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Remnant Fellowship 22: The Great & Powerful Oz-Lizabeth


nelliebelle1197

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20 minutes ago, formergothardite said:

The whole spirit watch/emnr rabbit hole seems to be a hot mess of "everyone but us is wrong" philosophy. There is just so much offensive stuff insulting everyone who isn't an evangelical Christian. There is also a lot of word salad. 

Since they were/are fine with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries I am not sure they would consider many of our childhood cult experiences actual cults.

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16 hours ago, Blue said:

It just feels weird how their views are constantly changing. Don't get me wrong - I think we should be willing to change when presented with new information, but it just feels like they change on major things...

.... I remember family telling us that they would do gifts for our girls because they were too young to understand, but that they weren't celebrating Christmas anymore because it was too pagan... Now they have a Christmas bazaar...

Gwen always celebrated Christmas and the Christmas market started early on in RF

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37 minutes ago, formergothardite said:

The whole spirit watch/emnr rabbit hole seems to be a hot mess of "everyone but us is wrong" philosophy. There is just so much offensive stuff insulting everyone who isn't an evangelical Christian. There is also a lot of word salad. 

So much word salad.

I have to admit, every time I read articles on one of these types of sites, I get pushed a little farther away from Christianity. It's partly wondering how a loving creator God could possibly throw huge numbers of his "children" into everlasting torture just because He chose to have them born in a place or time where they couldn't hear this one specific way to believe. Are our non-Jewish ancestors who were born prior to Jesus all burning in Hell? Really? Why? What about today's Jewish people - are they going to fry while their ancestors hang out in heaven with the Christians? Why make a huge variety of people and cultures but pick just one to be "chosen" and the rest get eternal torture? And then suddenly change the rules on everyone in the course of one man's lifetime? No loving parent has several kids and picks just one to be "chosen" and dumps the rest on the street. And then after a few years dumps the chosen one and has another child altogether who is now chosen. And what kind of being creates millions of people for the purpose of worshiping him? Why put them on a planet, instead of having them in His presence at all times worshiping Him directly if that was the purpose? 

I don't think I have ever read a site promoting Christianity that didn't make me question Christianity even harder than I already did, or make God sound like a terrible narcissistic toddler - or an author who enjoys tormenting his characters. 

I still consider myself loosely Christian. But it's a thin connection, and every site, tract, sermon, whatever that is meant to reinforce that connection frays it just a little more.

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19 minutes ago, Alisamer said:

So much word salad.

It reminded me of Gwen. 
 

Have you ever seen the Jegaysus videos? He does a great job breaking down some of the more horrific tenets of Christianity and explaining why a lot of it is just stuff folks made up. I am seriously considering buying one of his “Hell is just a metaphor” t-shirts. 

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1 minute ago, formergothardite said:

It reminded me of Gwen. 
 

Have you ever seen the Jegaysus videos? He does a great job breaking down some of the more horrific tenets of Christianity and explaining why a lot of it is just stuff folks made up. I am seriously considering buying one of his “Hell is just a metaphor” t-shirts. 

I haven't, but I'll check them out, thanks!

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I'm a former RFer who did a lot of deconstructing after I got out of the cult, and I can say that there are two distinct branches of cult analysis and criticism. 

One is the Countercult Movement which is mostly Evangelical Protestant mainstreamers and fundies who oppose other sects of Christians due to their criticism of their theological views, which they view as heretical. EMNR is part of that movement and so is Spirit Watch (I believe).

The other branch is the Anti-Cult movement which focuses more on the psychological and social impact of cults on individuals and communities. The Anti-Cult movement focuses less on theological weirdness or heterodoxy and more on how the cult controls and manipulates people. Think the BITE model and other analysis of High Intensity Closed Groups.

 

Now this is just my two cents, but as someone who grew up and got out of RF and subsequently got a bad taste for pretty much all Evangelical/Fundie Christianity, I do not really care about the theological "heresies" of RF. Yeah, we didn't believe in the Trinity or whatever, but if you really come down to the sermons and general beliefs of RF, there isn't really that much daylight between it and other fundievangelical groups.

Gwen was not a very original thinker. One thing I've discovered during my deconstruction is how much of her sermons and theology was completely cribbed from other Evangelical pastors and leaders. RF may have been more "intense" in its culty-ness than more mainstream groups, but other Evangelical denominations are hardly devoid of cults of personality and authoritarianism. One thing that seems kind of bizarre to me now is how much of the "persecution" Remnant faced back in the day was based on (in my opinion) inane points of theology. I remember being asked questions about RF when I was a kid, and a lot people did not actually have a bone to pick with the child abuse or misogyny or totalitarian nature of leadership. They had a problem with the Trinity stance, having a female pastor, and going to church on Saturday.

The Countercult push against Remnant's "heresy" only confirmed to many of its members that Remnant truly was different. If it wasn't something new and revolutionary, why would all the old churches (with their own corruption and scandal) hate RF so much?

This comes to my own personal beef with some of the outsiders looking in on RF and gawking at the "crazy cultists" and taking on the mantle of "Crusader against Remnant" when they don't have the lived experience of being in a cult. If you ignore the psychology of why people join cults and stay in them, then you can't understand why they happen. You can also ignore the other cults and high intensity closed groups in your own life. For much of my life, I've heard people say "You people are crazy/stupid/brainwashed. I'd never get sucked into something like that" while they were in a group that was only a few degrees different from RF.

Like, this whole site is devoted to how depressingly common cults of personality and totalitarian groups are in Christianity (and in pretty much every religion). Many people do have a fundamental emptiness and a deep desire for community and meaning. They join places like RF because it makes them feel like they belong and the more they belong the more bone deep their loyalty becomes. RF is insidious because it makes you feel dependent on it to live. That dependency goes beyond one's rational mind to a deep emotional level. It can happen to anyone with almost any ideology.

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@Roscoe, I agree—as a member of the UU, a non-Trinitarian offshoot of two Christian denominations, I can’t get exercised about the non-Trinitarian aspect of RF—especially when there is so much else that’s concerning about it.

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3 hours ago, Roscoe said:

I'm a former RFer who did a lot of deconstructing after I got out of the cult, and I can say that there are two distinct branches of cult analysis and criticism. 

One is the Countercult Movement which is mostly Evangelical Protestant mainstreamers and fundies who oppose other sects of Christians due to their criticism of their theological views, which they view as heretical. EMNR is part of that movement and so is Spirit Watch (I believe).

The other branch is the Anti-Cult movement which focuses more on the psychological and social impact of cults on individuals and communities. The Anti-Cult movement focuses less on theological weirdness or heterodoxy and more on how the cult controls and manipulates people. Think the BITE model and other analysis of High Intensity Closed Groups.

 

Now this is just my two cents, but as someone who grew up and got out of RF and subsequently got a bad taste for pretty much all Evangelical/Fundie Christianity, I do not really care about the theological "heresies" of RF. Yeah, we didn't believe in the Trinity or whatever, but if you really come down to the sermons and general beliefs of RF, there isn't really that much daylight between it and other fundievangelical groups.

Gwen was not a very original thinker. One thing I've discovered during my deconstruction is how much of her sermons and theology was completely cribbed from other Evangelical pastors and leaders. RF may have been more "intense" in its culty-ness than more mainstream groups, but other Evangelical denominations are hardly devoid of cults of personality and authoritarianism. One thing that seems kind of bizarre to me now is how much of the "persecution" Remnant faced back in the day was based on (in my opinion) inane points of theology. I remember being asked questions about RF when I was a kid, and a lot people did not actually have a bone to pick with the child abuse or misogyny or totalitarian nature of leadership. They had a problem with the Trinity stance, having a female pastor, and going to church on Saturday.

The Countercult push against Remnant's "heresy" only confirmed to many of its members that Remnant truly was different. If it wasn't something new and revolutionary, why would all the old churches (with their own corruption and scandal) hate RF so much?

This comes to my own personal beef with some of the outsiders looking in on RF and gawking at the "crazy cultists" and taking on the mantle of "Crusader against Remnant" when they don't have the lived experience of being in a cult. If you ignore the psychology of why people join cults and stay in them, then you can't understand why they happen. You can also ignore the other cults and high intensity closed groups in your own life. For much of my life, I've heard people say "You people are crazy/stupid/brainwashed. I'd never get sucked into something like that" while they were in a group that was only a few degrees different from RF.

Like, this whole site is devoted to how depressingly common cults of personality and totalitarian groups are in Christianity (and in pretty much every religion). Many people do have a fundamental emptiness and a deep desire for community and meaning. They join places like RF because it makes them feel like they belong and the more they belong the more bone deep their loyalty becomes. RF is insidious because it makes you feel dependent on it to live. That dependency goes beyond one's rational mind to a deep emotional level. It can happen to anyone with almost any ideology.

Spot on! 

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6 hours ago, DietCherryCoke76 said:

Gwen always celebrated Christmas and the Christmas market started early on in RF

I’m wondering if Gwen/RF celebrated Christmas without gift giving?  Maybe that was the part she selectively considered pagan? 

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12 minutes ago, CRAnn said:

I’m wondering if Gwen/RF celebrated Christmas without gift giving?  Maybe that was the part she selectively considered pagan? 

We definitely celebrated Christmas and gift giving. We just had a hard Anti-Santa stance. We also cosmetically celebrated Hanukkah (but it was very much overshadowed by Christmas).

I don't remember any specific edit against Christmas presents besides the usual "Don't make gifts the focus, you need to think about the Church first" sort of thing. But every family I knew did Christmas presents, Christmas trees, and whatnot. Just no Santa Claus traditions.

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Though speaking of strange Christmas-related RF oddities....

One of Gwen's most furious objections to the Santa Claus tradition was his depiction as being "fat and jolly" or in Gwen's words: "an obese overeater indulging in food." Gwen did venerate the original Saint Nicholas of Myra (which is kind of ironic because he notoriously struck Arius, an opponent of the Trinity, in the face at the council of Nicea). She basically said the commercialized tradition of Father Christmas/Santa was a satanic perversion of a Godly holy figure.

So in practice, fat depictions/pictures/statues of Santa were considered evil, but skinny Santas were allowed. 

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14 hours ago, RFSurvivor_2 said:

This isn’t the first time they have done this. In fact, as I recall, “Zion Market” usually takes place during the holidays and winter months. It’s been around for 10+ years. Hell I recall the first “Zion Market” taking place at the “Old” Exodus Building / WD storage building (which is now the primary location of the WD offices since Gwen lost the seaboard lane location in the divorce). 

Funny; I wonder what Jesus would think about Zion Market taking place in the church building considering, Jesus had quite the conniption about his fathers temple becoming a market place…

Just a heathen thinking out loud here, heh.

I know they've done the "Zion Market" for a long time - I just find it interesting that now it's dubbed a Christmas market when 7-10 years ago our family told us they were following Gwen's lead in no longer celebrating Christmas. Maybe they were confused or misguided and Gwen didn't say that.. I certainly wasn't watching Gwen's services to know everything she was saying... But that's what our family took away from her teaching at the time.

For what it's worth, we called out the hypocrisy at the time of how they weren't celebrating "Christmas" because it was pagan yet the building was clearly decorated for the holiday, and their response was the standard (at the time) "Well we're still a pretty new church and we're just doing our best to follow the Bible." 

Maybe our family were just the overachievers 😂

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On 11/26/2021 at 5:01 PM, Pathologic Antagonist said:

The analogy to me is appropriate.

The slaves of Remnant are all of those thousands who readily joined an entity that turned them into beasts of burden very literally slaving away for Gwen's agenda at the cost of their personal lives.  Their "freedom" was to be free to ignore any critical thinking they might have and to let someone do their thinking for them. That is slavery as wicked as a physical one.

The ship of "Zion", the ideal society that Shamblin's influence sought to create no matter what the reality of life might actually be, is indeed drawn from their most foundational fantasy of RF being the "ark of safety" .. which has been a Remnant ideal since its earliest days. 

The analogy is fine by me. You are certainly free to disagree. In sharpest contrast, Gwen and the Remnant royalty were never slaves.

They were pampered and exalted figures of leadership who were entitled to enriching themselves simply by being a Shamblin .. or a Lara.  Elizabeth and Michael may have had a domineering mother who hounded them into becoming heirs of a family fortune based on coercion, but they are hardly innocent victims by any stretch of the imagination. Their misery including an exalted social status, deep pockets and pretty secure lifestyles even as their RF brethren sacrificed everything to make it happen.

Elizabeth and Michael are finding rain falls on the unjust as well as the just and that a fair amount of their present troubles centers on their own choices to be the cult leaders they were ..  

No enslaved person ever readily joined any entity. Enslaving people is such a disgustingly horrific and gut wrenching part of American history. I definitely don’t think the comparison is appropriate. Just like I thought Gwen’s Holocaust reference was disgusting and horrific. 

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2 hours ago, throwaway9988 said:

Dr. Oz show tomorrow apparently(?)

I just heard about this

9ECE9F55-AFC1-4C18-8997-5FF530F9EE6B.jpeg

Very Interesting.  Dr Oz is a big friend of Trump.  Joe and Gwen were on their way to a MAGA rally when the plane crashed.  

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I know he uses his show to get rich by hyping up a lot of alternative medicine and other woo-woo that he would never take on the liability for recommending to someone he had an actual patient-physician relationship with. 

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6 minutes ago, ManyGoats said:

I hope someone who watches the episode will report back. 

I plan to watch. I'll definitely share my review.

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It has already aired here but it set to run again at 2 am. I am going to record it so that I can watch it tomorrow at a more reasonable time, LOL!

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I watched today's Dr. Oz episode.  They only spent about the first 20 minutes of the show on Gwen and Remnant, so they barely scratched the surface.  It was decent for the limited time they had.

I'm no Dr. Oz fan, but I think over a million people watch a typical Dr. Oz episode these days, so hopefully a million new people heard about this cult today.  That's where the win was.

It was also a good advertisement for the HBO documentary as they shared part of that and mentioned it multiple times.

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16 hours ago, formergothardite said:

Isn't Doctor Oz about as problematic as Gwen? 

Doctor Oz has earned two episodes of Behind The Bastards podcast; and they weren't the Christmas non-bastard episodes. Decades ago Dr. Oz made serious contributions to cardiac surgery, but at this point in his career he's grifted from a lot more lives than he's saved. 

 

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19 hours ago, throwaway9988 said:

I know he uses his show to get rich by hyping up a lot of alternative medicine and other woo-woo that he would never take on the liability for recommending to someone he had an actual patient-physician relationship with. 

And it’s scary because he’s an actual cardiac surgeon; he assisted with former major-leaguer Frank Torre(brother of Joe)’s heart transplant.

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OK. So I watched the Dr. Oz segment with Terasee Morris and one thing that stuck out to me (that I don't remember hearing before) was how she said that she had to report her HOURLY food intake. I can't imagine that! I am SO GLAD that she got away from that place. As was previously mentioned the coverage of RF was fairly brief, and there really wasn't a whole lot of new information.

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22 minutes ago, freefromthin said:

OK. So I watched the Dr. Oz segment with Terasee Morris and one thing that stuck out to me (that I don't remember hearing before) was how she said that she had to report her HOURLY food intake. I can't imagine that! I am SO GLAD that she got away from that place. As was previously mentioned the coverage of RF was fairly brief, and there really wasn't a whole lot of new information.

Please elaborate do you mean she had a "Golden Hour" ie: a 23 hour fast with 1 all you can eat hour?

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