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Escape From The Nightmare (Dangerous Cults)

Escape From The Nightmare (Dangerous Cults)

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Published by AnonLover
By Andres T. Tapia & reprinted from strang.com :: Meet seven people who found freedom in Christ after years of bondage to counterfeit religions.
By Andres T. Tapia & reprinted from strang.com :: Meet seven people who found freedom in Christ after years of bondage to counterfeit religions.

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Published by: AnonLover on Jun 11, 2011
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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08/18/2014

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On April 19, 1993, Americans watched their televisions in horror as the Branch Davidiancompound near Waco, Texas, burned to the ground, killing 74 cult members.For ex-Davidians David and Debbie Bunds, the tragedy brought special anguish. It also causedthem to praise God once again for delivering them from the apocalyptic cult in 1989, placingthem forever beyond the deadly grasp of the group's leader, David Koresh.
Born into the Koresh Cult 
Twenty-eight-year-old Debbie was born into the cult, which was formed in the late 1950s, and raised amid its twisted doctrines by parents who had become Davidians in the 1960s.
Debbie will never forget how she and the other children suffered. "There were no adults that wekids trusted. We were nonhumans to them," she remembers. "They didn't look at us as human beings, as people with feelings, rights and minds. They just looked at us as lumps of clay to moldand to do with as they wished."According to Debbie, cult members readily accepted Koresh (whose name was Vernon Howell before he changed it) as their "new prophet" in the mid-1980s because of his charismatic personality, musical talent and apparent biblical knowledge. After 25 years of hearing previousleaders make failed prophecies about the end, "Vernon came along and we thought, Oh, finallysomething's happening," she says.Unlike his wife, 32-year-old David Bunds was not raised at the Waco compound but grew upwith his Davidian parents in California. He was 18 when he met Koresh for the first time andrecalls that the Davidian leader "spoke with authority. He could quote profusely from the Bible."Within months of this meeting, David's world changed drastically as Koresh began ordering allBranch Davidians to live at the isolated commune."All of a sudden it was life or death, an all-or-nothing thing where I had to totally devote myself to Koresh and his message," David says. "I had to go where he wanted me to go, do what hewanted me to do, live where he wanted me to live, get married when he decided that we couldget married. And then, once we were married, [we could] be together only when he decided itwas OK. He totally controlled our lives."After their wedding, David and Debbie continued to reside in Waco under Koresh's heavy-handed authoritarianism. They endured the abuse because they believed that because of their obedience to their leader, God might let them into heaven. Moreover, Koresh constantlyappealed to his authority as a "prophet of God" and warned them to "not touch God's anointed."David and Debbie finally found deliverance in Christ after David started studying the Scripturesfor himself. "It was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to us," says Debbie.
 
David agrees, but admits there was an emotional price. "It was such a radical thought it almosthurt to think it: Vernon is wrong. It was difficult."Today, David and Debbie and their three small children serve the true Messiah, Jesus Christ. Butother family members continue to be adversely affected by the Davidian cult. Debbie's parentsremain staunch Davidians. Her father, Woodrow Kendrick, was one of the Davidians tried andacquitted in Texas.David's sister and mother (who were both "married" to Koresh) are no longer Davidians, but theystill have not found Christ. His father has renounced Davidian doctrines but is estranged from hiswife and rejects Christianity.Despite these ongoing struggles, the Bunds believe people can protect themselves from false prophets and teachers."You've got to get that Bible open and start reading it," David says. "If you hear a message bysome prophet or teacher who is supposedly inspired, take your own Bible home later and readthe text. If you can't get the 'truth' out of the Scripture yourself, stop and take a second look, because that means there is a problem."To that, Debbie adds her own warning: "Never join a group or follow a teacher just becausesomebody's telling you that you should. If you're doing something out of fear, that's the wrongreason.""You must examine and test what you believe to see if it's true," David emphasizes. "That maysound formal and boring, but you've got to do it."The Bunds are confident that God will continue to guide them. Says David: "Whatever we dofrom now on is going to be based on a solid reason from Scripture."
 A Victim of “The Family” 
Sam Ajemian tried to win hippie converts to the Children of God in the 1970s. Today he spendsmost of his time warning people about the cult.
The Children of God stole a decade of my life that I can never get back," says Sam Ajemian, anArmenian-Greek immigrant living in Pasadena, California. Today, Ajemian can see clearlythrough the deception of the cult, which has changed its name to The Family. But in the late1960s, the errors weren't as easy to recognize.As a student at the University of Missouri, Sam had trouble making friends because of his poor English-speaking skills. In his loneliness he turned to drugs and was drawn to California and thehippie lifestyle. While studying Buddhism at the University of California at Berkeley, he metsome Jesus People and his life changed dramatically.

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