10Oct/14

Freedom of Mind by Steve Hassan

Steve Hassan, a highly respected opponent of destructive cults has produced several books which we consider the leading resources for helping you help those that you love to escape abusive churches. Hassan has been involved in educating the public about mind control, controlling groups and destructive cults since 1976.

Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs is Steve Hassan’s latest book that provides knowledge and awareness needed to help yourself and your loved ones leave controlling people, cults and beliefs. This comprehensive book  book combines Hassan’s innovative approach (called Strategic Interactive Approach) with effective and practical application to  helping free a human being from the bondage of mental manipulation.

Other Reviews:

This book captures Steven’s excellent thoughts on what goes on in controlling groups that exercise undue influence on people’s lives. I found this book highly relevant, having just left a “new religious movement” in 2011. Steven’s BITE model and revamped strategy helped me immensely. I can now understand much more clearly what I was going through, what I experienced and most importantly, why I feel and act certain ways as I recover from an overdose of Bible study. I really appreciated Steven’s respect for all beliefs. His books gives me the articulations I couldn’t express on my own.  — Amazon Customer

I thought this was an excellent book. Having been in a spiritually abusive church with many of the same issues Mr Hassan spoke about, this book is helping me to let go of the cult mindset. It takes a long time to get free of this sort of mindset and one should not expect easy answers. I am about 1/4 of the way through the book and am taking my time reading it. I am so thankful to him for writing this book. — Patrick A. Greene (Amazon)

My family walked away from a small cult fourteen months ago. I wish someone had read this book for my sake while we were still in it. Despite making the decision to leave on our own, it was very lonely and frightening. Friends and family did their best to support us, but they really had no idea what we had been through or how to help. To them, we had just left a crazy church. They could not imagine what we had actually experienced, nor was I sure we should tell them. In fact, I did not completely understand it myself. — Tereasa (Amazon)

This book is intelligently written and clearly spells out the warning signs and hidden dangers of groups that secretly exercise mind control. It details the steps used to lure and keep even the most highly intelligent people unaware they are living in a cult. This book is a must read for anyone trying to recover from such involvement. By understanding the dynamics, it will help them untangle their minds and heal. I highly recommend this book. — Gail Tredwell (Amazon)

This is the third book that is written by Steven Hassan and I have been fortunate enough to read them all. For almost twenty years I was a member of a destructive cult, without knowing it. Even after leaving that cult, still I didn’t know that I was a member of a destructive cult under worst kind of mind manipulation. I have to thank Steven greatly as his first book opened my eyes and showed me the way out of predicament of being a member of a cult and leaving it. His book showed me the way how to deal with `paranoia’ and `phobia’ that we take with ourselves from the cult. How to face family and friends once more and be able to socialize with people, even strangers as a normal person, trust them and show them usual affections. I am sure Steven has helped many individuals out of the cult and has showed them the way how to deal with problems of after cult, but I feel this book will help many who have a loved one in a cult and are not fortunate enough to know people like Steven and cannot get personal assistance. Using this book they can understand their loved ones, their sufferings, their change of personality and how to face them and how to help them out of the cult, people who are not American or reside in America. Once more, I love to thank him very much and applaud him for his tireless effort in helping people out of destructive cults. – Masoud

10Oct/14

My Spiritual Inheritance by Juanita Bynum

In My Spiritual Inheritance: Walking In Your Destiny, Juanita Bynum discusses the importance of authority and submission to church leaders, describing it in terms of family relationships. Bynum addresses the leadership in the church and encourages them to act as spiritual parents. According to Bynum, the blessings many Christians seek can only be found through having a relationship with someone (pastor) who can pass on this “spiritual inheritance.” Bynum also suggests to the believers to submit under the authority of the pastors in order for the believer to get his/her ‘spiritual inhertance’.

My Spiritual Inheritance encourages the authority of the pastors, where there is a possibility and potential to be misused and abused. This book tells that one need to be obedient and submit to the pastor, even if they are wrong — because God will bless you for it. And if you don’t submit and obey, you will never get your spiritual inheritance.

Other Reviews:

This book is just another avenue for the Shepherding Movement to be rekindled. The “covering” philosophy is not a biblical one. The word covering is not even mentioned in this context in the Bible. It is an adaptation of the “Shepherding Movement” doctrine started back in the 70’s in Fort Lauderdale Florida. The only covering the body of Christ needs is Jesus himself. There is nothing wrong with having spiritual parents who can foster your growth and yes we should love and reverence those who are feeding us the Word of God. But people like Mrs. Bynum-Weeks will take it to the next level as if your blessing will be cut off if you do not jump through hoops for your man or woman of God. Many people who have taken on the Shepherding/Covering philosophy have misused and abused people in the name of God and tried to control them. In other words, if a “shepherd” tells you to do something that you may find to be contrary to the Spirit of Christ in you or the Word of God, you must still obey because this person is your covering. This is what Juanita believes. — Halley (Amazon)

As much as I like the teachings of Pastor Bynum-Weeks on holiness and living right before God, she unfortunately has missed the mark on this one. When the Bible says that we are to regard older members of the church as mothers and fathers, it does not mean implicit obedience without spiritual discernment. We are to obey the Word of God first and foremost! And pastors are not above correction or reproof because they are ‘the Lord’s anointed’. –Marsena Cook (Amazon)

Although Bynum does not have enough historical knowledge to be aware of it, this dangerous little book attempts to revive the dangerous teachings of the shepherding movement of the ’70s, which elevated the authority of pastors over that of the still, small, internal voice of the Spirit. — Eucatastrophe (Amazon)

10Oct/14

Under Cover by John Bevere

In 2001, Thomas Nelson published Under Cover: The Promise of Protection Under His Authority by John Bevere, a book which promotes Bevere’s teaching on authority, submission and spiritual covering. The book has been a best seller and has been translated to over twenty languages. Some reviews viewed Under Cover as the modern adaptation of Watchman Nee’s Spiritual Authority.

This book could be viewed as a modern adaptation and application of Watchman Nee’s Spiritual Authority. It contains helpful truths on respect, honor and obedience to authority… However, the fatal flaw of the book continues the pervasive view in the body of Christ of the improper power flow of authority from God to the leader and then to the people. It is paternalism all over again, failing to distinguish jurisdictions and the differing nature of authority as well as leaving out the proper bottom-up lawful appeals process in each governmental institution, with virtually all discernment left at the leadership and hierarchy level of governmental control. – Paul Jehl, TNT Church

The main focus of Under Cover is teaching on obedience to ‘delegated authority’ and the spiritual covering it provides. Once a believer submit and obey to pastoral authority, it guarantees protection from God. But failure to submit and obey the pastor places the believer out from spiritual covering of God. This book tells the readers that to disobey the leader, even when the leader is wrong, is to disobey God because the leader is always in authority and God the ultimate authority.  Clearly, this book by John Bevere is a manual for spiritual abuse.

John Bevere, I believe, is a sincere man of God who intends to encourage God’s people with biblical truth; however, on this subject I found his handling of Scripture a bit misplaced in some instances. He tends to rely heavily on the traditional ideals of positional leadership and authority, which are popular among most of those who teach “covering theology.” While Bevere’s handling of the subject is perhaps a bit more graceful than some, it is still primarily the same ol’ traditional view that is backed by scarce biblical support. In fact, one has to rely principly upon Old Testament texts to really push this view of leadership because the New Testament pattern is so different. The concept of “church covering” is not even found one time in the New Testament and Jesus, in fact, told His disciples NOT to serve His body as “authorities” who were over them, bearing titles and having men address them as such (Luke 22:25-27; Matthew 23:8012). — Nobody777 (Amazon)

This is one of the most abusive and manipulative teachings under the classification “Christian literature” that I have ever read. While the idea and importance of submitting to God’s inherent authority is indisputable, the agendaized, one-sided presentation of it is categorically false. In this book Bevere neglects to teach the full council of God as represented by Christ in his resistance to the religious authority of His day. — R. Cason (Amazon)

This is not a Biblical sound book, the author tries to “prove” his points with scripture but often twists the scriptures and often takes them out of context. This is the number one book that controling and manipulating Pastors give their members to get them into fear and obey them more than God. Hans Kronbck (Amazon)

Bevere promotes an unbiblical view of authority that will only feed the present day error of the clergy/laity system. — Seeking Disciple (Amazon)

And just like Spiritual Authority by Watchman Nee, any church that requires this books  should be look twice.