08 February, 2009

We're Only as Sick as Our Secrets

I learned something last weekend. I learned why I hardly ever hear from old brothers and sisters from my time with Gene Edwards. I gave my life to them and to Gene for 10 years, and somehow I seldom even hear from them. Oh, and I also learned why they never hear from me. And I think I figured out how to stop some of the bleeding.

Step one is to realize most of us are bleeding.

A couple hundred lovers of the Lord in a dozen or so cities across America and Europe stepped into the glorious unknown. We all hoped to advance the glory of Christ by restoring the testimony of the church. We wanted to work together to bring a deeper, truer, simpler way of fellowshipping with each other and with Christ. We wanted the Christian life to move into our living rooms, where it was so sorely missed. Gene Edwards gave us a vision, and we fell in love with each other pouring out our hearts and souls and climbing that highest mountain. Gene welcomed us into his plans and in turn, we embraced him and each other whole-heartedly.

All those churches died under Gene's tutelage. Their deaths and our wounds were ugly affairs, each stage-managed by Gene personally. Each of the deaths had a unique fingerprint, but I've noticed one consistent outcome. Nobody knows what happened. Nobody knows what happened to the other brothers and sisters. Nobody knows what happened to Gene. Nobody knows what happened to the brothers who were supposed to bail them out. Nobody even really knows what happened to them. Everything that mattered was a secret.

John and Jane Doe were members of a church in Jonesville, and they know how that church died, but they don't know what really happened. They know about "The Incident" and the "Emergency Meetings" and "Who left first," but they don't know "Anything that Matters."

John and Jane don't know why Joe and June quit talking to them about anything that mattered. They don't know why Jim and Jody were always Gene's favorites, or why Jack and Jan thought Gene hated them. They don't know why they don't hear from anyone any more, and they don't know why they think about calling but don't quite pick up the phone.

Secrets work like that.

We need to tell our stories.

We need to hear each other's stories.

This weekend I heard a couple stories, and things that plagued me for ten years melted away. In one evening and an afternoon, ten years of loneliness made sense. I began to feel reunited to my brothers and sisters. I did not hear what I wanted to hear, and it was still healing. In one case, I heard almost the opposite of what I wanted to hear, but I heard the truth and it was perfect. I heard what actually happened. It was just the truth, but the truth changes everything.

Gene taught us to hide the truth.

That was all well and good while I believed he was trying to protect people who deserved a second chance, but I don't believe that any more. After all these years, and after talking to the people who were there, the only thing Gene ever deeply cared about protecting was his work.

That explains why Gene never told anyone the truth, but it leaves an open question about why no one else told what they knew of the truth. We were all silent about the things that mattered. What did our brothers and sisters think as they were bleeding? Or as they watched others bleed? And why did they do what they did? None of us knows because no one talked, and that's no accident. Gene repeatedly and forcefully indoctrinated silence into us. He taught us that speaking of anything that matters is undermining the worker, and that undermining the worker was a grave sin.

Gene once told us, "I consider you to have neither honor, nor integrity, nor honesty, nor trustworthiness if you in any way undermine another man's work. Nor can I personally extend my fellowship to one who does."

We learned this lesson well.

We honored Gene and we honored God to the best of our abilities in refusing to undermine Gene's work. When we doubted, we spoke to no one. If one of us disagreed with any brother, even the most or the least disagreeable brother, we'd wrestle through to a satisfying conclusion. We grew close that way, and it was beautiful. But you could tell right away when a brother started disagreeing with Gene. He'd grow agreeable. He'd start going along with anything, and grow silent. He'd start having secrets. Then he'd announce he was leaving, and reserve the reason why. We'd all mollify each other with kind words and friendly smiles, and one day we'd help him pack and he was gone.

Gene warned us repeatedly of the power of words to destroy, and that only silence could glorify God. Only in silent suffering could a man not undermine the work of God. Only in silent suffering could the man with authority know how the Holy Spirit would measure his work. Only in silent suffering could the man without authority know the Holy Spirit would guard him. If a man spoke, he was hindering the Spirit. Gene taught us it was the Lord's church, not ours, and the Lord would defend it.

Silence, he told us, was the route to safety.

But that was all a smokescreen.

It was a lie.

Gene, himself, did not practice silence. I know it for a fact.

I sat and listened as Gene lied about practicing silence in the middle of a church crisis. I listened to him tell the leading brothers of a church he would never defend his work with words. Hours earlier I'd I heard him plotting and describing to us how he would defend his work with words. His promise to not defend the church with words was one of the things he'd told us he'd say to defend his work in that church. I listened while he patted himself on the back for his own cunning.

Three times I was personally ordered by Gene, face-to-face, to find a way to get three different churches to quit listening to three different brothers in those churches. Gene perceived a threat from them, and he told me to take them out. (In Scotland, Romania, and Florida. If any of you brothers wonder what I did, just ask. Gene rated me a failure all three times.)

In Gene's books and personal appearances he always advocated silence, but behind closed doors he undermined his own words. Why would he do this?

It's a pattern familiar to any woman or child who's suffered abuse.

An abusive husband relentlessly presses for control of his victim (don't call her a "wife" - that's a dishonor to the word.) Whether he gains control through seduction or battering, through flattery or belittling, through bribery or deprivation, he will have control - whatever the cost. The first thing he must do to win that control is isolate his victim from anyone who might help her.

We who gave our lives to Gene were already well isolated. To varying degrees, and sometimes to a great degree, we were isolated from families, from outside friends, from Christians who didn't follow Gene, from leaders in other churches, and even from great Christian writers and thinkers who had the misfortune of not being promoted by Gene.

Gene was isolated, too, but in a different sense. Gene reported to no one, except his secretaries and his wife. No one knew the whole counsel of Gene's heart and no one could speak with gravity into his life. Gene consistently claimed to be under the oversight of someone, but who that was changed on a regular basis and I never heard of that oversight making any difference in his plans. For a brief period my name was on that list, and I can certify he never heard anything from me that made him change his mind about the least thing. Maybe others fared better.

So far as I know, there was only one thing that impinged upon Gene's total control over his churches - those same churches.

Individuals in the various churches sometimes had opinions of their own, opinions that could spread and create tension and raise difficult questions . And Gene was never happy with difficult. If a brother in Timbuktoo loved everything Gene said and loved Gene, but questioned whether there might be a better way to do some little thing, Gene would shut him down.

An accountant in our church once recommended Gene let us handle our donations to him a little differently, so as to make our tax records more audit-proof. His suggestion was good for Gene as much as for the churches, and as we all listened to him we were all impressed and happy. All but Gene, that is. Gene came down on that brother like a cornered animal. He fired that brother from all responsibility in the church, and did everything in his power to discredit him to us. We were not to tell that brother anything; we were to treat him as someone who had a hidden hatred for Gene. He made our rejection of that good brother a measure of whether we loved God's work.

We were already isolated from everyone on Earth, but Gene still needed to isolate us from each other.

Over the years, Gene did two things.

1) He invented the doctrine of silence.
It's not quite true Gene invented the doctrine of silence, of course. Search for "code of silence" and you'll find it's been around for a long time. You might just notice it's been polished and perfected largely by two classes of organization: the mafia and cults. One thing is sure, though. Gene's idea of silence was invented by someone, because it was never revealed by God in scripture. It's not there.

2) Gene made sure we always were afraid of each other.
I was not the only brother sent out to "take down" another brother. Whenever Gene felt a threat from a young brother, one thing would not happen and another thing would, just like clockwork. Gene would NOT talk to that brother at all, and he would send another man to teach the church to distrust that brother. It was brilliant, because it didn't just isolate the brother Gene found threatening. It also isolated the man obeying Gene by doing something we all found frightening and questionable, and it isolated everyone by creating an environment of distrust in each other.

When Gene put a knife in one brother's hands and required him to use it on another brother, everyone was wounded, the brother who felt the cut, the brother who dealt the cut, and the brothers who knew their day would come. He isolated all of us. It was a double bind. We knew any man who respected Gene could not be trusted, and any man who did not respect Gene could not be listened to.

It's also good old, traditional, spiritual abuse 101, and we bent our minds like pretzels trying to make sense of it.

Gene was either practicing something so holy that his methods were justified, or the thing to which we'd given our lives was a garden-variety cult. From here it looks like an easy decision, but when you've sold everything and fallen in love with brothers and sisters, even brothers and sisters with whom you are sharing terror, it's a big investment. It's hard to walk away from that investment. Still, given what I witnessed while I was allowed "behind the curtain" my doubts eventually became certainties. Following Gene was a corrosive force on every life I knew.

Gene's work is most destructive to those saints who most give themselves to it. It has to be, because his work is glued together with lies and manipulation. Truth would bring his house down. The day that truth "undermines another brother's work" is an ugly day indeed.

I am not breaking silence to bring Gene's work down, though. Gene's already done that himself. A thriving community of a dozen churches has been reduced to a single church diminished by splits. I'm breaking silence because this weekend I saw a little healing come to some of brothers and sisters, and I felt a little healing myself.

For ten years I've wondered what really happened when I left. I've wondered what damage I did when I followed Gene's orders. I've wondered whether the brothers and sisters I loved back then could still love me after all the water under the bridge.

Gene's teaching of silence isolated me for ten years in his church and for another ten years after I'd left, but this weekend I ignored that teaching. For the first time, I sat face-to-face with brothers and sisters and heard little bits of their stories and told little bits of mine.

It was good.

A few pages up I said I have an idea what we need to do to heal.

We are isolated because we were systematically taught to isolate ourselves. We all loved the exciting, deep, and happy bonds we formed with brothers and sisters, but there was one area in which each of us was isolated. On any question of Gene's control, we each stood and bled alone.

If we're going to heal, we need to break the silence. We need to tell and hear each other's stories.

I don't think there's a formula for how it has to happen, but an awful lot of us need it. Face-to-face, email, phone, or web posting all work for me, but I know they don't all work for everyone equally. Let's find something that works.

It's been a long time. I think it's time we stopped bleeding and told the truth.

Kevin Knox
(Email Address in Profile)

40 comments:

Bill said...

Kevin, I love you. And I love Gene. And I'm not going to argue with you. But you're very skewed here, and worse than you were a year ago.

I don't know what you thought Gene told you to do in those places, or why you made people cry when you spoke there. But I remember that he stopped sending you places right after that. Six months later you told me you were hoping to have a hand in shaping Gene's national movement. A year after that it was obvious that the rest of us were done being intimidated by your forcefulness, your natural legalism and your extra years of experience.

One night you were ready to strong arm myself and others into doing things your way, a certain way ("for the next year" were your exact words). At my inquiry, Gene gently suggested you had misinterpreted his instructions once again. Within six weeks you announced you were leaving.

I tried to discuss this with you by e-mail a year ago and you had a different recollection, which I challenged you to consider as potential "sour grapes". You remained adamant, and I hoped you'd got all this out of your system. But now you're inventing new slanders. Or others are.

Of course I don't know what you've been told or how true it may be. Of course there were and are many who will continue to gripe about what "happened to them" in our intimate communities. And if you want to paint Gene in a certain way as far as you understand his actions, go right ahead. But the truth is you were always a sour, somber, melancholy person, and you always admitted it. We used to tease you about constantly sucking on lemons, to get you to laugh.

Your Boromir post last year got it partially right. You saw a chance for self glory and you were crushed when you didn't get it. You need to find your own healing and move on, and if you want to help people who were hurt in our past, help them see the whole picture and how our own reactions to things play the major part. That's basic psychology. Instead, all you're doing is blaming a bogeyman, a caricature of someone you haven't seen in ten years - yet your negative assessment of him gets more extreme and your recollections get more exaggerated year by year.

I'll be happy to talk with you about what I know - I've always been game for learning from the past, good and bad. But you ought to take this post down. It's not a matter of covering up wrongs. It's a matter of common decency. Long ago, I used to expect better of you. I'm sorry to be so harsh and so blunt. I tried being gracious a year ago. But brother, your approach here is a shame.

You, Kevin Knox, once told me "It's a difficult thing to walk into a tent, backwards, holding a blanket." But if even one of your criticisms is true, you are doing the polar opposite. The Gene Edwards you knew is not the bogey-man you are trying to present to people. If you ever cared about helping him or anyone else to move past any mistakes that were made, these negative, slanderous rants are not the way to go about it.

We all tried our hand, collectively, at something that was impossible for our level of skill and experience. ALL of us made mistakes. I know a woman and man who blame you and me both for a tragic pedestrian fatality we could not have prevented! Now that's irrational, but they don't think so. On the other hand, I know lots of our brothers and sisters who've moved on in healthy ways, taking responsibility for a balanced view of their own criticisms. You, however, seem determined to rage, wail and blame.

There are better ways to learn from and heal from an imperfect past. I will help you get a postiive conversation going, but this is reprehensible.

If you don't pull this post down in a week or two, I'll probably come back here and delete this comment. I'm making it public because you made this post public. I hope it shocks you into reconsidering this path.

Please seek guidance about my input here, Kevin.

E-mail me privately if you want to talk about anything else.

Danny d said...

Brother you hit the nail on the head.
You are not skewed one bit.
I once went to a conference in Maine and slept in
Genes office(have a bad back and needed a couch or bed, not the floor) and looked at his library. Not one book on the Lord all on psychology ect.
Then i watched him use that knowledge in the churches. He was very impressive.
This has been going on since Isla Vista to maine through atlanta to jax.
Trust me i know and gene knows that very well.
40 years at this and he has 30 or so followers left.
Figure it out for yourself, thats less that one a year.
I'm sorry i find that laughable.
Still walking with the Lord.
Daniel Keith Devlin: dkdevlin@gmail.com

Kansas Bob said...

"I did not hear what I wanted to hear, and it was still healing."

Truth seems to be healing.. transparency always wins the day when it is accompanied by humility.

Sad that there is so little transparency in our churches these days.. congregations are kept in the dark about how their donations are spent. Staff compensation and other 'ministry' expenses are secret.. it is a dark aspect of church in America.

A sister said...

Based on my own experience in one of Genes churches, I see that Gene clearly has some huge faults, many of which were impossible to see when I was "in". Once I "stepped out", it was very hard to believe and accept all that went on in the way of manipulation. But the truth, no matter how painful it is, is a critical link to healing and moving on. I know firsthand of a group of people who have come out of one of the churches. They are able to embrace the foundation that was laid by Gene, Christ alone, and move forward. Not forgetting what they were put through at the hands of a madman, but not holding onto it either. Seeing it for what it was and what it wasn't, they are laying that waste aside and pursuing Christ again. It's possible people and it's wonderful.

Milly said...

I sat with a sister in Christ a few days ago. We spoke about our experiences while we were on a search for God. She was invited to a cult thought church and invited by some of the women to meet. “R” realized after the second meeting that the women were clearly evaluating her. She then found out that they had a list of things like when a wife was to have sex with her husband and so on. She never went back. She is now attending church where I am. Someone who knew that she had met with some of these folks seemed to judge her by saying that they couldn’t understand how anyone who was a Christian could join a cult. (I won’t give the name of that thought to be cult church because some of you folks may be members)

I get joining because men like Gene take them in. They convince them that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread they tell them that God wants them to do this. They make them one of the cool kids. They also tell them that they must stop anyone who gets in the way, after all its God’s plan. Gene did this with Kevin and most likely does it with Bill. Kevin can defend himself so I’ll say very little about it except (Cowboy knows I have an except ;-} ) Kevin wanted to be the best Christian leader he wanted to learn and teach and he wanted his dream to be true. Sadly it was a nightmare. Bill you are in a cult and someday it may all crash on you. I won’t say don’t drink the fruit punch but. . . .
I know that I couldn’t have been drawn into Gene’s idea of utopia myself because the idea of giving it all up for a group and a man is too much for me. I love the idea of having people around me who can help me and that I can bond with. I have people without a 24/7.

I know that it is hard to hear someone take a hit at your church, I know from personal experience. I think the true test if it’s a cult or not is if you or your wife can go toe to toe with the leaders and not be asked to go plus receive love and prayer from them. I have gone toe to toe and they still love me.

Kevin has done a brave thing in opening up himself and he has admitted his wrong doings. Kevin you’re my hero and I pray that you and others can come to a healing and help others who are about to make some of the same mistakes.

I love ya Bro!

Anonymous said...

Gene Edwards is completely innocent. Kevin Knox is completely innocent. Bill is completely innocent. All God's people are completely innocent. The Enemy wants us to tell each other's fleshly faults like Kevin did Gene's; like Bill did Kevin's; like the Enemy did Adam's by saying he's naked; like Noah's son did by announcing that he was naked. Satan is the accuser, the finger pointer and our sin accountant. As long as he keeps us on this plane he can destroy and hurt without hinderance. I live in Jax, FL. I've been here since the birth of the church in 2000. I'm a witness of what you speak of Kevin. But I was just as led astray and blind to it as Gene is and many others past and present. I added to the deception and helped strengthen it here. I watched a beautiful girl become disfigured. But I know that it was not anyone's fault. We don't wrestle with flesh and blood. Because flesh and blood is not the source of the darkness. The Enemy has set up a stronghold here in Jax. He has woven his darkness into both the gospel and its practice here. It has become so part of our lives as a body and as members that we can barely tell what's the Lord and what isn't. (I'm not saying that the Lord is not with us or that we are not still experiencing Him) So how do you deal with that without hurting God's people? How do you expose the principalities without accusing our Lord's precious body? How do we get out of our flesh and into what really matters...the Spirit? How do we prevail upon the Enemy's gates yet still reveal Christ? I have no answers. So far, all I did was tell my story as best I could, without accusation, as the Lord led me. Only in the past three or so months did I hear about the destruction and hurt caused over many years through Gene's ministry. But the years before that my spirit instinctually told me something ungodly was among us. I was not keen enough or mature enough in spirit to interpret or properly react to it. I remember telling myself that the Lord will handle it; He will do something about it. Maybe this is the time that He will and is. I just know that He will not leave us in this condition. In meantime we must protect our innocence by not letting corrupt things come out of our mouths concerning one another. Because we have a very real and living Lord Who is affected by what comes from His body or out of our mouths. Only by the Spirit can we expose and build up at the same time. And then only in His time. We know when that happens when both the speaker and the hearer are blessed. Until then we should pray and keep watch for the Lord's movements and words so that we can be timely and new. Because whether we are wounded, lost, bitter, healthy, or in darkness, we all want the same thing..or Person. When God's time comes bringing exposure, repentence, healing, newness or whatever, I want to be ready with something of Him, not something of the Enemy through my flesh.

Milly said...

Anonymous,
I agree that the enemy is out there and in our faces but we have to have accountability for our actions otherwise the deceiver has won.

I will at some point tell my story and I will have to hold myself accountible

Chris Pridham said...

Kevin,
Although we have never met I do understand the pain and "bleeding" you describe. I have seen the reality of both the “Law of Silence” and the “Silence from Love”. Both are painful but have very different endings, one is life the other death. The law of silence you have described very well in your blog – the practice and the effect of this is death but the silence that comes from a heat overflowing with love gains us much needed wisdom and Divine life experience.
I AM REJOICING that “in one evening and an afternoon 10 years of loneliness made sense” – that is wonderful. The Scriptures say that it is not good for man to be alone and it is not good for us to be without our brothers and sisters for any real length of time. We need each other and we do need to deal with the mindsets that keep us apart.
Gene Edwards is a wonderful, loving and special brother who has helped me in my journey – That is truth. In Gene and in all of us is dwelling sin, or, our fleshly nature as some may call it. I choose not to know Gene after that indwelling sin or flesh. I believe my Lord looks at me the same way not identifying me with the sin that dwells in me – although not unaware of the sin that dwells in me. My Lord at the cross set me free from the sin that dwells in me and I am working toward believing and living in that freedom completely. On this journey I have had the privilege of meeting many other brothers and sisters on the same quest. I know people that Gene has really helped on this journey and people that he has been a stumbling block to. Is it really different for any of us – some we have helped some we have caused to stumble. If I am doing stuff that is causing my brothers and sisters a lot of pain and causing them to stumble in their journey with the Lord, I would love for someone to come and let me know. I would hope that they would at least be willing to phone me or let me know in some way the pain I am inflicting – if need be – the Internet – but I would prefer a face to face. But please let me know and do whatever the Lord leads you to do to love the people that I have hurt. If my reputation is hurt because you are trying to reach out in God's love and help them – so be it.
I would implore anyone close to Gene, anyone, to let him know of this blog so he can be aware of how this brother and others have been affected, maybe Kevin is just 1 of the 99. If he can be made aware I know what Gene is committed to and how far he will go, and the price he will pay to see it happen.

....On one hand, I seek to see the church live in unity and in love, without fear, without pressure to conform and with a real sense of freedom, a church open to all believers, free of doctrinal and sectarian barriers. And I am committed to a church where there is no minister-layman distinction, and to meetings where everyone functions, shares and ministers. Gene Edwards from the book Preventing a Church Split

I look forward to hearing about Gene's response.
Your bro Christopher Pridham

Kevin Knox said...

Thank you, brothers and sisters, for entering into this discussion with honesty and focused purpose. I appreciate the sincerity of the Lord's people, and find it a place of security.

There's hardly a way to navigate the several comments a topic so complex. The insights already shared here defend Gene, defend his wounded followers, defend me, defend peace, and defend the Lord. They cannot all be addressed, so let me just reaffirm my steady aim.

When a woman announces she's leaving her abuser, if it is safe, she is honorable to give her reason. In that moment, as surely as the sun rising, a number of things will happen. Someone will stand up and declare her a hero and someone will stand up and declare her a villain. Someone will declare him a reprobate and someone will declare him a saint. Someone will remind us their both sinners and someone will remind us their both innocent in Christ. Someone will defend the sanctity of marriage, and someone will decry abuse of the vulnerable in marriage. Most will hear the shots fired in passion and run for a safe corner. These discussions are hard on everyone.

There are hundreds of considerations to take into account if you're going to understand an abusive marriage. You could spend years parsing through the strong opinions of people who see it from important and true angles. And if you do, you've missed everything that matters.

The only question that matters is whether abuse is happening. If it is, then you have an uphill struggle on your hands no matter who finally decides what.

There may be many possible and right solutions for those people, but every right solution will share one characteristic - the victim is validated and made safe.

No solution that relies on the Spirit to protect that victim is worthy of consideration. No solution that philosophizes about how the victim and the abuser share the same Spirit, and how both are safe within His care, meets the smell test nor the scripture test nor the final judgement. I appreciate a desire to find the "moral high ground," and to fight with weapons of the Spirit. I commend the motivation. But do not think the Lord will commend any who allow His children to be destroyed.

Jesus spoke of rewarding sheep who brought a a glass of water to the least of His. Do you think He'll commend it if we make sure the sheep and the wolves are both given equal glasses of water and bedded in the same sheepfold?

This post is about validation. I've spoken with brothers and sisters who hurt and who wonder whether their pain is their fault. Gene says it is, but they don't understood why. These brothers and sisters need to hear they aren't asking those questions alone. They need to hear others hurt the same way and for the same reasons ... wrong reasons.

Those who have been hurt need to tell the truth. They need to tell the real truth. That includes the truth about Gene, and it includes the truth about the brothers and sisters with whom they suffered. There are brothers and sisters who were hurt by me, and that's a truth that needs telling, too. Bill notes it, but you'll find it spelled out in my post first. It's truth that heals. Truth is what matters.

This is not a post about heroes and villains. It's a post about what really happened, the real damage that's still out there, and giving the wounded a chance to get away from the Corrosive of Silence. The truth cleanses wounds.

We're only as sick as our secrets.

Bill said...

Sigh. Kevin, these dear saints may not know you as well as I do. I'll bet that ten years from now you'll be repenting of this - not because it's wrong, but because that's what you do. You do it in many of your posts. You did it when you tried to be Boromir. Our three years in Georgia you always talked about what a foolish person you *used to be*. You've always reveled in this - but does it have to be at someone else's expense?

That response above was masterful - beautiful even - and I can't argue with a word of it. How anyone so elloquent, intelligent, headstrong, confident and knowledgeable could ever allow himself to become a "victim" is beyond me. But I don't know why it's not beyond your other readers.

Chris and "anonymous" from Jax are trying to help you, Kev. But - just like always - you're beyond them because you've always got all the answers. If you really want to help yourself and other people with the "truth", you don't have to go around torching Gene to do it. All I'm saying is that broadcast (blogcast) media isn't the best way to go here. This whole conversation ought to be deleted soon, if you're willing.

...

And don't worry, Milly. We never had kool-aid. Besides, I've moved on now. Mercifully, believe it or not, I have no complaints. Even Kevin Knox was a gift from God in my life. Mysterious ways, eh? ;)

Collin Brendemuehl said...

Kevin,

We also went through a horrible church where the pastor would intentionally (by his admission) bait people and manipulate church authority to gain greater authority. Other men in the church, esp. the elders who founded the fellowship, were always a threat to him. And he was always friendlier with the ladies of his generation. That last item did not seem like much until he was later found to have been unfaithful to his wife. This was a denominational fellowship and the hierarchy was right to remove him from ever again pastoring within that system.

Some believe that the authority of the pastor is not to be questioned. That is a sad state of affairs and would overturn the Biblical principle of being disqualified for particular behaviors. I have observed, at a distance, several pastors who take their God-ordained authority so seriously that they will *frequently* use it to protect *private* sin. It is a smoke screen.

Anonymous said...

Since the post is about "validation" then, as a perpetrator/victim (yet still innocent), I choose to remain "un"validated. I don't want to be in fellowship with what's eminating from your being Kevin. Nor do I want to talk to others for this reason. I don't want to be part of spreading the darkness. This is my last visit/post on this.

The love of Christ be with all of our spirits. :-)

Milly said...

Bill,
Kevin has been a gift from God for me and not in mysterious ways at all.
Kevin has been painfully honest about the things he took part in. That’s how you learn you say them out loud. He’s poured out his heart here and I respect that, not everyone can do that.
Bill I am so glad that you and your beautiful family came away from it in a positive way. Others haven’t. I wish that you hadn't gotten so personal. I'd bet Kevin could take a shot at you but I doubt he will.

I was joking about the punch. ;-}
I wish you the best in life.

Kevin Knox said...

Bill,

Maybe I am the unreliable, intimidating, little person you describe. The character of a writer is a legitimate concern for every reader of such stories as I'm writing. You do a good job of calling mine into question.

Does that mean Gene's history is now no longer a story of devastation? Does that resurrect the dozen churches Gene led to oblivion? Does it meet the needs of people hurting in isolation because Gene defines loyalty as silence?

Take the "tragic pedestrian accident" you reference above. That man's parents, the man and woman you call irrational, were devastated by their son's death. You make it sound like maybe he overlooked an oncoming bus. Maybe if that man had not been unable to sleep for weeks because of panic over Gene's teaching that the world would collapse on Jan 1, 2000, he would not have been walking down the center of the fast lane of an interstate highway well before dawn. Maybe if, after our brother endured psychotic, face-to-face arguments with the devil himself, Gene had reached out effectively to him he would have slept a little bit and gotten his feet back under him. Instead, Gene isolated him. Instead, that man spent his last few days suffering mental torments I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy - suffering alone, like so many others.

Maybe that brother's parents aren't "irrational" for thinking it was not exactly the "tragic pedestrian accident" Gene would be served for us to remember.

And maybe the people Gene hurt need their story be told by themselves, and not by people whose main concern is that the conversation be "positive" for Gene.

A sister said...

Kevin, I hope you can find a group of a few believers to meet with where you have the freedom to be open with your pain of the abuse you have suffered. I think about how "well meaning" people will tell someone who has lost a child something like "God needed another angel in heaven" or "there is a purpose in your suffering" When God reveals that to the person who is suffering, that's when I want to hear about it, not from someone who has no clue. No one should be telling a victim of abuse that his perpetrator is innocent before God and that his spirit is pure. We all know that but that's not what we're talking about here. I don't know you Kevin, so i have no idea whether you are a brother who is still in a great deal of pain or if maybe you have already experienced an incredible healing and are moving on with the Lord. The step of breaking the silence is a very big one and your voice HAS been heard. My hope for you brother, and I know it can happen, is for complete healing and peace.

Danny d said...

Yea Bill you sure moved on. A true soldier for sure.
Protect the worker no matter what. Sould be protect us from the worker.

Missy said...

Jesus certainly advocates openness - exposure that reveals the truth of who we are. But instead, we hide when we are wrong. It began that fateful day in paradise. It ends with Jesus and His church.

Bill said...

Kevin, I still love you. But your facts are so skewed...

The brother we lost had already learned about Y2K because a co-worker handed him a book called The Millenium Bug. By the way, the author of that book is still the president of a major publishing corporation. It seems some Christians forgive honest mistakes. Anyway, you ought to know good and well what else was bothering our brother, giving him chronic insomnia - personal issues that you’d been advising him on, that you briefly tried to keep me from sticking my nose into. Those details are nobody’s business, but we all failed that brother. We all wished we could have somehow reached out to him more effectively, and we all felt guilty as if we should have succeeded somehow. I can’t believe you actually blame one man for failing to reach out effectively enough. Utterly absurd.

And Danny, I’m not interested in protecting our former worker. I’m interested in protecting two things. First of all, the memory of my 7 years in Georgia was 95% wonderful and it’s insulting to all of us who were there that Kevin tries to make us sound like dupes in a cult, when nothing could be further from the truth. Gene Edwards gave us freedom, so much freedom that sometimes certain brothers took too much advantage. One brother was leading the church spiritually in meetings but leading them into drinking parties afterwards. Kevin makes it sound so insidious that Gene distanced himself from such a brother, but Kevin himself was happily aware of the positive benefits for the church at the time. (That was my first year there.) The only other such distancing I saw in Georgia was with Kevin himself, as I commented at first. Apparently, brother Knox was less happy about the move that second time.

This leads me to my second protective interest – our future. If all we do is put the blame for hurt feelings on one man, acting as if everything horrible was his fault, we probably guarantee that we ourselves will never surpass that man’s achievements. And do not mistake my intention – we have much to improve at. To get there, we ought to look sympathetically at a man who tried something not done before, to my knowledge. Evidently, you can’t train up a church into spiritual maturity and also give it as much freedom and autonomy as Gene gave us. So when someone establishes a pattern of trying to be in charge too much, what are the worker’s options? Go knock on his door and say, “Please stop it and leave?” Never. What then? I may not know the answer, but if all we do is howl and blame, we will never know the answer.

Kevin, I did not say I wanted the conversation to be “positive for Gene”. It needs to be positive for all our sakes. And yet I have been very negative about you, Kevin, because you are wrongly trashing the memory of a beautiful church – and posterity – my children included – does not deserve to google our names someday and pick up this result. You should stop this. I’ll say it again – you ought to delete this whole post.

One more point. Kevin, you opened this post one week ago by telling us you always wondered why nobody contacted you. I remember counting, in 1999, about 50 believers who met with our group since its beginning. I myself maintained contact with many of those who left, while I was still involved, and I now maintain contact with many of those who stayed in. I did not, however, attempt to contact you after you left the group because of the strong hostility I knew you felt towards us at that time. You communicated it to me on your stoop, it was passed on to me by a phone call from your home, and on a website that briefly posted your letter of critique, 2-3 years later. I found your blog in ’95 and followed it for two years without commenting, assuming you were still hostile to us. Then we reconnected in ’97 until I was disappointed by your anti-Gene posts one year ago. I have not contacted you in the past year because you are stubborn and hostile.

None of that has nothing to do with anyone’s teaching about silence or contact. Absurdity!

In order for your post to be valid, Kevin, you’d have to believe that all 45-50 believers who lived with you were sitting at home some night, fondly remembering you and wanting to get in touch, only to be prevented from doing so by some insidious programming in the back of their minds that said, “Don’t call Kevin. That would be bad for the church and for Gene.” Are you serious? Does that apply to the Canadian you excommunicated? Does that apply to the drinking buddies you sharply rebuked and criticized for so many years? Does that apply to me? Does that apply to the Virginians who so graciously accepted your wife’s call that time? Or to the ones in Jax who knew, as I did, how hostile you felt towards anyone still involved with Gene? Or does it apply at all to the farmers who sent out their son’s Air Force graduation announcement not too many years ago? They didn’t mind sending it to dear saints still in Gene’s churches. But I’m curious – did you get one?

Kevin, I trust this won’t crush you. I really do. But the truth is you burned a lot of your own bridges here. Blaming Gene is not only inaccurate, it’s bad for posterity. It’s a tragic assault on the treasury of what ought to be remembered about our time together, that we ought to be learning from with positive benefits for the saints in our lives today.

I have not defended Gene Edwards one time. I simply suggest your criticisms are off base. In fact, I believe you have committed the chief sin of most laymen who critique a preacher, which is blaming him for not living up to your own impossible expectations. In all, you seem to think a lot more highly of his powers and abilities than I ever have or ever did.

I have agreed that people got hurt. I have agreed that we all, including Gene, bear some degree of responsibility for that. I have agreed that it would be good for people to reconnect and have conversations about it. As a matter of fact, I more than anyone would love to discuss (offline, because it is not the world’s business) just what anyone else in Gene’s position could have done in certain situations, instead. I know for a fact two of the people who read this post last week see themselves as part of a future wave. I am afraid for them, if they take such a view as you do. I don’t believe they do. At least, not entirely. But this is to illustrate what I mean when I say that positive conversations need to happen.

Almost everything we did probably could have been done better. But it is counterproductive in the extreme if all you want to do is vilify one man and behave as if it the problems were almost entirely all his fault.

We are all to blame. We all need to learn. For the sake of the future.

And Kevin, to repeat myself again, you really ought to delete this post. If I can plead with you in one specific suggestion – get on Facebook instead. At least there the conversation is restricted to anyone in your friends list. And believe it or not, I would like to be on that friends list. I have only been blunt and harsh with you here because I discovered long ago that’s the only way to get through to you. (And because I’m really hoping you’ll delete this post. Did I mention that yet? ;)

Your brother,
Bill

DugALug said...

Kevin,

For all the times you have put with my rambling, I wanted to thank you. Your graciousness has blessed me many, many times. You are a good man, and I appreciate your patience. You are passionate and this post really captures this fact on so many levels.

When I was in college (sum umpteen-million years ago), I was a friend of many who were part of the Marinatha! movement, I've discovered one timeless truth: men will fail, but God doesn't. As the errors of this ‘movement’ were exposed, I watched many weary followers walk completely away from their faith because MAN let them down. Still others realized that they missed God, but God never stopped loving, caring and reaching out to them. There are scars, but they are hopelessly in love with our Lord and that mends a lot of things. So many of them found comfort in more traditional churches, and they love God even more now.

Whether your recollection of the past is completely accurate, or jaded by a partisan view, it is still based on your personal reality. In your eyes and heart your experience with Gene, Bill, and others has hurt you more than even your brothers and sisters in Christ, understood. I don’t know Bill, so I can say little towards his comments. Based on his comments, I am certain that your departure from Gene, was taken personally by him.

As you know, I am not one too fiddle around with pleasantries. The actual truth here doesn’t matter as much as the ability to allow God into the healing process. I am not saying that the truth isn’t important nor am I condoning silence. I am saying that I am thankful for God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness. I am so thankful that in spite of this 'experience' with Gene and company that you have chosen to rest in the Lord: slowly allowing God to open and heal your brokenness. I pray your other wounded brothers and sisters will allow God to do the same.

I pray peace on you as well as reconciliation with those affected in this apparent wake of dysfunction.

I am always here if you want to trade emails. And I hope these words will encourage you, not frustrate you.

God Bless
Doug

Lynne said...

What can I say from the other side of the world and no f2f experience of any ofg the people involved? several things, actually ..

# I read a couple of Gene's books quite a few years ago, and I found them disturbing. There was something very appealing there, but there was also a dark undercurrent -- a sort of glorification of victimhood that pressed all my abuse buttons.

# I know first hand that siblings can grow up together in an abusive family and have very different experiences and very different interpretations of that experience. What is no big deal to one will be devastating to another, and where one gets attacked, another in the same scenario is groomed and coddled. Why should we expect more coherence from the brothers and sisters in a church?

#Kevin's story rings true to me as an expression of the genuine experience of abuse and the confusion it engenders as we struggle to make sense out of what happened in order to heal and move on. it's almost 10 years since I left an abusive home church, and while I have substantially healed from the more obvious things I experienced, I still have days when another piece of the puzzle suddenly drops into place -- and yes, it's emotionally exhausting to have to revisit that stuff, but absolutely necessary -- only the truth sets us free.

# the rule of silence is the number one weapon of abuse. The minute you speak out the truth of your experience, the minute the victim's cry for justice is articulated, someone will always be there to slam them down for gossip. i know too much about suffering in silence being held up as the goal of virtuous womanhood (what about some character-growth for the abuser?) not to recognise the ploy when it is used in other situations.

My brother, those who have walked through abuse know each other. may you drink deep from the peace that Jesus brings

Kevin Knox said...

Bill,

Your perspective is duly noted and considered. I'm assured of the sincerity of your arguments and of your experience, and genuinely happy for the blessings you are reaping. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family.

That I don't find your telling of my history persuasive is probably not surprising. It also should not be surprising that I won't pull this post.

Kevin Knox said...

Doug,

It's nice to see you around again, and thanks for your thoughts. Far from being frustrating, I agree with them completely. I don't have much more to say on the subject, and I look forward to pleasanter subjects with you soon. :-)

Kevin Knox said...

And Lynne, thank you. Your experience is much appreciated.

John said...

News Release: This just out! Gene Edwards has re-titled a few of his books:

The Mission is now The Myth’n , How To Prevent A Church Split is now
How To Present A Church Split, A Tale Of Three Kings is now
A Tale Of Three Workers – Watchman Nee, Witness Lee and Clueless Me
The Birth is now The Dearth, The Inward Journey is now My Sinward Journey, The Story Of My Life is now The Story Of MY Life,
Climb The Highest Mountain is now Slime The Highest Mountain,
Devastated By Christians is now How I Devastated Christians,
When The Church Was Led Only By Laymen is now
When The Church Is Lead Only With Laymen, The Secret To The Christian Life is now The Secretions From A Christian’s Life
and finally, Economic Doomsday….. is now relevant!

John Kapple Jacksonville

A sister said...

Kevin, i can see some love and understanding flowing your way thru some of the posts. a little humor always helps too. i know your wounds are deep and i pray for healing for you and your family brother. i see gene as a part of one step in my journey toward our lord. there is life after gene. more deep and more real and more free and bigger than you think possible.

Kansas Bob said...

I had a Gene in my life for about 15 years.. this pastor had an unhealthy influence on my life.. it took me years to understand how he had negatively influenced me.

Once my eyes began to open I started to understand my part in the sickness and how I enabled his bad theology and behavior. I sometimes find others who yet paint a pretty picture of this pastor's ministry.

I suspect that you Kevin, Bill and others are just at different places on this journey of having your eyes opened to the reality of your situations.. and some may never choose to open their eyes.

Just a thought..

A sister said...

kansas bob, i like what you wrote about opening your eyes. our eyes were opened for us, not by choice, but i'm so thankful for the grace of god in that. one of the sisters in the old gene group we were a part of asked another sister, upon leaving, if she thought it was a cult. the other sister's answer was, it doesnt matter whether it is or not, you have a choice as to whether you want to be here or not and so do they. i thought that was a great answer.

Anonymous said...

The Light of Jesus Christ exposes the evil works of darkness so that repentance might come.

We shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set us free.

Anonymous said...

While I'm not sure that the internet is the best place to air personal grievances with folks, I must say that there is nothing wrong with exercising ones freedom and discernment, possibly warning others of a persons dangerous and unhealthy tendencies.

We live in 2009.
Hopefully people know already that they have to make up their own minds when they read anything here.

All of that said, I must admit that I am more than just a bit troubled when someone is given such a hard time for simply telling the truth.

It would appear that some brains get washed 'deeper' than others.

Forgiveness comes when confession is expressed.

To not shed the light on these issues is to encourage not only continued transgression but pride as well.

It's a difficult thing to have ones illusions shattered, but it is also the best thing that could ever happen....
Otherwise...
we live in a lie.

Anonymous said...

Wow, What a interesting conversation between Kevin and Bill. I was involved with Gene way before you Kevin. I watched and heard of the Church in Atlanta getting started. In fact I visited a couple of times very briefly. In fact I was not allowed to come to Atlanta's birthing because Portland was falling apart and we were told we were not welcome to be there.(lovely) Trust me many more groups fell by the wayside before Atlanta my dear brother. Don't limit it to just twelve. Over the yrs I have meet many of those saints that were there even before me. You find the same old stories. Nothing new under the sun at all. It is hard for me because I think Kevin does have some very valid points in the typical Gene groups that went on. The Silent thing or I call it "Don't you dare gossip" thing. But I totally understand how you feel Bill. I personally didn't have a horrible experience either. And I love Gene very dearly. I have tremendous amount of fond memories. Even after I moved on I found the same problems everywhere in other groups not associated with Gene. Nothing new at all.

This is what I found out Kevin and it helped me in many more situations to come in my life regarding this!

When I felt that God put me in those groups with the Saints that I meet with. I learned to receive all things from his hand that came in my life. It is not about what you did right or wrong. It is about God allowing this for a reason for us. To say "Ok, Lord what can I learn from all this" and also to learn your mistakes and the things you did get right and move on. But know from the bottom of your heart that it is 100% God.

I have always seen these people that come in our lives.....no matter who they are...just a tool God uses to break and mold us more into his image. I think you have every right to speak about your experience.

To some it won't be life but others it will be.

Hang in there Bill.......I think the Lord is still working on Kevin to get where he is. And you might be right. He might repent a yr from now and that will also be a part of the healing.

My prayer is he will see everything in his life is truly from Gods hand and he will learn not to major in the minors and learn truly that Jesus is the only real truth in any of our lives.

That all that other stuff was nothing but shadow boxing in our lives.........be blessed Kevin and Bill and may he give you both peace and mercy in everything!

A simple sister in Christ!

Karen Grossman, Twin Cities said...

I am so thankful you did not take this post down as I just today was sent the link. Your comments about silence have put a few more of the questions I have had regarding our experience in a Gene church to a place of better understanding.

I also love that you have changed and are expected to change more as the years go by. I too hope my relationship with the Lord changes me and that I see and understand things a bit more fully 10 years from now than I do now.

My only face to face experience with Gene was when my husband and I heard him say at a conference he was the only church planter God has on the earth today. We had read his books and been encouraged and blessed but in person we found a very different Gene than we expected. How did we end up in a Gene church then? We didn't know it was one! Seven years later we moved to a new state and a brother told us of a wonderful group of brothers and sisters who were meeting in homes. We met them and instantly fell in love with the brothers and sisters there.

After three months we learned this group was associated with Gene Edwards and a "worker" was coming to visit. What a conundrum for us! We stayed another few years.

The first and only words the worker said to me was when I asked why we couldn't have a men's and women's meeting at the same time and he said because he can't be two places at the same time. I then niavely asked why he would want to be at a woman's meeting and his only reason was, "I wouldn't expect you to understand." That shut me up which is what he wanted I'm sure but I thought how rude when he met me only 30 minutes before...how would he know what I would understand? Had I been talked about behind my back? That did not serve to bring unity to the body.

We stayed and loved those people for a few years. The day we announced we were leaving was bittersweet but it was the most freeing day of our lives. No more trying to figure things out or wondering if we ought to try to conform to what we didn't agree with. We were free!

We have remained in relationship to some degree with the brothers and sisters there. Of course we wish it was more and that it was less often at our initiation.

Because we never were fully sold on the Gene thing, our perspective and hurts are a little different. I wonder if Gene didn't have an initial idea from God but when he turned it into a method that everyone must follow it took the life from it?

I'll be passing this site on to all I know who might be helped.

Carla said...

I'm a sister and I wasn't very involved with Gene's “stuff”. I read some of his books, and I think that you can find the Lord there.
I read your post and the comments, and it made me wonder How some brothers and sisters, after so many years being Christians, can they think like that about the events in their life? Shouldn't christians follow The Lord? Shouldn't a true christian know that The lord is The Lord in their life?...This is something that make me sad.
If I really know The Lord and I trust Him, Why should I blame another person if things aren't like I'd like them to be? I really believe that if I love God and I trust Him, He is not going to let me go to the mouth of the lion, and if He does...He's God, and He knows everything, He can see the future, and the results of the events. Everything is for good.
Don't waste your time talking about another person, who maybe has hurt you.... If you want to be healed you shouldn't spread poison, I think that you should go and talk face to face with the brother who hurt you...
Do you want to make aware other brothers and sisters about that brother? So...trust in God!... Pray!... if brothers and sisters want to know the truth God is going to reveal Himself...He is powerful...Isn't He God?.... I think that God doesn't like that brothers and sisters talk about each others in the way that you do (Kevin).
If you want to be healed look to The Lord!, when you turn to look at your past....see The Lord in your past!... Do you think that you wasted 10 or 20 years in your life because of a man?.... See the Lord in that!....When we follow the Lord, we don't see any action of any man or woman, we see the Lord. If I blame a man or woman for what happened to me, so...I think that something is wrong with me....I'm not following the Lord...I'm following a man, a person...who has errors like me, because we're human.
So, brother I encourage you to continue seeking the Lord, and talk about The Lord.... talking about Him brings life....Life to you and other brothers and sisters.... The truth is The Lord!

Anonymous said...

This is an incredible amount of back and forth, discussion, etc. I think that the sister who commented anonymously on Feb 22, needs to be listened to.
Kevin, I am sympathetic to much of what you say, having lived for 20 years under a strong leader who did lead a cult. I too have been concerned by many things that I have heard listening to Gene, Tim and the others. At the same time, because of my experiences, I did not allow these brothers to hold as much sway over me as some people did. I looked at them as older brothers who had some more experience than I did, and I listened to them, but I did not take to heart anything that did not speak to my Spirit.
I am reminded of the Children of Israel, whom the Lord warned against asking for a King. As humans, we look for a leader. We want a King, as it were. And in so doing, we have allowed a brother, or even a group of brothers, to tell us what to do, how to do it, and what makes a Church.
I tell you all, NO MAN can say what makes or who makes a Church. This is for God alone to say. By giving these brothers, and in a few cases, sisters, the power that we in the "Gene" churches for the most part gave them, we accorded them power that was not theirs to hold. We are responsible for the hold that we gave them, knowingly or not. If we had been constantly going to the Source, and looking to Him, and walking with Him as the Head indeed, we would not have allowed these men to control us as they did. I believe that many of the powers that we gave them it was never their intent to take. By giving them these powers, we inadvertently created another denomination in an already overloaded church system.
Having said all this, I do not place blame on any one, as All of Christ's Own are Blameless before Him. Christ has used and is using all of these things in our lives if we only would let Him, and using them for His Glory.
Bill, there is really no point in attacking Kevin. If you feel that he is seriously misguided, pray for him. He may be misguided, but that is between him and his Lord. Remember what Jesus said to us,"You note the mote in your brother's eye, but don't see the beam in your own." I am not saying that you have a beam in your own, but I am saying to beware what you say and how you say it.
I will say to any that read this post, I personally lived a very wonderful and beautiful life in the experiment that we have called the Ecclesia. I have been on the mountain tops and in the valleys within the Church. It was an experiment, and as such, cannot be judged on its outcome. I for one have learned much of my Lord, and come to love my Lord and many of my brothers and sisters in a deeper way through it. I would never trade a minute of it for anything. I also believe that we never even really scratched the surface of what He has to offer us. I think that our most wonderful experiences have only been a slight taste of what He has in store for us. So, I challenge all of you, myself included, to move on in Him, and learn from the past, forgive and forget, and dig deeper into our Lord.
Food for thought.... Could it not be possible that the "code of silence," or as I rather it called, "the Don't you dare Gossip," was instituted by these brothers, Gene in particular, out of a sincere but misguided desire to protect people from the natural way we have of picking on the weaker ones, and sometimes inadvertently destroying them as a result? I personally feel that rather than hiding these things, we should have been able to have the Light of God shed on them, and dealt with them within the Ecclesia. We in Philadelphia found ourselves to be much stronger than we or our "worker" believed us to be. Some of us were severely hurt by the attempts on the part of the worker to shield us, and in so doing not allow us to deal with things as a group. I do not believe that it is fair of us to turn on them now and accuse them of intentionally trying to impose a mafia style "code of silence" on us. I also ask, why did not those who questioned them step forward within the Church and voice their concerns and back those concerns up? It is easy to accuse others after the fact, but we need to face the fact that we did not challenge them. I am witness to Gene being challenged, with basis, and his very graciously admitting his fault, and apologizing for his error. I do not say that it always was this way with him. I also know of a time when this was not the case, but those that challenged him went out from his presence, and moved on in the Lord. While they do not have Gene in their midst as a worker now, they still love him and are grateful for those things of Christ that Gene taught them. We need to learn to chew the meat, and spit out the bones.
By all means, any who have suffered in silence, and struggled or been hurt by these things, lay them bare in the Light of our Lord, and let Him wash you and heal you of them. If you must talk about them, share them with other brothers and sisters, but do not dump them on anyone but your Lord. He is there to take them from you, and He is the only one capable of handling them.
Love in Him,
Tim Keeler

Anonymous said...

the christianity Gene presents is very dangerous and unhealthy. It was the worst 7 years of my life and I temporarily lost everything God poured into my life. I trashed all of his books and never want them in my life again.

Anonymous said...

I was saved in Isla vista. Sat under Gene for 8 years . He gave me christ, A heart for the world and a love of church history.A deeply flawed man who is a wild Texan.He probably learned alot of his cult like things in the Local church movement sitting under witness Lee in the early and mid sixties.I thought your evaluation had alot of truth to it. I left in 83 for many of the very reasons you have shared. The gold remains though.Hope you continue to find healing.

Kevin Knox said...

Well said, Anonymous. Praise the Lord He met you there, and praise Him you're still there. I'm glad for the testimony of good he's done.

Anonymous said...

It seems as if you were following a man and not God.

anastasia said...


Kevin,many thanks for sharing your story.There is therapy to be found in just doing that one simple thing you have done:speaking(part of breaking the silence).It was a joy to meet you in scotland 1996 when there was something of a group there.I am in the process of writing a book about christian cults,drawing on my years of being loosely involved with Gene's groups.It is in no way a personal attack on Gene,just a general overview of how christian cults operate.I think you may be interested in the things I have to say.With all our love, Cameron and Emily Angus.

Kevin Knox said...

Hey Cameron and Emily. I was thinking of Rod and Campbelltown just a month ago or so, and wondering how things fell out for the bunch you. It's lovely to hear from you.

I can't reply to "Anastasia", but you'll find my email address somewhere on my profile. Feel free to shoot me a line.

Johnny Freeman said...

Glad this is still up, Kevin.