Ex-Members Describe Military-Style Christian Sect Now Accused of Child Abuse – NBC News

Article from August ’17.

—>Source: Ex-Members Describe Military-Style Christian Sect Now Accused of Child Abuse – NBC News

Jim’s smirk, and the real story

Jim’s smirk in the courtroom scene below when the prosecutor says “a member escaped” was actually a reasonable response: I didn’t escape. Jim’s wife Lila (AKA General Deborah, or “God’s Prophet”) excommunicated me into a shed, and changed my name to Forsaken, as in “forsaken by God.” She handed me a dingy cotton sack-dress with a black scarf, and told me to wear them “when in the presence of God’s soldiers”, and to wear them “with shame.” Shortly after, Jacque (AKA Rachel) experienced something similar, God’s wrath, her name changed by Lila to Barren, her new garb a hospital gown.

Most mornings Bernie gave us orders for the day. He’d knock on the bare wood door and yell, “time to go to work!” Sometimes he’d knock as early a 3 or 4 AM. We sawed wood, we washed houses, painted houses, washed the camp vehicles, wheelbarrowed rocks, pulled nails, shoveled dirt, cleaned garbage cans, swept sidewalks, raked and picked up leaves. For 3 months when we lived in the shed we were given peanut butter sandwiches only to eat morning, noon and night, delivered all at once, usually in the morning, in a plastic bread bag dropped outside the shed door in the dirt. Some days nothing lay there, and on those days we fasted without complaint. We knew how to fast, and more than anything we wanted to please God.

Lila instructed everyone in camp to turn their heads away from us if they saw us working on their holy ground, and to have no compassion for us, as “God Himself had none.” “They’re mere cleaning women,” she said. “They’re not one of us anymore.” They called us “women set aside,” and later “prisoners.” Lila prophesied that if we failed to “fully repent,” and be “completely broken,” that we would “dry up on the vine,” and be cast in hell to burn forever—anathematized. This was our last chance to get it right. Our hope depended on our dying to ourselves, hushing our own internal dialogues, our own thoughts too shallow for the likes of God: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LordAs the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55-8-9 

Jim’s right though, we could’ve left, we weren’t physically locked up. Fear of Lila and Jim’s God is what kept us there. We believed we were prisoners under God’s wrath. 

—>Source: Attorneys argue over the bond for a religious leader accused of child abuse, kidnapping