The newest cult news is sensational stuff, learning of millions of illegal dollars and illegal immigrants hiding out in our community, scamming others through cult contacts; an underground bunker, stocked with guns, generators, and enough supplies to last up to a year for the whole family.
This international news gives us, locals, lots to talk about around here.
I’m sure we’ll learn more and more as time goes on. But scams, crimes and scandals associated with this cult are nothing new, such as: the Arabian horse scam; the Omega scam; the abundance of members being prescribed Prozac; members being instructed to drink poison; the Wayne Allen Geis story; the Jeff Knight story; the Jan. 14, 2011, police officer shootings and subsequent manhunt that ended in more deaths; and the fresh-in-our minds Louis Soteriou $28 million movie fraud (sentenced to seven years in August).
There is so much more, but not enough space to write about it all.
Why is our local cult such a magnet for scams, scandals and crimes? Why do so many people wind up penniless after trusting this cult? What about the alleged unusually disproportionate number of suicides within this organization? And is anyone still asking about that more than 20-year-old unsolved murder of a cartoonist who poked fun at our local guru, which happened less than half a mile from where these Romanians were building their house and bunker?
What about the other mysterious deaths involving people in the cult (i.e., woman found upside down in a barrel, Vonda Boone’s murder, and the deaths that have occurred at the compound)?
People feel the cult is finally getting exposed for what it is. That may be true; however, let’s not blame the members of this cult for all of the bad things that happen. Let’s also not judge them as being naive.
The ones I’ve met who have left the cult are generally highly educated and intelligent. Most feel horrible and embarrassed when they realize they were duped.
The last time I asked people not to judge the followers in this cult as naive, I was called judgmental by some of the cult’s leaders. The followers are deceived, not naive. If you desire to blame someone for all the duping, blame those who perpetuate scams, lies and crimes.
Those who lead in such an organization must be exposed and stopped. Hopefully, they repent and right their wrongs. It is my opinion too many have been hurt by this dangerous cult in our community.
As tempting as it may be to think of the followers in this cult as weird or even deserving, please don’t. Most come to join this cult because other areas of their lives are empty, unraveling, or both.
Most come innocent, and are sucked into something they don’t know how to get out of. Many came hurting, have been duped and now hurt more. I’ve found that often some wind up with irreparable emotional, social and mental damages as well.
Christians, if you come into contact with current followers in the cult, remember, Jesus died for them, too. Show them love and mercy — true traits of a Christian. Let’s not gloat over the negative news the cult and its leaders have manifested for themselves. Maybe you will help them get back some normalcy in their lives if you act gracious and loving.
Pray for those who have been knowingly involved in manipulating and hurting others for personal gain. Pray they see the error of their ways and stop before even more people are hurt.
Jeff Adams is pastor for Paramount Christian Church. His column appears weekly in the Nisqually Valley News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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