Sioux Falls Atheists
Sioux Falls Atheists and Atheism, Agnostics and Humanism

Sioux Falls Atheists endorse Christian Cults for an description
of the hidden practices of some Christian churches.

Christian Cults
The Word of Life Church and the Pure Life Church

The Word of Life Church

10-16-15 Killed teenager in New York 'wanted to leave church'
Killed teenager in New York 'wanted to leave church'
Church members accused of beating to death a 19-year-old have told police they had been discussing his desire to leave the New York congregation. Lucas Leonard died and his younger brother was seriously injured after both were beaten for hours on Sunday. New Hartford's police chief said the six church members arrested over the death said the meeting was called to talk about Leonard's plans to leave. His parents deny manslaughter and four other church members deny assault. Police have described is as a "spiritual counselling session to urge [the boys] to confess sins and seek forgiveness". On Friday, New Hartford Police Chief Michael Inserra said the congregants under arrest revealed the victim wanted to leave. But the police "still have not concluded why the session turned so violent", he added. Leonard's father Bruce, who founded the secretive Word of Life church in New Hartford, New York, has said it was a family meeting that had nothing to do with the church. He and his wife Deborah deny inflicting the fatal blows. Their daughter is among the four other people charged with assault. Some of the defendants appeared in court on Friday afternoon and the case was postponed until Leonard's brother Christopher is able to testify.

10-16-15 Mother 'helpless' to stop fatal church beating of son
Mother 'helpless' to stop fatal church beating of son
A woman charged with beating her son to death in a church has said she "felt helpless" to prevent the violence committed by other church members. Deborah Leonard did not feel she could stand up to other members of the Word of Life church in New York state, said her lawyer, Devin Garramone. Her son Lucas, 19, died from the attack and his brother is in hospital. Police say they were beaten by Mrs Leonard, her husband and five others in order for them to confess their sins. All six people arrested, including the boy's father and sister, have denied the charges. "It looks like she went along with it, and it spun out of control," said Mr Garramone, who described the incident as an "intervention". "This woman is so meek and timid, she didn't have the temerity to stand up to them and say, 'You're not punishing my kid. You're not doing this.'" Some of the others arrested may have caused the fatal injuries, he said. The boys were repeatedly kicked and punched on Sunday but it's not clear why. Police have described the beating as a "spiritual counselling session to urge [the boys] to confess sins and seek forgiveness". Ms Leonard's husband Bruce, who founded the secretive church in New Hartford, New York, said it was a family meeting that had nothing to do with the church. Lucas died on Monday morning in hospital, where his parents took him the morning after the attack. His 17-year-old brother Christopher remains there in a serious condition. The parents have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and the other four have pleaded not guilty to assault. The Word of Life church is nearly 30 years old and its membership has fallen in recent years from about 40 to 20, said a local police chief. Some live at the church. The church refused help from firefighters when the building caught fire a few years ago, he said.

5-4-17 Death of Lucas Leonard
Death of Lucas Leonard
In October 2015, 19-year-old Lucas Leonard from Chadwicks, New York, died from injuries sustained during an hours-long 'counseling' session at his church, the Word of Life Christian Church in New Hartford, Oneida County, New York. Both he and his brother (who survived, albeit with severe injuries), were repeatedly beaten by parishioners during the session, and among those indicted in connection with the beating were Leonard's own parents and older sister.

The Pure Life Church

In Sweden there was a Protestant "Pure Life Church" (Ren Livskyrka). It had a room in its basement called "God's Room" (Guds Rum). Children who needed to have "their thinking corrected" had bags tied over their heads and were taken to "God's Room" which was empty of everything, no furniture, no bed, no toilet, no anything. The bag was removed and they were then locked in alone in "God's Room" for several days. After 2-3 days the children were ready to do anything, to confess to anything to be let out. Then the Minister would explain to them what they had to do.

Seems these basement rooms like the "Sanctuary Room" in the Word of Life Church in New York, and the "God's Room" in the Pure Life Church in Sweden, may not be as uncommon in Christian churches as we'd like to believe.

I am surprised that the many good Christian churches and their Ministers do not publicly speak out against and publicly condemn these kinds of practices. Has your church and minister done so? I'm sure they disapprove but I don't see any news conferences condemning these cults and their practices.

Why Not?

More Cults: Church of Almighty God

7-27-17 Chinese police detain 'female Jesus cult' members
Chinese police detain 'female Jesus cult' members
Police in China have detained 18 suspected members of a banned religious cult, state news agency Xinhua said. The group is notorious for some of its members beating a woman to death in a McDonald's restaurant in 2014 after she refused to give them her phone number. The Church of Almighty God cult was started in the 1990s and claims Jesus was resurrected as a woman in China. Chinese authorities frequently crack down on the cult, having arrested many of its members over the years. As part of the current detention, police also confiscated computers and books used by the cult for recruitment. The Church of Almighty God refused to give a direct response to the BBC and referred to its US-based website which contains multiple alleged testimonies of believers tortured by Chinese authorities. The cult's core belief is that "Almighty God, Christ of the Last Days" has returned to earth as a Chinese woman to wreak the apocalypse. The only person who claims direct contact with this woman is a former physics teacher, Zhao Weishan, who founded the cult 25 years ago and has since fled to the United States. The cult is also explicitly anti-communist, referring to China's communist party as the "red dragon". While many Christian sects find it hard to worship freely in China, the Church of Almighty God is accused of isolating members from friends and families and pressuring them to donate money in exchange for salvation. (Webmaster's comment: Christian Cults seem to have the same drive to kill for God as does ISIS. We should ban all KILLER cults!)

More Cults: Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

7-27-17 The polygamous town facing genetic disaster
The polygamous town facing genetic disaster
In a remote region of the US, a town is struggling with a chilling health crisis caused by a recessive gene. The reason? Here, polygamy is still practised. “We are to gird up our loins and fulfil this, just as we would any other duty…” said Brigham Young, who led the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), or Mormons, back in the mid-19th Century. It was a sweltering summer’s day in Provo City, Utah and as he spoke, high winds swirled dust around him. The holy task Young was speaking of was, of course, polygyny, where one man takes many wives (also known by the gender neutral term polygamy). He was a passionate believer in the practice, which he announced as the official line of the church a few years earlier. Now he was set to work reassuring his flock that marrying multiple women was the right thing to do. He liked to lead by example. Though Young began his adult life as a devoted spouse to a single wife, by the time he died his family had swelled to 55 wives and 59 children. Fast-forward to 1990, a century after polygyny was abandoned, and the upshot was only just beginning to emerge. In an office several hundred miles from where Young gave his speech, a 10-year-old boy was presented to Theodore Tarby, a doctor specialising in rare childhood diseases. The boy had unusual facial features, including a prominent forehead, low-set ears, widely spaced eyes and a small jaw. He was also severely physically and mentally disabled. (Webmaster's comment: Inbreeding and incest are really bad ideas even if you believe your religion and God supports it.)

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Christian Cults
The Word of Life Church and the Pure Life Church

Sioux Falls Atheists endorse Christian Cults for an description
of the hidden practices of some Christian churches.