Church of Wells/YMBBA Ministries



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Media » Raw Story, NPR, more » 9/25/2016 12:34 am

Tom
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Raw Story
Here’s why members of this creepy cult of screaming Christians keep getting arrested
12 April 2016
http://www.rawstory.com/2016/04/heres-why-members-of-this-creepy-cult-of-screaming-christians-keep-getting-arrested/



EXCLUSIVE: INSIDE THE CHURCH OF WELLS
23 June 2016
http://abc13.com/religion/exclusive-inside-the-church-of-wells/1399025/
http://cdn.abclocal.go.com/content/ktrk/images/cms/1399032_300x169.jpg




Controversial street preacher brings ministry (and legal troubles) to Saranac Lake
13 July 2016
http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/32216/20160713/controversial-street-preacher-brings-ministry-and-legal-troubles-to-saranac-lake
http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/photos/news/md/564033_1.jpg




Controversial ministry  
Rick Trudeau brings his fierce preaching home to Saranac Lake
13 July 2016
http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/564033.html



Evangelists Cause Mixed Reactions at Pride Night Club
31 July 2016
http://www.bigcountryhomepage.com/news/main-news/evangelists-cause-mixed-reactions-at-pride-night-club



Christian activists jailed twice
Two men disturb church service, demonstrate downtown
19 March 2016
http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/photos/news/md/560746_1.jpg

http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/page/content.detail/id/560746/Christian-activists-jailed-twice.html?nav=5008
 

Cases » The Family/Children of God » 2/09/2015 5:55 pm

Tom
Replies: 2

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http://www.sfgate.com/img/print-header-logo.png

MIXED MEMORIES OF 'THE FAMILY' / SEX: Ex-member believed abuse ‘normal’ 
Don Lattin, Chronicle Religion Writer
Sunday, February 27, 2005


http://ww3.hdnux.com/photos/10/20/34/2164482/5/920x920.jpg
Jim LaMattery sits with his daughter Krisit, 28, at his home in San Diego, CA on Tuesday, February 8, 2005. Jim joined a cult in 1969 and left 5 years later as the group started to get wacky. His wife, who stayed, kidnapped his 2 daughters and raised them in Mexico, Thailand and elsewhere. kristie was subjected to sexual abuse for most of her life, and fled when she was 18.


Kristi La Mattery was 8 years old when she got her first lesson in flirty fishing,” a practice in which female missionaries in the Children of God were sent out as sacred prostitutes to bring lost and lonely souls into their fellowship of love.

It was 1984. Kristi and her sister were brought into the shower by their mother and given some detailed instructions on feminine hygiene. Here’'s how Kristi recalls their conversation: 
“Mommy has to sleep with a lot men, honey, and it’s important that she keep clean.”“
Why?
”“Because God is asking me to.”“
But what if they are all fat and ugly?”“
You just pray to the Lord, dear, and he will give you the strength to do it.”

Kristi’'s mother was a devoted member of the Children of God --— a religious sect founded in 1968 by Oakland native David “Moses” Berg. Berg was a radical Southern California street preacher who combined the free love of the sexual revolution with the religious fervor of the American evangelical movement. He died in 1993, but his sect lives on today as the Family International. Over the past three decades, thousands of children have been born into the Children of God and the Family.

Kristi is among a growing number of second-generation defectors who blame leaders of the sect for crea

Cases » The Family/Children of God » 2/09/2015 5:46 pm

Tom
Replies: 2

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Charismatic Leaders Gave Birth to New Faiths But Can They Survive?

Escaping a Free Love Legacy / Children of God sect hopes it can overcome sexy image 
Don Lattin, Chronicle Religion Writer
Wednesday, February 14, 2001

Children of god "Moses" Berg attracted thousands with his prophesies about Christianity and free sex. Now the children born from those unions are living his legacy.

They are the children of the Children of God, a new generation of freewheeling Christian revolutionaries. According to their detractors, they are heretics, cultists and polygamists, spawned by a twisted prophet preaching a strange brew of Christian compassion and free love. But to Sarah Lieberman, the oldest of 10 children born to a female member of the sect, the Children of God have been misunderstood and maligned.

http://ww2.hdnux.com/photos/10/47/75/2260861/7/920x920.jpg
Sara "Promise" Lieberman did not want a photographer to come to her house where she lives in a group home with other members of Children of God so the meeting place was a park in Orange County. CHRONICLE PHOTO BY DEANNE FITZMAURICE

"People think this is all about sex," said Lieberman, 25. "But it's greater than sexual relations. It's about how you relate and feel about people. It's about loving God with all your soul."

Founded in the late 1960s by David "Moses" Berg, this underground church was one of the most notorious sects of the 1970s and '80s. Christian history is replete with movements inspired by self-proclaimed prophets - messianic leaders who claim they are the mouthpiece for God. Few of those prophets, however, were as obsessed with sex as David Berg.

"We have a sexy God and a sexy religion with a very sexy leader with an extremely sexy young following," Berg wrote. "So if you don't like sex, you better get out while you can."

Berg

Cases » The Family/Children of God » 2/09/2015 5:34 pm

Tom
Replies: 2

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http://ww4.hdnux.com/photos/10/47/75/2260863/7/920x920.jpg



http://www.sfgate.com/img/print-header-logo.png


Children of a Lesser God / THE PATH: Coming of new age for alternative religions
Don Lattin, Chronicle Religion Writer Sunday, February 11, 2001

Their parents came of age in that burst of idealism and naivete known as the '60s, joining utopian movements and religious sects that promised to save the world through communal living, Krishna consciousness and the messianic visions of L. Ron Hubbard and Sun Myung Moon.They sold flowers in airports, chanted on street corners, flew off to India and worked tirelessly to plant alternative religions in Judeo-Christian soil.They also married and made babies. While their parents were out spreading a counterculture gospel, the kids were left behind in nurseries, boarding schools and communal farms. Some felt abandoned and abused. Others blossomed.

Navigating the path to adulthood can be hard for any adolescent. But it can be an especially arduous journey for children in spiritual movements going through their own growing pains. This four-day series follows the lives of children born into four of the most infamous "youth cults" of the late 1960s, '70s and early '80s. Founded by charismatic leaders in the 1950s and '60s, these four crusades burst onto the national consciousness during the "cult wars" of the '70s. Since then, they have struggled to overcome the foibles of their leaders, rehabilitate damaged reputations and gain acceptance in the larger religious community.

In 1950, a science-fiction writer named L. Ron Hubbard published a book called "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health," and gave birth to what would soon be known as the Church of Scientology. Hubbard died in 1986, by which time his blend of marketing, psychotherapy and spiritualism had already grown into one of the era's wealthiest and most controversial movements.

F

CoW members » Australian connections » 2/09/2015 5:15 pm

Tom
Replies: 16

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Let's talk about the relationship with David Sester, for a sec.

David Sester is from "The Family." Known by a long list of other names -- "Children of God," "Family of Love," and its most current versions - "The Family International" (TFI) "Activated Ministries," and "Aurora Productions" -- to just name a few. His father is an active member. David and his siblings were raised in the The Family, characterized by children being raised by other members in large group homes, moved around from one location to another and to other countries, at a moment's notice. This is the same cult that actor River Phoenix and his brothers came out of. David is what's known as an 'SGA', a Second-Generation Adult.

Posted on a YouTube "Kiddie Viddie" (produced by The Family):
http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv348%3A8%3Enu%3D44%3A7%3E%3A52%3E434%3EWSNRCG%3D35%3C379%3B%3B%3C5346nu0mrj



Posted on a "Children of God" HBO documentary:
http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv3%3C794%3Enu%3D44%3A7%3E%3A52%3E434%3EWSNRCG%3D35%3C37756%3A3346nu0mrj

http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv3%3C989%3Enu%3D44%3A7%3E%3A52%3E434%3EWSNRCG%3D35%3C37895%3B7346nu0mrj

http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv37659%3Enu%3D44%3A7%3E%3A52%3E434%3EWSNRCG%3D35%3C379%3B%3B%3C9346nu0mrj





All of the children are harmed, but the impact on the girls is frightening and tragic. These are David's sisters. The two of them have a website they use for 'witnessing' for Jesus. 
http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv3%3A%3B%3C%3B%3Enu%3D44%3A7%3E%3A52%3E434%3EWSNRCG%3D35%3C3775698346nu0mrj

http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv3467%3A%3Enu%3D44%3A7%3E%3A52%3E434%3EWSNRCG%3D35%3C379%3B%3B%3C2346nu0mrj

[img]http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv39%3A3%3B%3Enu%3D44%3A

CoW members » Australian connections » 2/09/2015 2:58 pm

Tom
Replies: 16

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The Australian contingent is taking on a bigger role these days. Let's check in.

• Matthew Bagnall and Damien Gloury completed their American Church of Wells hiatus and went home. Boy, they were busy! They helped the group stave off angry local citizens and close down the R&R Mercantile, transitioning the sawmill to the new Alto property and helping with construction of the group's church building. 
http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv38585%3Enu%3D44%3A7%3E%3A52%3E434%3EWSNRCG%3D35%3C37%3B6337346nu0mrj


• We lost track of Kevin Fessler, the Church of Wells plant to Australia. Question: How does Fessler get in trouble with police and still get to stay in Australia?
http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv33974%3Enu%3D44%3A7%3E%3A52%3E434%3EWSNRCG%3D35%3C377569%3A346nu0mrj


• New recruit Isaac Anderson is still with the Sawmill Brothers in Texas, as far as we know. Hope he made any required court appearances back in Australia. If he skips out, that might be something he regrets. [Note to the Texan and Australian "elders": please teach your young protégé to be respectful of law of the land in every country. It's just better that way.]
http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv3%3C842%3Enu%3D44%3A7%3E%3A52%3E434%3EWSNRCG%3D35%3A%3B%3C58%3A77346nu0mrj


• American ex-pat David Fester (Hawaii) is back in Australia. Now there's an interesting guy. One wonders what passport he travels under?

• Church of Wells elder Jacob Gardner is in Australia now. Jake has forged new bonds - the Slavic Pentecostal Church. A wide-spread group with "church plantings" all over the world. Well-established in the United States and Canada. A vague undefined family relationship with Paul Melnichuk and his Prayer Palace in Toronto. Charged with alleged sexual abuse in January.
[img]http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv36949%3Enu%3D44%3A7%

"Elders" books/websites » The Church of Wells Responds » 1/22/2015 7:52 pm

Tom
Replies: 6

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I only wish Leonard Ravenhill was here to speak for himself. God rest his soul.

"Elders" books/websites » The Church of Wells Responds » 1/22/2015 5:53 pm

Tom
Replies: 6

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Here's an illustration of how this all plays out.

So, dude in Church of Wells exchanges Facebook messages back and forth with a friend from the "outside." Probably somebody he used to know.

http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv375%3B8%3Enu%3D44%3A7%3E%3A52%3E434%3EWSNRCG%3D35%3B9%3B%3B62%3C%3A346nu0mrj


So back in December, 'Z' took the trouble to read Sean Morris' stuff at his friend's request. Church of Wells guy is going to pray about two requests. What that means is that these guys are supposed to be prayerful, think hard, talk it over with the elders, get feedback on how to make simple communication with other humans.
Apparently he blew him off. Z tries again.

http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv3553%3A%3Enu%3D44%3A7%3E%3A52%3E434%3EWSNRCG%3D35%3B9%3B%3B66%3C2346nu0mrj


Oh, must not have been too prayerful. He forgot about it.
So Z posts Preacher Ravenhill's family's public statements about Sean Morris and Ryan Ringnald using Leonard Ravenhill sermons and images in Church of Wells' materials and videos. His friend responds by directing him to the "Church of Wells Responds" website. Okay, that's an interesting response. What's the deal? Why does he direct him back to the same stuff as an answer?

Well, let's see what it says. Maybe there really is an answer there somewhere...
So we click on the link. This is what we see. Great! It's an Answer!

http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv377%3C8%3Enu%3D44%3A7%3E%3A52%3E434%3EWSNRCG%3D35%3B9%3B%3B66%3C4346nu0mrj


Uh oh. "...have we really heard what he said?"  This doesn't sound good. Yeah, probably not, right? Multitudes, but only Church of Wells reeaaally heard him, right?
We click on it to see what didn't we hear, and this is what we get.

[img]http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv38742%3Enu%3D44%3A7%3E%3A52%3E434%3EWSNRCG%3D35%3B9%3B%3B6

"Elders" books/websites » The Church of Wells Responds » 1/21/2015 2:58 pm

Tom
Replies: 6

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More. Now Jake Gardner on persecution.




Okay. It's about how all Christians are wrong. No one is behaving like real Christians except them. Rephrasing - more of the same, we're good, you're bad, blah blah blah. Doesn't address how it is that Church of Wells believes this. Nothing about how they arrived at this position. No explanation for how exactly the Texas Boys are being persecuted. It's a 16-minute monologue on how everyone else is fake Christian and mean, and they are noble sinless Christians walking with Jesus.


"It wasn't the more dignified and noble I became, but the more undignified and ignoble I became, the more trouble I got in..."

Ignoble. Wrong word there, Jake. 'Ignoble' doesn't mean what you think it means.
http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv3%3C438%3Enu%3D44%3A7%3E%3A52%3E434%3EWSNRCG%3D35%3B9%3A29686346nu0mrj
  

• After he "got right with God (in 2007)," God warned him that he was going to be "purged."

"He was gonna take me to the point of death but He wouldn't deliver me over unto death."
"I was going to be cast out of modern Christianity; I was going to make an exit from modern contemporary American mega-church Christianity. At the time, I was a leader in this church...and had been for years at that point."

When you were 15, Jake?

He says that was one of the "first great persecutions" he had endured. Apparently the Church of Wells considers the concept of established church discipline policy to be persecution

"We don't have to go looking for trouble; we don't have to go looking for persecution. God will see to it."

Uh, that's a contradiction. Then why are you?

• Conclusion: Jake Gardner is Sean, Ryan and Cory's very first cult recruit. They completely reprogrammed this young teenager, then rewarded him by making him "Elder."
 

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