Sunday, May 14, 2017

Misleading Recruitment

One practice of toxic religious groups is that they will present a few doctrines to potential recruits while carefully hiding their more esoteric doctrine until the member is conditioned to stay in the group. In one recent article PCG's Dennis Leap projects this practice onto God in an interpretation of the Book of Exodus that does not necessarily support his interpretation. 
While Moses was preparing to leave Midian with Zipporah and his sons Gershom and Eliezer, God appeared to him and said, “Go, return into Egypt: for all the men are dead which sought thy life. … When thou goest to return into Egypt, see that thou do all those wonders before Pharaoh, which I have put in thine hand: but I will harden his heart, that he shall not let the people go. And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn” (verses 19, 21-23). These are fascinating verses for several reasons. 
First, it was not until Moses was fully committed to leaving for Egypt that God revealed to him that all those in Egypt who wanted to murder him were dead. Another interesting point is that God didn’t spell out so clearly to Moses at the burning bush that Pharaoh would not be an easy man to convince. With Moses now on the move, God gave him information that may have discouraged him before this moment. Moses, Aaron and the Israelites would have a tough fight, but God gave Moses a dire prophecy for Pharaoh: God would slay his firstborn son if he refused to let Israel go. (Dennis Leap, Zipporah: Moses' Wife, February 2017.)
However the COGs often practice this selective presentation of doctrines to new recruits. For instance doctrines such as second and third tithe tend to be rarely mentioned in writings for the public. Doctrines contrary to what is taught in most churches such as their denunciation of the Trinity or second and third tithe are often not readily apparent in writings or television broadcasts produced by the various COGs. How many would have joined any of the COGs if they knew from the start about the COGs' unorthodox positions regarding various Christian doctrines?


  1. Not surprisingly, this is not unlike the fine print or fast radio voices common to the advertising world. Many people in Christian evangelism have come from diverse backgrounds, but probably the very worst combination of influences is gospel + advertising + authority.

    Can't take personal credit for being hornswoggled, though. My parents dragged me into it. It's difficult to understand how I and all but one sibling saw the light and left, but the parental units are still trapped.


  2. Thank you for sharing your story here. It means a lot to me.