bible:

And these are they which ye shall have in abomination among the fowls; they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination: the eagle, and the ossifrage, and the ospray. (Lev 11:13)

As this is one of the cult's deeply-rooted, programmed doctrines, it must further be explained that an author using a characteristic of an animal is not the same as an author favoring or disfavoring that animal. I could say that a person has the strength of a bull, the mouth of an alligator, or the patience of a vulture in my writings, but that does not mean that I like or dislike these creatures.

Were we in error on this topic, we would gladly offer an apology. These are not our words, however. It is the Bible that declares the eagle an "abomination," placing it into the same category as a vulture.

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#2 Why did you say that William Branham claimed to be Jesus Christ? He never said this!

In the "Message" cult, there is a fine line between the cult's esteem of William Branham and their esteem of Jesus Christ. When defending William Branham's many claims, cult leaders often reference passages of scripture describing the events in the life and times of Christ – verses that they would never apply to a "common man." While doing so, however, they are careful to claim separation between the two, even if that separation is a very fine line.

The producer of this video has used the strategy of a "half-truth", which is very misleading to those unaware of Branham's position on the subject. They are correct; William Branham was careful not to directly make this claim to be Jesus Christ on recorded transcript. Before certain audiences, Branham condemned such a thought. Instead, Branham made his claims indirectly. Whether direct or indirect, the underlying intent is exactly the same. Branham was claiming to be the return of Jesus Christ.

Branham's strategy:

1) Convince his followers that he was the return of "Elijah the prophet"
2) Convince his victims that the "Elijah of this day" was the "Lord Jesus Christ.

The cult, as a whole, refers to William Branham as the "Elijah of this day." This is common knowledge and needs no reference or explanation. We can, however, offer examples of William Branham's indirect claims to be Jesus Christ once this was achieved.

Two examples:

Jesus said, in Saint Luke, the 17th chapter and the 30th verse, that, "As it was in the days of Noah." He told about Noah's time. And said, "As it was in the days of Sodom," see, His Coming, "so will it be in the days when the Son of man is being revealed." Now, He never said "the Son of God" being revealed. "The Son of man!" 169 Now, Jesus came in three names. Son of man, which is a prophet; Son of God, which went through the Church age; then Son of David. But in between the Son of God and Son of David, according to His Own Word, and according to Malachi 4 and many Scriptures, He's to return back into His Church, in physical form, in the people, in a... in human beings, in the way of being a prophet. See?
Branham, 65-0427 - Does God Change His Mind

But the Elijah of this day is the Lord Jesus Christ. He is to come according to Matthew the seventeen-... Luke 17:30, says the Son of man is to reveal Himself among His people. Not a man, God! But it'll come through a prophet.
Branham, 65-1127B - Trying To Do God A Service Without It Being God's Will

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#3 Why do you say that William Branham plagiarized Clarence Larkin? Branham admitted to using Larkin's book!

When I was a child, listening to the recordings of William Branham was common practice. We were all familiar with Branham's claim to "revelation" of many cult doctrines, such as the "Seven Seals," "Daniel's Seventy Weeks," the "Future Home of the Heavenly Bride and Bridegroom," and more. At that time, to learn many of Branham's statements came from the works of other men would be devastating. Now, after the work of many researchers to expose the cult, this is not the case. Many in the cult are now aware that Branham used the works of others to claim "revelation" or "divine inspiration," and are being re-programmed not to be concerned with this deceitful tactic.

The producer of the video has taken advantage of the fact that "Message" history has been re-written to separate from the idea that Branham's extensive use of Larkin's work did not come from "angels" or "divine inspiration." That he "plagiarized" (used Clarence Larkin's work without citing Larkin himself) is easily proven by examining the instances in which William Branham did so. But the producer of the video is cleverly using trivial examples of Larkin's work to distract from the more significant issues contained within, and makes no references to Branham's claims of "divine inspiration" or "angelic revelation."

The best compilation of William Branham's plagiarizing of Clarence Larkin can be found here:
http://www.branhamism.org/clarence-larkin/

Those familiar with this information are aware that whether plagiarizing Larkin or not, fundamental issues in "Message" theology are exposed by studying Larkin's work. William Branham copied Larkin as a foundation, then added flawed logic to point to himself as a supernatural authority. (A common practice with many destructive cult leaders.) An example of this is Branham's usage of Larkin's "Church Ages", wherein Branham added "messengers" to Larkin's dates, or "ages." Some of the "Church Age Messengers" were not even alive during their "age."
http://seekyethetruth.com/resources-easy-churchages.aspx

If the above were not the case, and we were falsely accusing William Branham of using these works, we would offer an apology and retraction. The producers of the video apparently want to debate the semantics of the word "plagiarize," which is beneficial to neither party.

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#4 Why did you say that William Branham was not a game warden? We have seen newspaper articles and photographs proving that Branham was a game warden!

This claim actually did not originate with our website. The producer takes advantage of "proving the negative," a common technique by destructive cults. "Prove that he ... wasn't ... a game warden!" They did however offer some evidence to support Branham's claim, and that evidence is worth discussing.

We actually abandoned research on this subject several years ago, mainly because it was so trivial. "Proving a negative" is a task that has no end, and one can only provide plausible arguments as to why the claim is invalid. After realizing this, we decided that in the grand scheme of things, finding absolute truth to this question would neither persuade victims to flee the cult or persuade them to remain captive. Because of this, it is interesting that the site chose this particular issue to focus upon. It would seem to offer little value.

In the video, they provide two points of "evidence": Branham's claims to an out-of-town newspaper reporter that he was a "game warden", and photographs of Branham dressed up as what they claim to be a "game warden" uniform.

Similarly, I could take photos of myself as a professional baseball player, and say to an out-of-state newspaper reporter that I was one. If the reporter published this information without confirming, the producers of this video must agree that I am a professional baseball player through use of the same logic. I am not a professional baseball player.

In the example of the baseball player, however, it would be easy to find evidence against my claim with today's digital record. All one need do is to find a list of baseball players, and confirm that I am not on any such list. It does not prove that I am ... not ... a professional baseball player, but it provides substantial evidence against my claim. In fact, the producers of this video would likely use this as "undeniable" evidence against my claim to be a professional baseball player.

The problem is that the same strategy can be used for William Branham's claim of "game warden." Census and other government records provide occupation, and other researchers have found Indiana State Game Wardens at the time. They do not find William Branham. Had the producers of this video found such evidence verifying Branham's claim, it would have been included in the video. It was not.

Were such evidence discovered, we would gladly offer an apology and retraction. The issue is not significant.

Search For Vindication has some research on this subject, and we agree with their comments concerning Branham's claim:
http://searchingforvindication.com/2013/10/22/Charles-Branhams-Death/

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#5. Why do you say that Six-Second Smith did not exist? We have records proving that he did!

The producers of this video are cleverly misleading viewers by leading them to assume that our site purposefully publishes false information, and does not update as we find corrections to be made. Interestingly, this claim did not originate with our website. After reviewing the records available at the time, we agreed with the original claim by another author: there was no record of William Branham boxing, and no record of a "six second smith."

By January of 2015, however, records were available. We did, indeed, find a "Six Second Smith," and published the correction. Though their video was published almost two years later (September 2016), the producers of the video mislead their viewers to believe no update has been published.

Our update:
http://seekyethetruth.com/blog/2015/20151118_George_Smith_-_Fighting_For_Blood.aspx

This is not the largest problem, however. Whether purposefully or not, the video distracts viewers from the fact that these boxing records DO exist, and William Branham is not on them. It was William Branham's brother Henry that rose to limited fame in the boxing ring, and there do not appear to be any records whatsoever of William Branham holding the titles he claimed:
http://seekyethetruth.com/blog/2015/20151216_Henry_Branham_-_Bantamweight_Champion.aspx

In the end, this issue is insignificant, similar to the "game warden" claim. One does not flee a doomsday cult because one's doomsday cult leader was untruthful when he claimed to be a boxer.

Should any evidence of William Branham boxing Six-Second Smith surface, we would gladly offer a public apology and retraction, as we did before. The claim addressed in the video, however, we have retracted years ago.

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#6 Why did you say that the light on William Branham's photograph was not supernatural?

In the "Message" cult, there are many poorly-developed photographs that cult leaders claim captured the "supernatural". A large number of these look to be light-exposure to the negative, while others are effects cast onto the film by angle, lighting, and more.

As with others, this video "exposure" of Seek The Truth is asking to prove a negative. In this case, it is asking to prove a "negative not of this world," or "negative that is supernatural," which the producers of the video are aware can never be proved one way or the other. "Prove it was NOT supernatural!"

Several times, we have offered solid evidence to confirm that trick photography and other techniques were used to create "supernatural events captured" on film. Deceased cult pastor Pearry Green, in a testimony, admitted to this practice. We have provided examinations of this evidence, such as this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shm3TcDLpr4

Other photographs were used to mislead cult victims, such as the "halo photo" printed in most cult literature. The best examination of that photograph can be found here:
http://en.believethesign.com/index.php/The_Houston_Photograph

We could easily and have already asked the same claim in the opposite direction: "Prove that it WAS supernatural!"

Should methods to test the authenticity of a "supernatural photograph" ever exist, and these photographs be proven "supernatural," we would happily offer an apology and a public retraction.

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#7 Why did you say that Joseph Mattsson-Boze was whispering in William Branham's ear during discernment?

In a film produced by Branham's campaign team, it was discovered by others that the men behind William Branham on the platform are often seen talking to each other and/or William Branham during speech or prayer. Should they be providing William Branham with information on those approaching the platform, it would place question upon Branham's ability to guess the names and addresses of the people.

Again, this "exposure" of Seek The Truth is asking to prove a negative. In this case, it is asking to disprove what would likely have never been loud enough to be picked up by a tape recorder. "Prove that he DIDN'T whisper information to William Branham!"

Interestingly, the producers of this video avoided the footage of a young Billy Paul Branham approaching William Branham during prayer. Billy Paul appears to whisper in William Branham's ear immediately prior to a person being "discerned."

What is most interesting about this "exposure" is Joseph Mattsson-Boze himself. At the time we noticed this, we were not fully informed as to the history behind Joseph Mattsson-Boze and his relationship to the cult. After working with the Jonestown Institute, it became known that Mattsson-Boze was attempting to bring the "Latter Rain" movement to the United States, and that Branham's connection to this movement was much deeper than has been made known to the public. The meeting in the film used was significant, as it was likely these meetings and videos that attracted the infamous Jim Jones of Jonestown to join the "Message" cult. Regardless, Mattsson-Boze ordained Jones as a "Latter Rain" minister through the Independent Assemblies of God, and William Branham (and Mattsson-Boze) lifted Jones to power in Indianapolis. Mattsson-Boze stood much to gain by William Branham, and apparently did so to the fullest extent.

More information, including references, can be found here:
http://amazon.com/dp/B072R1WRB8

Should recorded conversations of the men behind William Branham surface, including the conversations they had with William Branham during prayer or "discernment," we would gladly offer a public apology and retract our statements.

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#8 Why did you say that the photo of Florence Nightingale was a holocaust photo?

One of the cult artifacts used for recruitment is a photograph of a highly malnourished woman and a well-nourished woman shown side-by-side. Not only does the cult claim that they are the same women, they claim that they are either Florence Nightingale, founder of modern nursing, a daughter with the same name, or a granddaughter with the same name.

This is another example of the producers of the video distracting from the much larger issue. First, we should address the software comparison utility issue. It is unclear how the same facial-recognition software produced different results when they used it. Our results were fairly consistent. Assuming there was no alterations to produce different results, that blame should lie with the software utility, not with those who use it. If anything, it shows it to be an unreliable tool.

The real issue is with William Branham's claim to have "healed" "Florence Nightingale." After realizing this could easily be disproven, Branham later altered his tale to claim having "healed" one of the offspring of Florence Nightingale. The problem? Mrs. Nightingale had no offspring.

Any who view the photo, not having been indoctrinated by the cult, agree that it does look very similar to a holocaust photo. This is why we asked the question.

Should evidence surface identifying the woman in the photograph, her connection to William Branham, and her connection to Florence Nightingale, we would gladly offer a public apology and a retraction.

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#9 Why did you say that William Branham had a healing ministry in 1942?

After evaluating the evidence presented, we agree with the assessment concerning the 1942 pamphlet, and issue a public apology. It does appear that the copyright was not for the document itself, but for a previous work. As time permits, our content will be updated to reflect the correction.

We should also point out that the producers of the video appear to be misleading viewers to the larger issue presented by multiple points of evidence. Though this one document was the center of focus, the producers seem to avoid all documented facts. The largest of which was produced by William Branham himself. Branham claimed to have had his "gift of healing" long before 1942.

The subject matter being examined was this: William Branham claimed to have been given the "gift of healing" the very same night Israel became a nation:

"Israel became a nation in 1947, on same night the Angel of the Lord visit me."
- Branham, 59-1004M

It is very important for cult leaders to eliminate all possibility of their victims examining the evidence against this claim. If William Branham was not honest about the timeline, it places his "angel" in question.

The most obvious problem with this claim is that the nation of Israel did not form until 1948. We have recordings of William Branham claiming to be "healing" through an "angel" prior to Israel's formation. One must either discredit William Branham, or discredit all historical record concerning Israel.

If you look beyond the recordings, however, larger problems with the timeline become obvious. The largest problem comes from William Branham himself, in a tract no longer available for purchase by most cult publishers: "I Was Not Disobedient To The Heavenly Vision."

The text of the tract can be found here:
http://en.believethesign.com/index.php/Tract:_Heavenly_Vision

An examination of the tract can be found here:
http://en.believethesign.com/index.php/Heavenly_Vision

In the tract, William Branham himself claims to have had his "gift" in 1945 – two years prior to his later "angelic" claims." According to the timeline Branham gives, he had the "gift" for three years, lost the "gift" for five years, and then received it again after a "vision." (as opposed to an angelic visitation). According to this timeline, Branham's "gift" would have come to him in 1937 after the Great Flood of 1937. Comparing this to Branham's other usage of catastrophic events for self-promotion, this timeline would make sense.

Branham says:

For over three years He performed mighty miracles. Then one day He called me to take the Gift and to evangelize for Him. Many of my dear friends begged me not to leave them and I stayed. Because of this, the Gift was taken from me for more than five years. Though I cried and prayed earnestly for the people, it just did not seem to work. Then one year ago, while I was standing in my yard the Spirit came to me again; I was told that God had forgiven me and that a double portion of the Power to heal would be given me. In this book are some of the things He did on my first trip for Him. Do you see, dear ones, if healing would have been of myself people would have been healed during the five years when the Gift was gone. I suffered for many other things during that five years, so my beloved friends, please pray for me while I "earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints."--Jude 3. I am sincerely yours in Christ's service. Rev. William Branham.
- Branham, "I Was Not Disobedient To The Heavenly Vision"

Since the tract is no longer available to the general public, we felt it necessary to identify other verifiable sources to confirm Branham's "healing" ministry prior to 1947. In our research material, we have provided an issue of the St. Louis Dispatch from July 6, 1947. In the article, Branham's campaign manager places the "angelic visitation" in 1945:

A few years ago the Lord filled Brother Branham with the Holy Ghost. He spoke with many tongues. Two years ago he was in a room by himself when he heard heavy footsteps behind him, and there stood a bearded man. The man said, I have been sent from the throne of grace to bestow on you the gift of divine healing."
- St. Louis Dispatch, July 6, 1947.

Interestingly, the newspaper described the massive amount of money Branham collected:

A man at the hotel later told us it had taken two husky men to carry in the boxes of offerings from the kind people of Vandalia the night before.)
- St. Louis Dispatch, July 6, 1947.

Research material can be found here:
http://seekyethetruth.com/ResearchData.aspx

Again, we publicly admit our mistake for the 1942 document, and will make corrections.

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#10: Why do you say that Henry Branham was the one healing the people in 1947?

This is another case of the producers of the video misleading their viewers to believe that this site is purposefully publishing false information without correction. When we first started noticing the hundreds of newspaper articles describing "Henry Branham" as the healer, it started to seem that William Branham's brother was the main attraction. But on September 20, 2015, we issued a correction and public apology:

http://www.seekyethetruth.com/blog/2015/20150920_Apology_To_Voice_of_God_Recordings,_and_a_Public_Retraction.aspx

At the end of the video, the producers ask that John Collins "come clean" and apologize to the public. We refer them to the above, which they either purposefully or mistakenly failed to mention.

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#11: Why do you claim there are female angels:

This is another example of "exposing" that which cannot be proven. As such, it is not a claim we focus upon, and find little value in the outcome of research. Should the ability to research supernatural be created, it would offer little value to the exodus from Branham's cult.

The claim was not ours, however. It was the subject matter of an article we found interesting:
https://bible.org/question/does-zechariah-59-show-angels-could-be-female

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#12: Why do you say that Branham prophesied the world would end in 1977? Several times, he denied this was prophecy!

This is another example of the producers of the video taking advantage of the alterations in "Message" cult history. According to several cult escapees and cult literature, prior to 1977 Branham's claim was prophetic. When a "prophet" does the act of "predicting," it has greater significance than when a "cult drone" does the act of "predicting."

Whether prophecy or not, the outcome was the same: Branham used this "prediction" to create a "doomsday cult" that truly believed the world was going to end in 1977. As a result, each new world conflict, natural disaster, or other catastrophe results in several sermons inflicting fear into cult victims. That fear is not of a world that will continue; it is a fear of doomsday.

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#13 (Defamation of character video question)

While easily proven untrue, we have been advised not to discuss this particular video while damages are being assessed. Those in Jeffersonville are aware that such "testimonies" were recorded, and had any such recording existed, it would have been included in the video.

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#14 Why did you say that William Branham predicted a 1948 doomsday in Voice of Healing? This was not his publication!

The producers of the video are careful to show partial facts that support their "exposure," while avoiding the critical facts. They claim that 1) Branham was not the author of the doomsday articles, and that 2) Branham was not active in the ministry (because he said so).

While they are correct in saying that William Branham was not the author, they avoid discussing the fact that William Branham was the publisher. He ranked above Gordon Lindsay (Editor) and Jack Moore (Co-Editor). To make this claim is to paint Branham in a very bad light – he would have either been publishing a "doomsday prediction" that he disagreed with or completely incompetent. Based on the number of doomsday predictions given by William Branham we have examined, this would seem unlikely.

The larger issue is with #2. They are correct in stating that William Branham claimed (through Voice of Healing) that he was not active in the ministry. But this does not fully align with historical fact. From an April, 1948 issue of the Alton Evening Telegraph:

Mr. and Mrs. Wendell B. Sitze, 2736 Salu, left this morning for Kansas City, Kan., where they will attend the religious meetings being held by the Rev. William Branham. The meeting will open tonight with the Rev. Oral Roberts present.
- Alton Evening Telegraph (Alton, Illinois), April 10, 1948. P12.

William Branham was active in 1948 prior to the publication of the doomsday prediction. But even had he been off the field, he was still active (as publisher) of the Voice of Healing publication.

Should the producers of the video find actual evidence that overturns the facts they did not mention, we would be more than happy to offer a public apology and a retraction.

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We have been very transparent in our research. When we err (which happens often), we openly admit it and do our best to correct information in a timely manner. Will cult leaders do the same? If they do, how much of the "Message" will remain?