Gretchen’s Story – Readers’ Comments

Comments from Readers December 2004, Bob Franzese, an AK from Omaha: "I would like to commend Gretchen W. on her well thought-out and extremely well written article about the Assembly in Omaha and the major issues that surrounded it. It was flat-out spot-on accurate. I am sure it took a lot of courage to write … Continue reading Gretchen’s Story – Readers’ Comments

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Gretchen’s Story – Conclusion

We now know the Assembly is a cult Wellspring Retreat has characterized the Geftakys Assembly as a T.A.C.O. -- a Totalist Aberrant Christian Organization. Refer to the article "Identifiying a Cult" for a good summary of cult characteristics. The Omaha Assembly was led almost exclusively by Mike Zach. He still holds a strong influence over … Continue reading Gretchen’s Story – Conclusion

Gretchen’s Story – Part 7

"The group's language serves the purpose of constructing their thinking and shutting down critical thinking abilities. "Groupspeak" forces members to censor, edit and slow down spontaneous bursts of criticism or opposite ideas. Soon members find it easier to talk among themselves than with outsiders, who are given derogatory names such as "of Satan," "unconverted," etc." … Continue reading Gretchen’s Story – Part 7

Gretchen’s Story – Part 4

Demand for Purity "Unreasonable rules and unreachable standards are imposed upon the members. The critical, shaming essence of the cult environment is gradually internalized by the members, which builds lots of guilt and shame, further magnifying their dependence on the group. Individuals easily feel inadequate, but are more willing to submit to this because the … Continue reading Gretchen’s Story – Part 4

Gretchen’s Story – Part 3

Mystical Manipulation "The group attributes supernatural influences where none are present: attributing an accident to a member who left to be due to "God's punishment", or manipulating situations so they appear spontaneous. Members believe that their new feelings and behavior have arisen spontaneously because of joining their new group. The effect is enhanced by the … Continue reading Gretchen’s Story – Part 3

The fellowship of the Holy Spirit: Prequel….

This morning I ran across something I had written a year ago about recognizing God's presence in daily life: I was reading through the really great encouragements in the "Light from the Word" section of the GA.com website this morning. It struck me repeatedly that a part of me was responding, "These thoughts made more sense to me … Continue reading The fellowship of the Holy Spirit: Prequel….