The Glory Has Departed


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Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Recovering from an Abusive Cult - Like WELS, ELS, CLC (sic)


One cat does not belong in this cult.

The first step in recovering from an abusive cult like the Wisconsin Synod is to be kicked out or hated out. Some resign in disgust, as I did.

The Wisconsin cult loves to drive people out and then encourage them back in, once their spirit of rebellion is broken. Since everyone they knew was shunning them, the prospect seems pleasing. But that is a big mistake.

The Wisconsin cult, the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, and the Church of the Lutheran Confession (sic) exist as abusive groups. The horrible treatment of pastors, teachers, wives, and children is not incidental to the sect but its substantial identity. The only escape is to be born to the purple, as the Byzantine Empire liked to call this status. Born to the purple means "coming from the right family," which certifies someone for high office, even if (or especially if) lacking in IQ and ability.

Some are adopted in and given a free pass - which is the purpose of WELS/ELS Church and Change. This adoption brings immunity from prosecution and unemployment. Pastoral adultery breaks up a marriage in the parish? No problem - the lout becomes a mission counselor in the same region. Sure, everyone knows, but that will last a short time and be covered up by a thick layer of slander aimed at the innocent. DUI? - There is no Ministers Against Drunk Driving. Instead, the cult moves their drunks around, kill the evidence with help from lawyers, and maintain silence about the truth. "There is no love like the love of one drunk for another." Homer Jackson

If you want a friend in the WELS Cult,
get a dog.

When things are boiling over for a moment - in the abusive sects - watch out for the suddenly sympathetic ear. That person is reporting directly to the DP and enjoying the GA game of being a Soft.

Some are asking - what about the LCMS? They certainly engage in abuse, but as an oceanographer said, "The solution to pollution is dilution." Missouri definitely started as an abusive sex cult, but the influence of the Waltherian Clapto-Calvinists has been watered down. They have many circles of loyalists to various causes, such as women's ordination, gay ordination, union with ELCA, Church Growth, Pentecostalism, and Return to Holy Mother Rome. The pollution is diluted, but definitely there. They grab Yale-style tuition from MDiv students and refuse to ordain them, even letting some serve a parish a few years before gutting them in public.

Dilution is also the solution for WELS-ELS-CLC (sic) victims. The abusive leaders seriously wound their victims and leave emotional scars while making sure everyone lies about the victims as an excuse for shunning them. That includes relatives and close friends, not to mention business associates. Anyone who stays remains part of the abuse and engages in the same lying and abuse.

The worst thing is to stay in the cult and complain about it. When the president of Northwestern College was trying to run Kovaciny out of the ministry for complaining about hazing abuse, the Voss complaint was - "He did not like GA!" (That was from many years before.) Kovo escaped that one but remained fully committed to the system of abuse. As one person said recently, "His wife is a Hagedorn, and a Hagedorn was a founder of WELS."

This immunity from prosecution does not serve the pastors, teachers, and laity who only seem to prosper from it. They lose any sense of right and wrong, feeling the oppression of God's judgment without knowing or even recognizing the Gospel. Cult behavior is the garden of apostasy.

The best way to dilute the influence is to get to know the vast majority of believers who have little knowledge or experience with the secretive rules of abusive cults.



Unless you are one of the few who are on the “inside” of the movement, I suspect that you too will be astounded and dismayed exactly as I was. This is a must read for all thinking believers who wish to protect their churches.

Veinot, Don (2003-08-25). A Matter of Basic Principles (Kindle Locations 27-29). Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc. Kindle Edition.

I became very suspicious of the Duggar Cult when I began hearing them use special words and dwell on their meaning. They even bragged about it and constantly taught that obedience to the Law was required for God blessing them.

"Nike" meant all the men had to look at the ground instead of seeing an attractive woman.  To see an attractive young woman was "defrauding the eyes." These notions came from the promiscuous abuser of young women - a regular Martin Stephan - Bill Gothard, still a major figure in the Tontitown home of the Duggars.

Gothard’s booklet Establishing Biblical Standards of Courtship opens with a picture of a handsome couple riding bicycles together. Beneath the picture are the following words: Is this couple dating, or courting? The answer will have an important effect upon their lives, the lives of their families, and (if they marry) the lives of those in every generation which follows. There is a definite and vital difference between courtship and dating. Unless this difference is understood and the principles of courtship are applied, defrauding and hurts can result, as well as lasting physical, mental, and spiritual consequences.9

Veinot, Don (2003-08-25). A Matter of Basic Principles (Kindle Locations 4136-4141). Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc. Kindle Edition. 

Here is a good description of WELS, the Little Sect on the Prairie, and the CLC (sic):

Paralyzing Fear Fear of making a deadly mistake is yet another reason people stay in abusive religious groups. One woman who called the Midwest Christian Outreach help-line had been a Jehovah’s Witness for 25 years. She was very unhappy as a Witness, but she was scared to death to leave. You see, a Jehovah’s Witness is taught that everyone outside of that organization is soon to be destroyed by God at Armageddon. This fear draws many into the group in the first place, and this same fear keeps many of them there even when they want so badly to breathe free. The woman had quit going to meetings, she said, but she lived in fear — not merely for herself, which she could tolerate, but the fear that she would be responsible for the destruction of her family who quit going when she did. We are happy to report that she listened to what we had to say and courageously left that organization. She accepted Christ and started attending a church, yet it took a long time to completely eradicate the fear of Armageddon that had been drummed into her. Having realized she had been so terribly deceived by them, she had a hard time trusting that she had made the correct judgment this time. It is really no different in IBLP. The Gothardites’ fear is not that of being destroyed at Armageddon but that their lives and their families will be destroyed, and God will reject them and punish them for leaving. After all, God has given Gothard all of the principles that, if followed obediently, protect families from divorce, teen rebellion, grave illness, financial loss, and other horrors. They’ve been persuaded that God works and blesses only through Gothard’s chain of authority — there’s no telling what catastrophic events might befall them if they get out from under this umbrella. These are issues which pastors and church leaders need to understand in order to be prepared to minister to such individuals. Many fine Christians have unwittingly switched their loyalties from God to Gothard and are very afraid to go against his teachings. In their minds, to do so might mean loss of family unity and God’s blessing. These individuals need Christian love and compassion to unwind and let go of their fears. For years, the Bible has meant what Gothard says that it means. It is important to go over Scripture with them, asking them to look closely at the text. This will help them greatly to see that often the text itself teaches the very opposite of what Gothard has taught. Once they begin to grasp the significance of this, their fear will dissipate as their devotion is turned away from Gothard and back to God where it belongs.

Veinot, Don (2003-08-25). A Matter of Basic Principles (Kindle Locations 5271-5291). Midwest Christian Outreach, Inc. Kindle Edition. 

 The notorious Bill Gothard and some Duggar children.