An elitist ‘Christian’ sect controversial for its un-biblical beliefs and cult-like practices.
When we move to Sacramento to join the Greens, life gets harsh quickly. Not the friendly gatherings I’d hoped for. Within a few months Jim, Lila and Steve decide that my daughter Sarah (then 11) has to go live with her father who the day before serves me with papers. Steve had said to him, “You’re not her father anymore.” Rick’s sin is loving his daughter. He only wants shared custody. But his influence, they say, is worldly, and he’ll spoil her, and it’ll harm all the children. As Rick and Sarah drive away I wait for Sarah to look back at me. She doesn’t. She’s feels safe and is happy to be with her dad. Lila says to me, “You mustn’t call nor write her.” I was being tested.
Weeks later at a meeting my 13-year-old daughter Iantha (now Rebekah) is put to the test. She’s close to my mom who when we move to Sacramento we think we’ll see more of. But grandma and grandpa are also of the world. So the Greens and Steve tell Iantha she has to choose between living with us or them. She says she wants to live with us. But they decide she needs her faith tested. “You’re to go live with them for a month,” Steve says, “and then YOU decide between them or us. You can’t have it both ways.” I stand up, holding Iantha’s hand, and I say, “You can’t do this to my daughter.”
No one says a word driving home that night. Even Nate (6) is scared silent. But after Iantha, Nate, and 10 mo. old month old Lily are in bed, Steve’s fury lashes out. “You’ll never embarrass me like that again, do you hear? We’re here to do God’s work, and if you don’t want to be a part of what the Lord’s doing, then you and the children can all go live with your mom and dad.” I was 35 years old and two months pregnant.
So Iantha lives with them for a month, and afterwards calls us saying she wants to come home. To Steve her choosing to return isn’t evidence enough of her commitment. He gives her a big box and tells her to pack up everything her grandma bought her, and to return it with a letter saying she’ll never see her again. He even made her return the underwear.
Here’s the letter, found when my sis and I sorted through our mom and dad’s estate. I bawled when I read it. Emotions turned inside out.
If we never look outside the biases of our own religious or socially conditioned beliefs we will forever be blinded by them.
Well written article. Accurate too as I recall, except for a few details. The Bear Tribe was in CA, not MO, and I didn’t sue the Greens the day after I left. It took awhile to process what I’d been though, to understand it, and only then had I the desire to expose them, to hold them accountable for all the awful things they do in the name of their God.
Rebekah before and after. The story changes after you leave, because you’re no longer being told what to believe and say.
Here’s the deal. Jim and Deborah Green teach that sickeness is caused by sin, either the sin of the ones afflicted, or of somebody directly or indirectly related to them. Diseases of all types, even the common cold and various aches and pains, they attribute to demons. Lila reported my children sick because I wasn’t fully committed to God. Sin they say opens doors for demons to come in and wreak havoc on the body. In their little community a single sin is believed to affect everyone—the whole body of Christ—and it can be as simple as doubting the word of God, as spoken by their prophetess Deborah Green.
They also assert sickness may occur to teach a lesson, all micro-managed by God, or it may occur for some greater good of God. A few times I heard Deborah claim she was sick because she bore the sins of the world (like Jesus, I guess).
ACMTC members don’t go to doctors or dentists. To them, it’s all about believing in, being right before, and trusting in God. They’ve no health insurance, and no personal money to pay for doctors. If someone has a bad tooth they’re driven to Juarez, Mexico and they get it pulled out. If a filling comes out, the whole tooth is pulled.
According to them modern scientifically based medicine is not “of God,” but “of the god of this world, the devil,” except of course on rare occasions, like when Joshua Green was hospitalized with malaria, or when Jim Green was treated for skin cancer. (What applies to members, doesn’t always apply to the Greens.)
The babies born to ACMTC women are delivered by Deborah Green, and there’s quite a few of them. (It may be their quickest way to fortify their ranks.) She delivers the babies so that the hands of the prophet will be the first to touch the infant’s head. Medical training? None. (Her last paying job was 34 years ago, working in a hospital pushing papers.) The mothers receive no prenatal or postnatal care, and the babies no post delivery or follow-up care, and no birth certificates.