NCCG Critics : NCCG Response to a Swedish Newspaper
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From: MSN NicknameCommunity_Moderator  (Original Message) Sent: 6/6/2006 6:10 PM

Nya Wermlands Tidningen

v./ Gustav Sjöholm

Box 28

651 02 KARLSTAD

6 June 2006

Dear Mr. Sjöholm

1. I am in receipt of your letter postmarked 1 June 2006 with your list of questions.

2. I have met many journalists in my life, from the honest and fair to the gutter press, both here in Sweden and abroad. It was my happy experience in 2004 to welcome a freelance journalist from Värmlands Folkblad (VF) into my home to meet everyone who lived here. He had a photographic session, interviewed us most courteously, adults and children alike, from one of our oldest residents in his 80's to the youngest, and wrote a very fair and balanced article as a neutral observer in the good tradition of honourable journalism. He was shown everything he wanted to see and asked us whatever questions he wanted. Because he was interested in truth and fairness, he sent an advance copy of the article he intended to publish, allowed us to correct any misperceptions or false conclusions he may have come to, and published a sound article even when he did not necessarily agree with us on everything. I have, as a result, always had a high regard for VF.

3. I am assuming, with some justification, I believe, from the way your questions were formulated and the material you chose to discuss, that your primary source of 'information' was a newly created anti-NCCG website called 'NCCG_concern'. Since this is the sole website of its kind that we are aware of, I assume this is where you get your perspective of us (as you did say on the telephone to me that if I did not respond you would be writing an article based on "other sources"). I should inform you that the author of this site not only has never met with us or spoken with us, but refuses to be identified and make himself accountable, refuses to name the names of alleged complianants or supply substantiatable information, because he knows I will sue and expose him if he does. As a researcher myself, trained as a scientist at Oxford University, both in the biochemical and historical fields, I am more than aware of what constitutes bona fide research and what does not.

4. I do not know how old you are, what your political or religious views are, whether you promote certain values, whether you are a typical journalist from your newspaper, or whether you are a 'neutral' journalist. I do not know what your experience with people is, whether you care about people and society, or whether you are one of those unscrupulous journalists who just takes pleasure in muck-raking and 'exposing' for its own sake without regard for anyone's true welfare. Certainly you wrote to me in such a manner as to suggest that you had some kind of 'right' to be as rude and unprofessional as you wanted to whilst having little or no idea who we really are and, judging by the nature of the questions, having very literal interest in truth. Certainly you uncritically used terminology and asked loaded questions from a source which is unapologetically hostile, inaccurate and unaccountable, even going so far to call my home a 'compound' and implying that we practice 'slavery' with all the associations such words have with genuine cults such as the Branch Davidians and others. Since we find all forms of slavery repugnant and have no 'compound' but just a house and a garden like anyone else's in Värmland, as all who come in and out of here on a daily basis from the local community know, I shall set aside such questions until you have done some proper research and must seriously question your intentions. I cannot believe that you are a regular reporter from a reputable newspaper like Nya Wermlands Tidningen so I am assuming you are freelance. At any rate I shall be talking to the editors/owners of the newspaper to see if you are indeed one of their own.

5. However, because I am a professional man myself, both as an educator of over 20 years' experience, and a writer and minister for an equal length of time, I will give you the benefit of the doubt for the time being, even though I have considerable misgivings and, I think, with just cause. I shall assume you are ignorant of the facts and have been misled by a slander website, and answer all the questions I can reasonably be expected to in a fair and forthright manner. I have given you a whole day of my time in a full and lengthy statement, time which I could have better used otherwise in what is a very busy time of the year for me, so I trust you will use it in a truthful and responsible way and not quote out of context. I shall expect you to send me a copy of your newspaper, if you do decide to publish, as is commonly done. I shall in any case be publishing this myself as well, along with your list of questions and your name and employer, and be advising my lawyers in case you do not follow accepted standards of behaviour. I am in any case now in touch with the Swedish Newspaper Publisher's Association, the Swedish Union of Journalists and the National Press Club, and and making enquires with the Press Ombudsman (PO) to ensure proper journalistic practice as my legal advisors inform me that I have sufficient grounds to be concerned with your approach and ethos. I am also in contact with parallel EU institutions.

6. If you wish to see my professional qualifications along with character witnesses and testimonials, you can view these online at:

http://www.nccg.org/homeschooling/cert.html.

7. I obviously cannot easily answer questions and allegations that relate to persons whom you do not name or will not name, or articles which you do not cite, because frankly I have no clue who you are talking about, and in any case as a supposedly professional man with accountability you will understand that professional people like myself do not reply to ad hominem attacks, insinuation, or the like. Certainly I have not been contacted by anyone though I have been made painfully aware of some very unethical, if not illegal, practices, being perpetrated against myself, our members and friends which, if it continues, will become a matter of police investigation. For your own sake, and the reputation of your newspaper, which I am sure does not want to be involved in an indictment for professional misconduct, I am therefore giving you some information which you may wish to pursue and which will save us all a great deal of time and inconvenience.

8. Since it is plain that your source of material about us is from a recently constructed single website, it is perhaps advisable that you appraise yourself of the background of your 'source'. Indeed, if you want a real 'story', it is the truth behind the nccg_concern website, the agenda of the man behind it, who is supporting him, and why he is attacking a peaceful, law-abiding Christian community in Sweden, and creating unfounded fear and suspicion. Since the man (or woman) refuses to indentify himself under the absurd and totally implausible pretext that he would be endangering his life if he did so, I am simply going to call him "Mr.Concern". I don't have time to do all your research for you, but I will at least give you a head start.

9. To begin with, though he denies it, Mr.Concern belongs to an financially opportunistic 'profession', without any kind of credentials, which has been thoroughly discredited in the United States. His agenda, far from being altruistic, is anti-Christian and especially anti-minority religious groups. And whilst many of the groups who are investigated by such 'cult watchers' are truly cults in the broadest definition of the term, many are not, and are merely 'investigated' for financial gain or other agendas. Mr. Concern maintains a discussion board on NCCG at the 'Rick Ross Institute', a man regarded as the foremost 'cult deprogrammer' in the world but who is a well known criminal. He has been found guilty in the United States of embezzlement, fraud, kidnapping, and the violation of human rights, and by his own testimony, remains unrepentant of these misdemeanours. Victims of his kidnappings and 'deprogrammings' have been given awards of millions of US dollars, and one 'deprogramming' organisation was sued for criminal activity and went bankrupt. You should be aware that this is the kind of 'company' that Mr. Concern keeps. For a full report, see:

http://www.religiousfreedomwatch.org/false_exp/rossr1.html

You may also find the following link (in Swedish) interesting which shows similar abuses in this country:

http://gluefox.com/min/komment/arton.htm

10. We have collected evidence from members, investigators and friends that their email accounts have been hacked into either by Mr.Concern himself or people working with him or for him, who has then sent them emails from their own accounts (so as to cover up his own whereabouts and identity) with links to his website. In view of the criminal activities of these 'deprogrammers' I have to in all candour say that I am not really interested in their opinions and I would suggest to you that it is the 'deprogrammers' themselves who are 'dangerous and destructive' and are displaying cultic activities with an agenda to brainwash and reprogram their victims into subscribing to their own belief system (usually atheistic). There are watchdogs who advocate that 'deprogrammers' be carefull watched too as in:

http://www.cesnur.org/2001/london2001/barker.htm

11. Of course there are different kinds of 'deprogrammers', some 'christian' too, and the experience of someone we know who was (unsuccessfully) 'deprogrammed' by a 'christian deprogrammer', with the object of making him a Lutheran. In other words, 'deprogrammers' are themselves evangelists for their own belief systems, employ brainwashing techniques and can often otherwise behave in an antisocial manner. They often scare a lot of people so that they can charge expensive fees to 'deprogram' their children or relatives. It is lucrative business.

12. As for people 'totally changing', I have to ask you a rhetorical question: what are they supposed to have 'changed' into? People are 'changing' all the time. People change religious and political beliefs all the time. In some cases, we have members and investigators who have come from abusive homes who are breathing the air of freedom for the first time in their lives and are coming clean about their domestic abuse. Given that sexual abuse takes place in about 50% of all homes in Scandinavia, scientifically you have a 50:50 chance that a parent complaining about a child's change of religion or behaviour may not necessarily be based out of genuine concern for the child but out of fear of being exposed. Frankly I am surprised you would even ask such a question without checking into the background of your sources to see what is what.

13. The material in the next section covers most if not all of your other questions.

A Synopsis of the New Covenant Church of God

Introduction. The following does not claim to be an exhaustive statement of NCCG beliefs and was prepared at the request of a Swedish newspaper to state the 'fundamentals' of what we currently stand for, practice and believe in. (I should point out that our website is very out-of-date in some areas of belief and is about to be completely rehauled). The emphases have been laid in certain areas in response to a series of questions that were asked us. The purpose of this has been to give a general overview of both our history and current activities within that framework.

A. Origins. NCCG initially began, under the name 'Restoration Christian Fellowship' (RCF), as a single congregation in Oxford, England, in 1986 to help people coming out of Mormonism and into Biblical Christianity. The current NCCG is all but unrecognisable when compared to the early RCF, having undergone enormous theological changes, the largest and latest taking place in 1999 when it became a Hebraic-Roots association of congregations. The church it most closely resembles today is the United Church of God (UCG). We recommend that isolated NCCG members, or those who do not want to join NCCG, for now fellowship at UCG.

B. The Scope. NCCG is a small international fellowship of believers numbering upwards of about three to five thousand members. The majority of the congregations are located in Andhra Pradesh (AP) State, India, with congregations in other parts of India including Mumbai (Bombay) and the south. Members and investigators are currently (2006) to be found in every continent of the world except South America.

C. Humanitarian Work. NCCG runs a number of orphanages as part of our work to alleviate poverty and sickness in AP, and previously operated an AIDS clinic and medical centre in Chenai (Madras), south India, in cooperation with another denomination, the Church of Christ, under the late physician and pastor, Dr. Monei. Though primarily concerned with rescuing and looking after unwanted and discarded babies, latterly the orphanage received some refugee Tamil children from the civil war in Sri Lanka. No distinction was made between religious affinity and the orphanages received and looked after Hindus, Moslems and Christians. The work was recognised by the local authorities in Tamil Nadu who provided land for the planned new AIDS clinic. With the death of Dr.Monei and his wife, management of the orphanage and medical centre passed back to the local Church of Christ board of directors and NCCG redirected its efforts to its own newly forming congregations and orphanages in AP. Funding of these comes mainly through the Indian Rotary Clubs (at least in Tamil Nadu State), our own fund raising efforts on the internet, donations from members, and other concerned benefactors and well-wishers. Funds usually go direct to the place of need from source.

D. Organisation, Places of Worship and Evangelism. NCCG as a denomination began as a very centralised organisation but in later years has become almost totally decentralised with individuals, house groups, congregations and national churches operating independently of headquarters and one another. Only in Africa and India have we actually constructed simple makeshift houses of worship where the size of congregations warrants such. We are otherwise small house groups. The church buildings often become victims of seasonal monsoons, floods, and other violent acts of nature. Congregations, when fully organised, are led by a Pastor and Pastress (who serve as the spiritual father and mother of the congregation) assisted by two men and two women counsellors.

E. International Location, Recruitment and Local Practice. NCCG-India is run autonomously by an elected board of pastors from the 50 or so congregations there under the overseership of Bishop Vara Prasad. Evangelism in India is conducted by means of outdoor preaching in rural districts as is the tradition there, and the same is also true of the work in Africa and Asia. Most recruiting in America and Europe is, for the time being, done through the Internet for lack of resources and a large enough missionary force. Small groups and individuals are to be found in the USA, Africa (mostly Rwanda and Kenya), Asia (mostly the Philippines and Australia) and elsewhere in Europe. There is one small congregation in Arvika, Sweden, where our international office is located, with a few members and friends in west and south Sweden and Norway. Membership is given to anyone who accepts Yah'shua (the Hebrew name of Jesus) as their personal Lord and Saviour, and accepts and understands the Apostles' Creed (see below). After a year of studying the Bible and being satisfied that they accept the doctrines and practices of NCCG, and living the Christian life wherever they happen to be located, baptised members may become full members through the ordinance of Confirmation (Chrism) which involves the the laying on of hands and prayer common to many other churches. Confirmed members may partake of the Lord's Supper and become candidates for Priesthood ordination if they choose. Baptised members who decide they do not want to become full members are encouraged to find other churches in which to fellowship. We accept the validity of baptisms into Christ performed by other churches.

continued ....



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From: MSN NicknameCommunity_Moderator Sent: 6/6/2006 6:11 PM

F. Headquarters. The office in Sweden is primarily concerned with publications and providing online fellowship and education using the internet for scattered members and investigators, training prospective pastors, and holding small group-conferences throughout the year. Occasionally baptisms are performed for visitors. NCCG was originally headquartered in Norway (from 1988) but moved to Sweden (in 1997) for a number of reasons, chief of which was the location of a suitably large building for our international office and conferences at an affordable price. Headquarters is organised as a cooperative of several families and some senior citizens (old age pensioners) and serves as a small congregation in its own right. Currently there are three single-parent families and one single adult who form the core of the community, who manage the office, take care of the old people (until recently three, now only one owing to illness and death), manage conferences and training, look after the grounds, and homeschool their children. A variety of visitors - singe and married, members and non-members - come to stay at headquarters for shorter or longer periods of time to voluntarily assist in the work or just to visit, especially in the busy spring, summer and autumn periods. They come and go as they please and are restricted only by the availablity of accommodation. With the expansion of international evangelism more families are expected to come and settle to assist in the work.

G. Finances. The work of NCCG is financed by voluntary donations at home and abroad in the form of tithes or free will offerings. Because the bulk of the membership is poor and rural, and because we believe in a simple lifestyle augmented by the growing of our own food when possible, the membership internationally generally lives frugally and unostentatiously. We disdain and are repelled by the decadence of many of the TV evangelists. Headquarters, being a cooperative, has joint finances and was funded (until 1999) by salaries and the sale of more expensive properties owned in the cities prior to relocation, and since then additionally by the pensions and small incomes of its members. We encourage congregations to work cooperatively like NCCG headquarters, farm wherever possible, and assist the poorer congregations by investing in Green Planet International (GPI) which supports agricultural projects in Third World countries. When many people share resources, it is possible to live inexpensively as well as enjoy good fellowship. It is up to members to choose whether they live cooperatively or separately or to enjoy the benefits of both.

H. Bible and Creed. NCCG is a fellowship of believers who accept the Protestant Canon of Scripture (the Bible) and the Apostles' Creed common to all Christendom (the only formal creed we have) with whom we share a common identity in the basics of faith. We have no favoured Bible translation and use a variety of those commonly published. The New King James Version (NKJV) and the Hebraic-Roots Version (HRV) are currently the most popular though the New International Version (NIV), the Institute for Scripture Research Version (ISRV) and Restoration Scriptures True Name Edition (RSTNE) are also much used.

I. Theology. NCCG theology has evolved considerably over the years as the result of the study and input of its members, as typically happens in most denominations. Though it is always difficult and not always desirable to apply commonly used labels, it is probably true to say in the 'broad sweep' that we now steer a course midway between evangelical Christianity and the Messianic movement. If one were to draw a line representing a theological spectrum, with two end points and a mid one, and using other denominations as illustrations, then at the one theological end you would fine something akin to the Methodist Church, at the other end Two House Messianic Israelism (though we reject Zionism and do not believe the modern-day Republic of Israel is biblical 'Israel'), and in the middle a blend of Seventh-Day Adventism (SDA) and the beliefs and practices of the United Church of God (UCG). In a nutshell, we believe in salvation by faith (not works) with a fruit of this being obedience to the commandments (New Covenant Torah) including the seventh-day Sabbath, eating kosher food, and observing the seven annual festivals of Yahweh (God). We believe that all true believers constitute 'Israel' and that we belong to a nation (Israel), currently without territory or borders, which will come into existence when Yah'shua (Jesus) returns and sets up His Millennium Kingdom. In the meantime, we regard ourselves as a diaspora in the nations of the world.

J. Salvation and Truth. A person is saved and goes to heaven purely on the basis of a personal committment to Christ. Salvation is therefore independent of churches or groups. NCCG rejects the need for a church or sacraments (as in Roman Catholicism or Greek Orthodoxy) for a soul to be saved, and does not accept therefore that there is such a thing as a "one and only true church". Obviously we believe we are the most accurate representation of Christianity otherwise we would belong to other churches, just as Social Democrats believe that the best politics is to be found in their own party and not another one. People come and go to NCCG as they do to all churches based on free choice and personal conviction based on what they believe the truth to be. We bless them whether they stay or go since we believe that salvation is in a Divine Person (Christ), not an organisation.

K. The Olive Branch. As a contemporary prophetic community, NCCG believes in continuing inspiration and has recorded many of its experiences in a volume called the Olive Branch. Acceptance of the book is not required to be a baptised member of NCCG. It is regarded by full members as secondary scripture (in the form of conceptual revelation) for the guidance of the ministry but in a fully secondary position to the Bible (which is regarded as verbal-plenary and primary revelation in the original autographs). The Olive Branch is essentially an amplification of biblical principles and contains an extensive biblical dictionary. Acceptance of the Olive Branch is not required for salvation.

L. The Family. We believe that the family unit is the cornerstone not only of New Covenant Messianic Israel but also of society. As such, then, we preach the centrality of the nuclear family with monogamy as the normative lifestyle. We believe that men and women are equal in the reception of salvation but that Yahweh (God) has given men and women different biological and spiritual rôles (as in fathering and mothering). When people join NCCG they do so on the basis of accepting these scriptural rôles which includes headship of the father and husband in the home. Those who do not believe in this are free to join other churches which teach other models.

M. Agency and Change. We believe in the absolute necessity of human free agency, freedom of speech and the right to practice one's own religious beliefs, including the right to criticise other people's beliefs in a spirit of mutual respect. As a spiritual community we encourage free enquiry within the framework in which our community has been founded (the Bible and the Apostles' Creed), as is true of every religious, political and secular society or organisation. The fact that NCCG has changed so much over the years is reflective of this principle of free enquiry, and doubtless it will continue to change. The move from a central administration to autonomy of local congregations is one such practical change. The ordination of women is another. And finally, our theological belief that the Godhead consists of both male (Father and Son) and female (Ruach haQodesh/Holy Spirit) Deity which has shaped much of our latest theology revealing that man and woman are made in the image of the respective male and female components of the Godhead. We are very different from what we were when we first began 20 years ago.

N. Marriage. We believe that men and women should be free to choose their own marriage partners, that parents have the duty to guide their children, but the final choice is the children's. We accept that people not of our religious society are free to choose the lifestyle they want, biblical and non-biblical. We do not believe in forced, arranged, under-age or child marriages. In those countries where we make converts where such practices are cultually accepted, we give the converts the right to separate if they have been compelled to marry under duress and against their free will. We do not believe in circumcision, male or female (clitorectomy), and whilst we leave male cicumcision as a choice for male converts, we forbid clitorectomy which we consider to be mutilation and an abuse of women. We believe circumcision belongs to the Old Covenant and not the New and in this respect are fundamentally different from Messianic Jews. Because the Bible accepts polygamy, we have accepted polygamous families into membership in countries such as Kenya where we have a number of autonomous congregations where this lifestyle is commonly practiced. If the polygamous marriage was arranged or forced, we give the women the choice to leave if they so choose because we do not believe in any kind of marriage by force. Some of our initial polygamous congregations left our association because of our insistance that the practice of cliterectomy be stopped. Our policy is not dissimilar to that of the Swedish State which some years ago allowed a native Swede to marry two East Africans because this was the desire of the parties concerned and because this was an accepted part of that culture. Even though polygamy is beginning to be legalised in the West as an alternative to monogamy (Holland has decriminalised it), along with same-sex partnerships, we discourage this practice as a general rule and will continue to do so even should Western countries legalise it.

O. Schooling. We believe it is the right of parents to choose the way in which they want their children to be schooled, as is guaranteed by both EU Law and the UN Charter. My two eldest children were raised in the Swedish State School system and the majority of our members' children are raised in the state schools of their home countries. There are many, however, who prefer the homeschooling option which is becoming increasingly popular all over the world. In particular, homeschooling offers certain advantages to both pupils and parents - and especially single-parent mothers - who may wish to have a career and some mobility. We anticipate more and more NCCG parents choosing this system of schooling for a variety of reasons. These include avoiding school bullying, profanity, and the worsening drug culture, the teaching and imposition of philosophical beliefs contrary to our own, and so on. Many parents rightly point out that the whole concept of state schooling was invented by the Prussian military state in order to brainwash its citizens from an early age into becoming slaves of the state (of which fascism and communism are the regrettable products). Since we believe in pluralism, we believe that variety of choice is the best way to preserve the freedom and democratic rights of the individual and we aim to encourage a broader experience of life thereby. This includes the teaching of comparitive religion and different views of origins. The single-parent families of NCCG headquarters in Sweden have chosen homeschooling for both the reasons given above as well as because they desire a multilingual and multicultural education for their children and because they have chosen a form of education rooted in the English system with English as the primary language. The children are trilingual and weekly assessed and examined using an internationally accredited examination system in English under the auspices of TEACH (which is recognised by the EU) so that they can be advantaged for higher education, if they desire it, in an English-speaking country like the UK or USA. They will also take the Swedish examinations when they are 16, as required by the law in this country, should they wish to make use of higher Swedish education. Because of the nature of the lifestyle at NCCG headquarters, which is often punctuated during the year by conferences and teaching seminars, in addition to the fact that we celebrate holidays at different times of the year and the parents often travel abroad, taking their children with them, homeschooling is the most sensible option for us, giving working mothers the freedom they desire as well as maximising the children's skills to enable them to successfully interact in the international global village where English is the first language.

P. Abusive Cults and Satanism. Since about 2001 NCCG has been involved in helping people get free of physically and psychologically abusive cults, a ministry that was virtually thrust on us when we began to get requests for help from men and women trapped in a nighmare of sadomasochistic torture, rape and even murder that forms the underground world of Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA). This is a very controversial subject and a great deal of effort has been put into debunking it or explaining it away as a function of other processes and experiences by both those with an agenda as well as those who are sincere but misinformed. (Obviously if it is true, those practicing it have a strong interest in debunking it and discrediting those who try to expose it like ourselves). Personally, I wish it never existed as the world would be a much happier place without it, but I have met so many people who have experienced such similar things that I find it impossible to deny. The victims have few people they can turn to for help because few believe them. They are truly called 'society's outcasts' because few will believe them and even fewer will risk their necks to help them. Many investigators of SRA, Christians and non-Christians, have 'disappeared' or died in mysterious circumstances. Were it not for these people I would probably have believed all the spin that is put out on the net debunking it. As this is a huge subject, the reader is referred to the many websites on the subject such as:

www.the7thfire.com/new_world_order/Freemasonry/satanic_ritual_abuse.htm.

Not until we began helping the victims of SRA did we start becoming the recipients of threats and the target of a slur campaign, for obviously those perpetrating such acts of barbarism do not wish to be discovered or exposed. This latter ministry has completely changed the work of NCCG as we know it and made it highly controversial, and even though it is only headquarters and one or two other members and congregations who are involved with us in helping these victims, it has assumed a size out of all proportion in the the public eye to the main work of NCCG, which remains international evangelism and discipleship.

Q. Demons. As our earlier writings will attest, the subject of demons and demonisation did not figure very greatly in our teachings, and it was not until we became involved in helping SRA victims that we were forced to examine the subject more carefully. Irrespective of whether you believe there are such things as 'demons' or whether you attempt to explain 'abnormal' human behaviour by means of secular psychology (such as 'hearing voices in one's head'), two things are important to note. Firstly, SRA victims are suffering and need help - many of them are driven to suicide because of their nightmarish experiences. Secondly, both secular psychiatry and some Christian ministries have acquired bad reputations because the assistance they give can sometimes not only be usless but actually harmful. Swedish psychiatry has come under heavy attack recently, especially in the aftermath of the Anna Lindh murder, for its failure to help patients:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/3408957.stm

We recognise the value of both when done with understanding and knowledge. We do not perform what are called 'exorcisms' in NCCG, as the popular press calls it, but simply help people work through their traumas by discussing their experiences, loving and accepting them as people, and praying for them, or sending them to professional counsellors. Our resources do not, in any case, allow us to handle more than one or two clients at a time as committment requiring several years of care is usually needed.

R. Servanthood. One of the core teachings of Christianity is voluntary mutual service or servanthood. Yah'shua (Jesus) is the example of servanthood whose life as believers we seek to imitate in every way. We believe that Yah'shua (Jesus) as the Deliverer makes of everyone freemen and freewomen, and that that freedom impells us to forget self and serve our brethren and sisters to the best of ability to make life worthwhile and enjoyable.

_________________________

As Forrest Gump said, "That's all I have to say about that".

I wish you well.

Christopher C. Warren, M.A.


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Recommend  Message 3 of 15 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameCommunity_Moderator Sent: 6/21/2006 2:39 PM
The following, translated from Swedish, was published as a leader in a state-wide newspaper. It was a shocking assembly of lies and distortions mixed in with truth. I shall be writing a response and possibly taking this to court upon legal advice. I have numbered all paragraphs for easy reference and marked with a * where there is a lie an a ** where there is a distortion. All constructive comments welcome.
 

 
GLAVA: Deprogrammers going to attack against a Christian Sect

"They are destructive, dangerous and isolated"

1. In little Glava outside of Arvika Christopher Warren governs* an international sect**.

2. The members are recruited from great parts of the world through homepages and discussion groups on the internet.

3. Marie Alice Crapo who has worked with sects for 27 years says that the movement does everything that is typical of a destructive sect, they control people's lives* and create a paranoia against satanists**.

4. Christopher Warren writes in a letter to NWT (Nya Wermlands-Tidningen - New Wermland's Paper) that he would rather that satannic ritual abuse did not exist. But that he has encountered too many who have experienced similar things to be able to refute it.

5. NWT has also been in contact with parents who describe that their children have been "brainwashed"* and that they have been totally changed and wanted to move to the sect's head quarters after having got in contact with the movement on internet**.

6. GLAVA: Fighting against satanists and demons

7. From here an international sect is being goverened*

8. On the internet members are recruited to an international sect with headquarters in Glava**.

9. They fight against satanists and demons.

10. And by some they are viewed as destructive and dangerous.

11. In old Hillringsbergs Skola (School) outside of Arvika Christopher Warren governs the sect New Covenant Chruch of God (NCCG)**.

12. On a spacious website and through discussion groups on MSN new members are recruited from nearly all over the world.

13. But the sect has met with problems.

14. Mary Alice Crapo (better known by her former last name Chrnalogar) has worked against sects for 27 years.

14. She is even the author of a book about deprogramming.

15. - NCCG is destructive, dangerous and very isolated. They do everything which is typical of a sect, she says to NWT*.

16. She informs that Warren governs a typical sect which controls people's lives* and create a paranoia against satanists** and a feeling of losing out on something if one does not move to the headquarters*.

17. She says that one way for a sect to gain control over its members is to remove what they like**; that way there is nothing else to take an interest in besides the sect itself and that this is a tecnique NCCG is applying*.

18. Attempt to deprogramme

19. She has herself made an attempt to deprogramme one of the members who has been enticed** to Glava.

20. From beginning it looked like if it went well.

21. - It was a few months ago. It is not a matter of talking anyone out of it but to make them ask questions**. For these sects there is only one true way**. Some have so strong emotional ties that it is impossible, she says.

22. The reason for the failure was, according to the affected person's mother, that Christopher Warren called at four o'clock in the morning and said that the satanists were attacking and that he needed help*.

23. After that the person went to Glava.

24. - They are obsessed with satanists who are taking over the world, says Mary Alice Crapo**.

25. Change of Personality

26. A young woman's parent who NWT has been in contact with relates that the daughter has undergone a total change of personality since she started to get in contact with the sect through internet**. According to the parent it all lead to that the person was offered to work at the compound, without a salary, so that the woman could move there. She considered herself engaged to Christopher Warren and that she would go there to get married**.

27. Inger Lagerström, information officer at Migrationsverket (the Migration Office), says that she thinks the job offer sounds like confidence trickery**.

28. - One cannot work for only food and housing. There are slightly other rules that exist when it comes to missionary work, but a certain pay is needed. That means more than 100 SEK a week she says.

29. On the internet there are many different articles.

30. In one of them, written in Norwegian, Christopher Warren says that polygamy will be the natural state for the human race in the millenium and that slavery, in the meaning of servanthood, is something he believes in**.

31. He later writes in the same article that the problem that causes many christians to go from one denomination to another is the "I"culture, that all are free to do as they please. That is not what true Christianity is like, writes Christopher Warren.

32. Demonic Powers

33. In other articles he writes that demonic powers are behind homosexuality and that fortune telling by tarot cards, horoscopes, ocult TV games and films can be ways for demons to posess** people.

34. In a structural map over satan's spiritual structure the reader may see what devils have masturbation, war, abortion and according to the sect's opinion, false religions like Islam and Hinduism under their dominion.

35. In a discussion forum Christopher Warren relates about satanists' methods and tactics to destroy the reputation of the sect.

36. There one is told that Satan attacks on many levels and fronts and that a few people in extreme cases can disappear without any trace.

37. A person who has done research on the sect during a years time is pointed out as a probable satanist.

38. In another discussion forum which NWT has partaken in Warren describes how he with the help of god has killed forty-some satanists who have attacked the compound in Glava**.

39. These people where reduced to ashes, that is why the police haven't noticed anything**.

40. Not noticed Anything

41. In Glava the villagers haven't noticed anything about the sect.

42. The villagers that NWT has spoken to says that they manage on their own and don't disturb anyone.

43. Charlotte Hartwig Lundh is vicar and related that they have had nearly no contact with the congregation which she understands as if it wants to keep a little to themselves**.

44. - We have also been very bad at inviting them too. This is far from the Swedish Church. But one can still have a theological discussion, I am open to dialogue, she says.

45. Mary Alice Crapo says that the congregation's low profile is nothing unique.

46. - many groups exist without being noticed. What people do not know is that they undermine people's free will*, she says.

48. In a letter to NWT

Warren retorts to the critisism

49. A small congretaion with a big heart.

50. This is how NCCG describes itself on its Swedish homepage.

51. The leader gives in a letter to NWT his view of the movement.

52. In 1997 Christopher Warren and his followers settled in the old school straight outside Glava in Arvika kommun.

53. In a letter to NWT he replies to the critique against his sect.

54. He writes that the congregation has spread to big parts of the world.

55. According to their own estimate they have between 3 000 and 5 000 followers who are scattered in all parts of the world apart from South America. Most of them live in India.

56. When it comes to Europe and the rest of the West NCCG use the internet as its recruitment-tool.

57. The core beliefs according to Christopher Warren are salvation through faith, obedience to the commandments (including resting on the seventh day, eating kosher food and keeping gods seven festivals) and the founding of Israel which will happen when Jesus returns and creates his Millenial Kingdom.

58. Besides the movement claims that there is an underground movement consisting of satanists that torture, rape and kill women.

59. Christopher Warren would rather that this type of satannic ritual abuses did not exist, but he writes that he has encountered too many who have experienced similar things to be able to refute it

60. Changes all the time

61. In answer to the question of why peoples personailty is changed when they get in contact with his church he answers that people change all the time and that in some cases there have been persons who come from homes with sexual and other oppressions and that they after having got in contact with NCCG have become free for the first time.

62. He writes that there are sexual abuses in half of all the homes in Scandinavia and that it therefore isn't so strange that parents complain about their children's change of religious belief.

63. When adressing slavery he writes that he finds it disgusting.

64. About polygamy the congregation has accepted it when it happens in countries like Kenya but that they generally discourage it.

65. Not interested

66. Christopher Warren points out that one deprogrammer in the organisation Rick Ross Institute, which Mary Alice Chrnaloga supports, has been judged for insurance fraud, kidnapping and breach of human rights.

67. Based on that, Christopher Warren is not interested in their opinions and says that they themselves are dangerous and destructive and use sect-behaviour to brainwash their victims to believe the deprogrammers' conviction, which often is atheistic.

68. He also considers the questions which NWT sent (after we didn't get the telephone interview we first were promised) imply that we are rude, unprofessional and that we have no interest for what the congregation is really like, plus, because of the way the questions are asked, are not really interested in the truth.

 


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Recommend  Message 4 of 15 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameCommunity_Moderator Sent: 6/21/2006 3:26 PM
I shall be writing a full response to this in due course but thought it worth while to initially point out the most blatant lies, the truth of the matter of which can be easily verified.
 
What they are basically trying to do is demonstrate that our home - a cooperative of three families - is some Jim Jones-type compound where we mastermind and plot to make converts and brainwash them here using deception. The truth is that of our international membership of several thousand, no more than about two dozen members and investigators have ever visited here, of which about 8 have been baptised here, and most of which actually lived here or stayed longer than the length of a festival, about one week. The longest stay of a visitor from abroad we ever had was three months when we were training up a prospective pastor and investigator from the same location. This was recently.
 
They also want to make out that we are totally isolated and secretive. As the article will demonstrate, we actually know a lot of local people who frequently visit us, coming and going as they please, and are involved in local sports and cultural activities. We distributed a booklet when we first arrived saying who we were, and to invite people to meetings, to thousands of homes around, and placed ads in the local newspaper announcing meetings. So everyone knows about us who was here 9 years ago. Sweden is not a very religious country so the response was small. We have visitors from many denominations from all over the world who simply want to meet and discuss with us. We've had pentecostals from Norway and Africa and UCG members from the UK and USA, none of whom joined us, but who stayed and lived with us from a day to 2-3 weeks and got to know us. Indeed very few of our visitors actually join and those who do usually return to their home countries and manage themselves.
 
We are little more than an office that answers enquiries, distributes literature, and invites pastors to come for training. We have actually met far less than 1% of our members. NCCG congregations govern their own affairs and do nothing more than send an annual report of activities. They elect their own officers, evangelise in the normal way (outdoor preaching mostly), and actually have very little access to internet. People come and go all the time, they know exactly what we believe from our detailed website, and I have never met anyone who was 'surprised' to find we believed different things to what we have published, or have 'secret rules', because they weren't surprised and there are no secret rules. Discipling and residency is by consent, not compulsion.
 
If our NCCG office were to fold up, I doubt most would even notice. They would probably miss our weekly sermons but that is about all. Members and friends would fellowship online as they do in this Group. We are training congregations and cell groups to be independent for difficult times ahead, of which this newspaper article is symptomatic.
 
Our policy regarding homosexuals, occultists, tarot readers and the like is that they are free to do as they please, live the lifestyle they please, and should live their lives unobtrusively as we do. But not those who abuse, rape or kill. Obviously. People may not believe in SRA - that's their privilege. But every once in a while, people get hysterical when mob-rousers fuel suspicion and hate. We remember the innocent Dreyfuss in the Protocolls of Zion of the late 1800's who was courtmartialled from the French army on the basis of slander provoked by anti-semites. He was proven innocent later but not until after his life had been ruined.
 
Most of know who has fuelled this and we all know that because we believe that that we are labelled as 'paranoid'. They want us to believe that we are trying to whip up fear in our members about SRA so they will all come running to our so-called "compound" for safety (not that we have space for more than 2-3 visitors at a time). The fact of the matter the only people the abusers are interested in is us - those seeking to expose this underground horror - the rest they couldn't care a fig about. Most of our members have never even heard of them, let alone care.
 
Because it seems we have been targeted by malicious people, it wouldn't matter what we did. If we were vocal against practices and beliefes we don't agree with, we would be pounced on. And now, because we "live and let live", they want to accuse us of being "isolationist" and "secretive". Once you're targeted for a smear campaign, whatever you do will be judged as wrong and having sinister motives. It seems people have not learned the lessons of propaganda and totalitarianism.
 
In short, there are one or two people who want to see us out of the way. "Why", is the big question, since we are so small and our influence on this country and its affairs is zero. The only thing we have publically campaigned for is our right to homeschool. It seems we must now campaign to simply exist whilst a new secular inquisition decides what is culturally orthodox and what is not ... whatever that means.
 
If this newspaper gets away with this sort of misrepresentation and distortion, it means that interested parties can target groups they don't like and eliminate them at will. For our part, we shall not let this go by. We take our stand in Psalm 15:
 
Ps 15
Psalms 15
15:1 A psalm of David.

Yahweh, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
2 He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart
3 and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbour no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,
4 who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear Yahweh,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,
5 who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.
NIV
 
 

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Recommend  Message 5 of 15 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameCommunity_Moderator Sent: 6/21/2006 3:27 PM
Error in Line #6 - "longer" should read "no longer"

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Recommend  Message 6 of 15 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameCommunity_Moderator Sent: 6/21/2006 9:43 PM
We have learned that our enemies plan to continue his defamation, slander, and rumour campaign so I guess this is only the beginning. Yahweh has given us scripture to meet the current persecution which we shall follow:
 
<DIR>

So be careful to do what Yahweh your Elohim has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Walk in all the way that Yahweh your Elohim has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

<DIR>

Deut 5:32-33, NIV

</DIR></DIR>

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Recommend  Message 7 of 15 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameCommunity_Moderator Sent: 6/22/2006 10:20 PM
It seems Yahweh is about to do great things and that there is a purpose in the current campaign to ruin my reputation. He also pointed out that one of the revelations in the Olive Branch is being fulfilled right now. It's not, unfortunately, online and we have no way of getting it up as it looks as though the nccg.org domain name has been hijacked. How long he website will remain, then, I have no idea.
 
Here is the section from the Olive Branch (Chapter 382):
 
<DIR>

1. I retired to my bed disappointed with my spiritual condition at such a critical time.

2. I had been reading the writings of Basilea Schlink1, that I might better prepare myself to be a part of the mystical bride of Christ.

3. In the early hours of the morning of 11 September 1995 I had an extra-ordin- ary dream which impressed itself so deep- ly upon my mind when I awoke that I was almost exclusively occupied with it in my thoughts for many days afterwards.

</DIR>

I. The First Wave

4. I found myself standing in the sea chest-high with many other people who appeared to be members of the Church.

<DIR>

5. Most seemed to be young. The water was very, very still indeed.

</DIR>

6. Suddenly, a wave about 1-2 metres high came towards us.

7. I, and the others, managed to leap over the wave as it passed us by.

<DIR>

II. The Second Wave

</DIR>

8. After a short pause of stillness again another much larger wave came along -- about twice the size of the first one -- and on this occasion we had to move forward a short distance with it as it splashed up into our faces and gently deposited us on the sea bed again.

<DIR>

III. The Third Wave

9. After a brief lull, yet another wave came that was absolutely enormous, about the size of a building.

10. This one was impossible to leap over and we were simply swept off our feet but still deposited safely on land.

</DIR> <DIR>

A New Spiritual Panorama

11. There was a dramatic change in atmosphere. Whereas in the sea we had just been standing still apparently not doing anything, now there was great act- ivity.

</DIR>

12. People were showering and getting dressed. Some were checking to see how much food we had in our store and work- ing out whether we had enough to survive on or not.

The Small Lecture Theatre

<DIR>

13. The scene changed again and I found myself in a small lecture theatre wondering what would happen next.

14. I seemed to have no control of the situation but was content merely to wait and see.

</DIR>

15. There were several dozen people in the room, perhaps more, and many of them were, I believe, Koreans1.

<DIR>

16. A film was about to be seen by us on a very large screen indeed

</DIR>

The Giant Lecture Theatre

<DIR>

17. The film began and we found ourselves at first looking at -- and then found ourselves actually inside -- another lecture theatre of considerable size1. It was clearly a Christian meeting hall.

</DIR>

18. There were various European and/ or North American technicians prepar- ing the pulpit area with microphones and equipment for what looked like a very big evangelistic meeting indeed.

<DIR>

19. I did not recognise any of them. The congregation had not yet arrived and they were clearly busy trying to ready the place.

</DIR>

Great Activity

<DIR>

20. The scene changed again and I saw a man taking a shower. He appeared to be in a great hurry because not only was he showering but also shaving and talking to another man on a videophone. I believe the man in the shower was myself.

</DIR>

I remembered this dream, which was over 10 years ago, when Yahweh told me today that the "second wave" of persecution would start as soon as my latest letter was received by the newspaper which slandered me. It will, He said, "cause ripples". He confirmed that this was the time of fulfilment of the revelation and that though I had assumed it had been fulfilled 10 years or so ago, what happened back then was just a "dummy run" of what is to happen now. This time it will be fulfilled precisely.

The first wave was the malicious attack by the Swedish newspaper. The next one will be a continuing unfoldment of the enemy to defame me and destroy my reputation. His revelation about what will happen in the next two waves was:

"This will be a greater work (what emerges from NCCG after the three waves). What can be shaken will be shaken and what is left will be clean and pure and a vessel enlarged and used to His glory"

The object of these attacks is to decimate the membership, investigators and friends because of all the lies that will be spread by the enemy at this time. The form the next attack will take is unclear but not partictlarly important because Yahweh said:

"What's supposed to be will be stronger and that which brings death spiritually will be cleansed out."

In otherwords, the events now unfolding are a part of the cleansing process which He prophesied would happen this year. He has told me to continue constructing the basic outline of the new webpage but not to add materials yet.

The good news of this latest slander campaign is that Yahweh will use the evil intents of the enemy for everyone's good. They will not achieve their expected aim in the newspaper slur.

Remember that tomorrow is Midsummer's Night and that there will be lots of spiritual activity. If anyone wants to come along to DFD Chat for spiritual support we'll see if we can't get some people there to help with prayer and ministry.

Keep yourselves in prater, be prepared for anything, remember to test everything with Yahweh, spiritual as well as physical, and to keep your eyes facing forwards, neither turning to the left or the right (Dt.5:32-33). A lot of people are going to get confused.

My answer to the newspaper will appear in the next post.


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Recommend  Message 8 of 15 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameCommunity_Moderator Sent: 6/22/2006 10:36 PM
Nya Wermlands Tidningen

Staffan E. Ander,

Chefredaktör och ansvarlig utgivare

Box 28

651 02 KARLSTAD

OFFICIAL COMPLAINT

21 June 2006

A1. This letter letter follows receipt of a copy of the Nya Wermlands Tidningen newspaper (10 June 2006) sent to me by your reporter, Gustav Sjöholm, 10 days after its publication which I have had translated.

A2. The article written by your reporter was a hate-filled, libellous and defamatory account full of lies and misrepresentations. This letter is therefore a demand that you publish an apology and a retraction before this matter is taken to higher authorities and legal action is taken to ensure that I receive adequate compensation for the harm you have done to me. Copies of this letter, along with the whole case material, are being sent to these authorities and to interested legal, journalistic and professional parties in the USA and UK.

A3. I have no problem with people holding contrary views to mine, or even holding those contrary views passionately provided they do it in a civilized manner and observe certain codes and standards of decency common to all. We live in a pluralistic society where minorities are protected and where people with contrary views are allowed to live their lives in peace. Sadly, we also live in a society where those with dishonest and unscrupulous intent are also, at times, tolerated whilst their lies are believed.

A4. I am happy to openly discuss my views with journalists who do not have a dishonest agenda (or with anyone for that matter of the same disposition) and I have entertained such in my home over the years, as I have already done so here in Sweden. We had one such reporter from Värmlands Folkblad here who was given the freedom of my home and who behaved decently and reported fairly and neutrally. However, I have every right to refuse those whose intent I discern to be dishonest and malicious. And there are plenty of good journalists here in Sweden. But if there is one thing I cannot abide, it is a liar and a defamer of character. I have no objections to reporters in general, but yours, whom I presume is freelance, is clearly a young opportunist willing to go at any lengths at the expense of truth and people's feelings in order to get a 'scoop'. His methods are dishonest, he reports inaccurately, sets up straw men, twists the meaning of words to make them mean something entirely different to their original intent, does sloppy research work, takes material out of context, unashamedly publishes lies, creates propagandistic photographs deliberately calculated to promote the mood and tenor of his biases and malicious intent, all of which can easily be proved it in a court of law. Instead of sneaking around at night like a prowler, your newspaperman could have sent an honest reporter like the man from VF. In fact I couldn't believe that an old and respected newspaper like WNT could publish such trash. However, this is more than trash - it is defammatory and libelous.

A5. The following is a perfunctory answer to the newspaper article (10 June 2006, pp.1, 4-5), the details and other evidence being left to any court action I may choose to initiate if I am not given satisfaction by your reply and actions.

B1. The Photography

Your journalist could have taken an ordinary full-frontal picture of our house in daylight instead of going deep into the surrounding woods at twilight so that the house, barely visible, was obscured by dark trees and deliberately made to look sinister. We know your reporter could have done so because he drove up close to the house and photographed the banners over our front door. Instead, he deliberately created a 'mood' to match the false atmosphere he conjured up in his article.

B2. Refused Telephone Interview

I did indeed change my mind about a telephone interview and a photographic session, and rightly so, when I received a list of questions from him (which I will be publishing soon) and I could see what his intent was. I have met this kind of man before and I had every right to refuse such a disreputable rogue into my home. And I would unapologetically do the same again.

B3. Isolated

Our home is no more 'isolated' than any other property in rural Värmland. We have neighbours all around us, one within 100 yards of us and visible from our grounds. The whole village of Hillringsberg is little more than 200 yards from us. The property was purchased, as I informed your journalist, because it was of the size we wanted, and at the right price. If we had wanted to be 'isolated' we could have gone to the wilderness of Finnmark, northern Sweden or the Sahara desert. We were examining a property in Norway before we moved here, right in the middle of a small town, but rejected it because it was too expensive. Otherwise it would have served our needs perfectly.

B4. The Local Lutheran Priest & Church and Social Contacts

B4.1. I was appalled at the way your journalist manipulated the local Lutheran minister to give the impression that we are entirely cut off from our local community. He failed to note (because he wasn't bothered to find out as it would have gone against his agenda) that the minister and one of our cooperative members used have had close contacts swimming together with their children, met once at the circus, going to each other's birthday parties (we have the photographs to prove it), and attending kindergarten (Förskolan) together. Furthermore, we attend the local Luthern Church from time to time with visitors, attend summer musical concerts there when we are able to, and used to know, and were on friendly terms with, the former pastor's wife before her husband retired because of illness and they moved to Arvika. Obviously the different adult members of the cooperative pursue different interests like attending local plays and the like and are not, as Sjöholm alleges, forced to give outside interests up.

B4.2. The children of the cooperative are members of, and participate in, the local footballing activities of SvFF (Svenska Fotbollsförbundet) and are, most years, members of the Landslagets Fotbollskola. Three of the children were awarded SvFF Diplomas last year.

B4.3. Members of the local community, who have nothing to do with our beliefs, are coming in and out of the cooperative all the time. It is quite open. It is true that we don't know large numbers of the local community but that is partly because we travel a lot and are involved with other activities, and it is in any case the nature of most tight-knit rural communities, where lots of inter-marrying takes place, to be suspicious of new people, especially foreigners, moving in. We understand that and do not begrudge it. We had the same experience in Norway and doubtless the same is true all over the world. We were good friends with the Norwegian manager of the next door herrgård who visited and ate with us frequently he had nothing to do with our beliefs and was an atheist), and we with him before he moved. Indeed one of our cooperative members designed a website for him and for two other businesses in the village.

B4.4. The local minister, and anyone who is willing to mutually treat us as equals, irrespective of their beliefs or politics, is welcome here any time. It has always been so. Some of our family members and friends are Lutherans.We have friends from many denominations, religions and with no religious beliefs at all. The vast majority of people who come in and out of the cooperative are local people totally disconnected to our beliefs. Out of respect for local sensitivities we have never attempted to evangelise them except when we arrived here in 1997 when we put booklets in hundreds of letter boxes inviting them to attend our meetings if they wanted to, and we published who we were in a local Arvika newspaper offering Bible courses. All of this is documented. We have had, and still have, an open door policy for everyone who sincerely wants to be friends with us or know about our beliefs. Simply because we are not pushy or aggressive means just that we respect the way of living of the people in this country and not for some ridiculous ulterior motive.

B4.5. We frequently welcome parties of former school members in the summer, mostly pensioners, who studied at our premises before it was sold several decades ago. We welcome them, exchange photographs and other information about former pupils and the school building, as we take a lot of interest in local history, especially our own school building. All this is documented in photographs. As time permits, we are hoping to write up some of our historical discoveries. We knew a local poet who shared his experiences of Värmland and knew another who translates Värmland poetry into English for publication. I personally take a lot of interest in local scenic art and attend exhibitions in Arvika. I have done some landscape photography (photography being one of my interests) and hope to publish some of these one day of the magnificent Glafsfjord.

B4.6. Your journalist has simply decided to dishonestly define us the way he wants to, taken the word of a so-called 'cult deprogrammer' who has never met us, knows nothing about us, and spoken to one young man who was a guest here for a week in 2005, a man she tried to brainwash into accepting her own religion (denials to the contrary) by subjecting him to hours and hours of contionuous video tapes, got our theology completely wrong, and terrorised the man's mother into believing all kinds of false scare stories about us. We never telephoned the mother's son at 4 a.m. in his home country warning him of some 'attack' - this is a complete fabrication. And whilst Crapo may very well have exposed some genuine cults and helped their victims, yet she remains in association with a criminal charged and found guilty of embezzlement and kidnapping whose records can be examined in the US courts. We are in contact with the people who took him to court and won. So with all due respect, she knows nothing about our lifestyle or social contacts, and has her own biases and religious agenda. Ironcally, we agree with most of what Crapo believes about cults and had she actually been here would have seen that we are not the way the slander website has portrayed us from which she has doubtless obtained most of her information. Your prejudiced journalist simply gave her carte blanche in the same way she very unwisely gave carte blanche to the slander website run by a man who remains anonymous and unaccountable. When the young man returned briefly here this summer, before returning home to see the World Cup, he discovered for himself that everything this woman had told her we were was not true, which is hardly surprising.

B4.7. Given this information, it should be obvious to anyone with any sort of intelligence that we are neither trying to be inconspicuous nor trying to isolate ourselves. Obviously, we involve ourselves in those activities which interest us and don't attend those which don't, like ordinary human beings do.

B4.8. Therefore the headline and material claiming that we are isolated is a malicious lie, deliberately inserted to promote the crafted image of a cult based on misinformation, bad research and dishonest intent.

B5. Your Article, Page 1

Almost every single paragraph in Sjöholm's article contains a lie or a distortion in which words are carefully manipulated.

    B5.1. Manipulative Use of Language: e.g. 'Sect'
    B5.1.1. "1. A sect is a subdivision of a larger religious group (especially the Christian Church as a whole) the members of which have to some extent diverged from the rest by developing deviating beliefs, practices, etc.; 2. A schismatic religious body, religious group regarded as extreme or heretical; 3. A group of people with a common interest, doctrine, etc." (The New Collins Concise English Dictionary, p.1042).
    B5.1.2. Since your journalist nowhere attempts to define a 'sect' but is clearly using it in the negative context of a 'cult' without actually saying so, the motive is clearly defammatory. A neutral word would have been 'group' or something like it.
    B5.1.3. Since your newspaper is sectarian and not religious I am not going to bother to discuss theology. I am assuming that Sjöholm is using the word 'sect' in a purely negative sense since he nowhere defines it. He is obviously not a religious man, and disrespectfully refers to god with a small 'g' (I doubt he would describe islam with a small 'i' or mohammed with a small 'm' so as not to be accused of religious disrespect or 'hate crimes') which I doubt the millions of Lutherans in this country would be too pleased to see.

    B5.2. Use of the word 'Destructive'
    B5.2.1. To date, the newspaper has named no names except one deprogrammer and someone from the Immigration Board, and failed to identity the primary source of its information. He speaks much of Crapo who as it happens, according to the generally accepted definition of the term, belongs to a 'sect' of Roman Catholicism. (I would not myself refer to her denomination as a 'sect', since all Protestant churches are by that definition a 'sect' but it very clearly is. It is ironic that Crapo in one of her books refers to Roman Catholicism as a 'cult' or having cult-like tendencies, though I doubt your newspaper would dare use such a term in public because of the political power of that organisation). And if we are going to apply the same linguistic rules as Sjöholm and be pedantic, we could describe Swedish culture as a 'cult' as well as a 'sect' because it is sectarian. I can prove that the use of such words is subjective and that your reporter has deliberately employed these terms in a dishonest, defammatory and maliciously intentional way which amount to little more than an an expression of hatred of religious minorities.
    B5.2.2. As for being 'destructive', it is a simple matter to show that your newspaper, in publishing such trash, is in fact the one brainwashing the public and filling your readers with antisocial, hate-filled and hostile attitudes to an innocent community of people. If we were so 'destructive' as Sjöholm claims, is it not a little odd that in 20 years not one person has made a public complaint against us? When Sjöfelt first telephoned me he 'could not understand' why he had not come across our ministry before. The truth is, someone with malicious intent contacted him with a view to slandering and discrediting us.

continued in Part 2


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Recommend  Message 9 of 15 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameCommunity_Moderator Sent: 6/22/2006 10:37 PM
    B5.3. Use of the Word 'Brainwashed'
    B5.3.1. In Paragraph 4 Sjöholm claims that he has been in contact with parents who describe that their children have been 'brainwashed' but nowhere, and no doubt purposefully, defines the word. According to my dictionary, brainwashing is "to effect a radical change in the ideas and beliefs of a person, especially by methods based on conditioning" (Ibid., p.130). And if we are following Crapo's implicit use of the word 'conditioning' in using the word 'brainwashing', as one must assume that Sjöholm is, then I assume it is the psychological aspect he is trying to point out, namely, "to alter the response of a person or animal to a particular stimulus or situation.". If that is his intended meaning, then one arrives at the ludicrous situation whereby one can accuse everyone of 'brainwashing', including the state itself in its 'conditioning' of pupils at public schools to think and react in certain ways. If he means that someone 'brainwashes' in a more extreme way, by the use of coercision, e.g. hypnosis, torture, emotional manipulation, etc., then he must prove that such has happened, otherwise he becomes guilty of defamation. Since we utterly detest such behaviour, counsel our investigators to study matters out privately, take their time, and come and go as they please, as numerous people will testify, Sjöholm finds himself in the position of being a defamer and the burden of proof rests on him.
    B5.3.2. Moreover, not only does he report inaccurately such that his reporting of the words, as I have already proven, is unreliable, but we have no proof that the words he reports allegedly said by those criticising us are true. We only have his word. As I have written elsewhere in my letter to him, he is unobjective and seems to accept carte blance, without the critical enquiry of a supposed 'professional' (I allege that he is totally unprofessional), whatever one or two (he doesn't state how many) critcis say about us, whose credibility has not been established. I can prove for a fact that two of the persons he has interviewed are bigoted racists and guilty of gross psychological abuse of their children, have hired criminals who have performed criminal acts on their behalf, which matter would be clearly established in a court of law should it come to that. This is not reported, obviously, because to examine the background of one of the complainants I know of would totally undermine Sjöholm's claims.

B6. Your article, pages 4-5

B6.1. Throughout this lengthy article, Sjöholm sets out to create an image - a false one created in his own fantasy - of a dangerous Jim Jones-type cult who at any moment might compell its members to do something drastic drink poison and commit suicide. It is pretty obvious that that is his intention from the way he writes. He tries to create a picture of a dangerous cult steered from a sinister looking building in the middle of the Swedish wilderness luring people to its headquarters to get slave labour and doubtless to steal their money too. The fact of the matter is that in 9 years of being in Sweden we have lived a frugal lifestyle, with a tiny income, with 6 permanent adult members, half of whom were old age pensioners (until one died and the other was transferred to a home- both retired pastors) to whom we devoted our time and efforts to take care of (as ther local people all know). They were/are all quite ill, we work together voluntarily to make their life as pleasant as possible. The others serve here without coercision, to serve our ministry abroad.

B6.2. We are little more than an office that answers enquiries, distributes literature, raises money for our orphanages, and invites pastors to come for training, as stated in a letter to Sjöholm. We have actually met far less than 1% of our members. Our congregations govern their own affairs and do nothing more than send an annual report of activities. They pay us no tithes or offerings because they are too poor and we do not expect it of them anway, as is clearly documented on our website They elect their own officers, evangelise in the normal way (outdoor preaching mostly), and actually have very little access to internet. People come and go all the time, they know exactly what we believe from our detailed website, and I have never met anyone who was 'surprised' to find we believed different things to what we have published, or have 'secret rules', because they weren't surprised and there are no secret rules. Discipling and residency is by consent, not compulsion. Sjöholm, however, has bought into the misinformation Crapo (herself seemingly influenced by the unaccountable and libelous slander site on the internet), and simply chosen to believe what he wants to.

B6.2. If our little office were to fold up, I doubt most would even notice. They would probably miss our weekly sermons but that is about all. Members and friends would fellowship online as they do in this Group. We are not some centrifugal hub on which all our members are totally dependent with which can 'manipulate' or 'control'. Indeed, our policy is the very opposite of what Sjöholm would like people to believe: we encourage all our groups to be self-sufficient and independent.

B7. "Views as destructive and dangerous"

B7.1. In view of what I have written on brainwashing and conditioning above, a heading in bold face such as this is downright conditioning. There is no balance in the article anywhere. There are no interviews with any of our thousands of ordinary members or pastors. Nowwhere. Instead, the only people who are interviewed are one or two untested and uninvestigated critics, an anonymously produced and unaccountable website, some local people who have nothing bad to say of us (because we have good relations with our community) except a Lutheran Pastor who, according to Sjöholm's (clearly demonstrated inaccurate) reporting implies she has no contact with us, when in fact she knows one of our cooperative members very well and has visited us, and we her.

B7.2. We can present testimonies from dozens of members and non-members alike who actually know us and have stayed with us and can say just what we are like. And I myself have numerous character witnesses from professional people, who have known me intimately over many years, who have no connection with my religious beliefs and who in many cases have no religious beliefs at all, who will vouch for my own character. They are all published on-line and Sjöholm was directed to them, but clearly ignored them.

B7.3. Using Crapo as an authority, someone who does not know us, who has got our theology completely wrong (no doubt because of the 'research' done for her on an anonymous slander site, which we have extensively critiqued), has not made a cross-sectional study of our people (her reasons are another matter and the subject of another investigation) Sjöholm makes many ad hominem accusations through suggestion (read 'conditioning'). If either he or Crapo had wanted to test their theories, they could have joined our online discussion groups openly (and not dishonestly, either they or their 'informants' lying in order to gain admission, as we know they did), and openly asked questions of anyone on the groups. There they would have discovered (and know it, actually, Sjöholm never reported it) that people are free to expore any way they want and to criticise me. There are numerous posts criticising my beliefs by non-members and members alike.

B8.1. "Change of Personality"

So-called 'cult deprogrammers', who make a great deal of money out of their profession in some cases, as I have unapologetically alleged, themselves display cult-like tendencies, brainwashing and conditioning. In fact, it has been conclusively proved in courts of law in the USA and various watchbodies are strongly advising that 'cult deprogrammers' be closely monitored alongside the cults they seek to expose. I supplied this information to Sjöholm who was clearly not interested in the truth and only made passing reference to 'my' allegations, ignoring the public watchdogs themselves. Indeed, he nowhere recognised or so much as hinted that the public was very concerned about the 'deprogrammers' and simply reported that I had stated my disbelief in their impartiality.

B8.2. Sjöholm cites only two cases in his entire article and then, using his biased criteria, conditions Migrationsverket to think along his lines as well. He fails to note - because he is not interested - that Migrationsverket has already accepted the basis on which we recruit assistants from abroad as a result of negotiations with them in the past. All of this is documented. He also failed to note that we insist that visitors to our co-operative can finance a return air ticket and maintain savings to that they can resume their career or education in their home country should they wish to return. Indeed, as he would testify, a recent convert, who is not an official member, whom Sjöholm reports anonymously in his article, was told by us that he should leave all his savings back home in case he wanted to travel back and forth or permanently return home. This he can verify. But Sjöholm is not interested in anything that would make his "destructive, dangerous and isolated" cult theory look absurd, as indeed it is. And if he had done his research properly on our website, he would have read that anyone wanting to settle at the cooperative (remember, no new people have settled in the whole of our 9 years in Sweden) are given a considerable numbers of rights, including the right, should they leave, to take the equivalent of all they brought with them materially and financially.

B8.3. As for a "change of personality", as I have stated elsewhere, people change all the time. The vast majority of people report huge positive changes in their lives who come here. A handfull of others, who have personality problems associated with drug abuse, alcoholism, and psychological problems stemming from abusive and unhappy homes, come and go. One of our ministers works exclusively on the streets of Oslo helping drug addicts, works closely with the local municipality ot kommun and rehabilitation organisations, and occasionally brings clients here for weekends to get out of the city atmosphere with all its drug temptations. Of course, Sjöholm is not interested in this. If there are psychiatric visitors, we involve the parents if they are alive and interested (we've had three in total), who are usually not members, as much as we can. Last year we had a woman from the Balkans visit us for 2-3 months with psychiatric problems with whom we worked with the full cooperation of her parents, the father a renowned poet in his home country - neither parent belong to our church. B8.4. When it was clear that she would be best served by professional counsellors, we sent her back to her parents, who have written positive and affirmative testimonies of us. But of course such material would have spoiled Sjöholm's imaginary world of a "dangerous, destructive sect". In this particular case, there was no personality change at all.

B9. "Undermining Freewill"

B9.1. In another example of Sjöholm brainwashing and conditioning, he cites Crapo again, arguing from his bogus 'isolationist' theory, who says: "Many groups exist without being noticed. What people do not know is that they undermine people's free will". I am sure many do just that. But as Sjöholm very well knows - or would have known if he bothered to do an honest day's work and do his resaerch work properly - is that people know who we are, visit us, and have received literature from us telling them of our beliefs.. Until she moved to Arvika, a Pentcostal lady (who never joined us) from the nearby village, used to meet with us.

B9.2. I am not sure what Sjöholm is trying to accuse us of here, but if it is that we deny people free will, this is a total lie and fabrication. We are the total opposite. He has not one iota of proof that anyone is ever denied free will. If, on the other hand, he means that people coming to the cooperative cannot drink alcohol or play violent computer games are somehow denied their 'free will', then it should be pointed out that visitors know the rules before they come. People are free to say 'no' if they don't like the rules and don't want to come or want to leave. That is free-will.

B9.3. So once again, Sjöholm is trying to condition the readers' minds with devious techniques by making indirect implications. Clearly he knows something about human psychology and how to manipulate an audience. At any rate, it is dishonest and bad journalism.

B10. Slavery

B10.1. Sjöholm knows very well that we do not believe in slavery though he is determined to flog a dead horse for all its worth without bothering to find out what we mean by such terms. He likes to spice up his fatastic pot of alleged cultic ingredients with anything 'spicy' that he can find. He seems to have no idea that 'slavery' in New Testament culture refers to indentured service, and probably doesn't even know what that expression means. Indentureship is a mutually agreed contract sealed by two or more parties. When you hire someone to do a job, that is 'indentured service', or 'slavery' as some Bibles translate it. That is what we believe in. The Gospel we teach is one of voluntary service by mutual arrangement. In fact, we are a lot more generous than your average contractor. If someone wants to break their contract and leave our fellowship, we let them go and send them with our blessings. There are no penalties.

B10.2. Slavery and a few other topics are just Sjöholms straw men. He is very subtle and devious in the way he attempts to character-assassinate. He has broken the law in his article and knows it.

B11. The Beliefs of Other Minorities

B.11.1. People believe in different things for different reasons. Sjöholm is quick to point out our beliefs about the occult, tarot cards, violent TV games, Hinduism, Islam and the sexual practices of people we don't agree with. What he doesn't tell you - because it would destroy his carefully crafted false image of us - is that we believe that people should be free to practice their own religions and sexual lifestyles any way they want to so long as they do not try to coerce me into them. What Sjöholm doesn't tell you is that I have friends who are Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, Jews, occultists, new agers, homosexuals, bisexuals, lesbians, and many, many others. They all know what I believe in, I know what they believe in, we disagree with each other, and interact in those spheres of life that interest us both, respecting one another, agreeing to disagree. We do not hate or persecute each other even though there are for sure persons with similar beliefs who are abusive and hate-filled. I am sure, however, that Sjöholm would like his readers to believe that we totally shun these people or would wish to harm them. And I am quite sure that he would not like his readers to know that one of our leaders was a celibate gay. The fact is, we embrace nearly all people, meet them where they are, share our beliefs, and let them decide what they want to believe and go where they want to.

B12. Not Interested

B12.1. At the conclusion of his article, Sjöholm reports that I told him that the leading deprogramming group, with which Crapo is affiliated, "has been judged for insurance fraud, kidnapping and breach of human rights". He carefully omits "by the US courts" to give the false impression that this is just my own personal allegation. This man is a very dishonest reporter indeed. I gave him extensive references to all the facts (and they are facts, and not mere allegations - many of these people are genuinely dangerous criminals known to have imprisoned and raped the 'cult victims' they were 'deprogramming') about the 'deprogrammers'. However, for obvious reasons, he did not want his readers to make their own investigations, let alone summarise the truth about the deprogrammers. He has a single agenda - to make us look like a "destructive, dangerous, and isolated" cult.

B12.2. No, indeed, I am not interested in criminals who are guilty of hate-crimes, abuse and kidnapping. I have all the information. It's all on the net and in court records of the USA. I am in contact with lawyers who have defended religious minorities who have successfully prosecuted the 'deprogrammers'. The facts are available for everyone who is honest enough to get the whole story and expose the lies. You would be shocked at the personality profiles of some of them.

C. Summary

C1. Sweden is a pluralistic society. It tolerates diverse lifestyles, freedom of thought, and its laws protect minorities. We respect that and honour it. We believe in sharing our opinions and criticising those we don't accept, which is the basis of true democracy. When people refuse to allow criticism, you have the basis of a dictatorship. However, criticism must be moderated by certain standards of behaviour. And the conduct of Sjöholm is outrageous and scandalous. His reporting belongs to the type of gutter press that civilised countries refuse to have anything to do with.

C2. And whilst we do indeed believe in a world to come that is very different from the world we live in, we happily accommodate ourselves to this one, making sure we do not go out of our way to disturb people who do not want to be disturbed, and interacting with all those who want to friendship us. One of the reasons we evangelise in the West using the internet is because it allows people to come and go as they please - they find us, rather than the other way round. And whilst Sjöholm likes to find some sinister implication with this (along with everything else we do in order to make his 'story' as spicey and alarmist as possible), the facts remain. In fact, we warm people who might find their life style or beliefs criticised not to read any further and require them to take personal responsibility for their choices. We believe in 'live and let live', and whilst we certainly believe God (with a capital 'G') will create the world in the way He wants it in the future, it certainly should not be a problem for those who do not believe in Him to simply let peacefully-minded minorities live the way they all want to. They can call it religious fiction if they want to, it really doesn't matter. At least it is honest, unlike Sjöholm's reporting.

C3. I demand redress and satisfaction before I take this further. I wish to state for the record that I will not tolerate this kind of harrassment and as a free citizen I mean to defend my rights along with those who share my views against the likes of Sjöholm and the current NWT editorial staff. I am hoping that this was a careless and thoughtless error on the part of NWT which it will correct and save its reputation.

C4. This letter is to give your newspaper the opportunity to discipline your employee and editor, retract and publish an apology prior to further action being taken. In the meantime I have sent a dossier with full information to the Pressombudsman.

Yours sincerely,

Christopher C. Warren, M.A.(Oxon)


Reply
Recommend  Message 10 of 15 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameCommunity_Moderator Sent: 6/30/2006 11:39 PM
At 2200 Swedish time today (30 June 2006) someone we believe from this newspaper or one of Mr.Concern's mates, or collecting information for the newspaper or Mr.Concerns site, hacked into a Yahoo account of one of our members (booting them from Yahoo) and posed as that member for a few minutes asking strange questions of another member (who knows what church we belong to):
 
how is everything there?
has there been any more news from that paper?
is your church called Zion?
has somone spoken to you about a church called Zion?
i heard it was called Zion yes
but you are an end time haven?
a place where people flee for safety?
For the record (there was no need to hack into Yahoo - they could have asked us here), we believe the "end time havens" (we call them "cities of refuge") will be built by the next generation, not this one. It's all on our website. We are not gathered into such places yet, and I doubt there will ever be one in Sweden. We have no places called 'Zion'.
 
The city of Jerusalem is called 'Zion' (Sion, Tsiyon) in the Bible and has a hill by that name. It is sometimes used by us to refer to the people of Yahweh who are also called the 'Heart of Zion' or Lev-Tsiyon. The meaning of the Hebrew word 'tsiyon' is unknown.
 
If anyone wants to ask us questions, then can ask us here in NCCG Cyber instead of hacking and sneaking in dishonestly trying to deceive us.
 
 
 
 
 

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Recommend  Message 11 of 15 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameCommunity_Moderator Sent: 7/3/2006 1:58 PM
At around 11 a.m. this morning a small single-propellor private plane swooped low at housetop level here over our home and made 6 different passes at different heights, all within a few minutes of each other to give the plane time to turn round. I am attaching one of many photographs we took, including a movie. One can only guess what they are up to now, though doubtless photographing us with a view to writing more slander. If they did, they would have found me gardening for an old age pensioner inbetween photographing them when they came around for the 2nd - 6th times.
 
So if a new newspaper article with photographs is published "exposing" us doing "slave labour" in the "compound" you'll know the background.
 
Nye Wermlands Tidningen has still not responded to our letter of complaint of 21 June 2006 following their slander. One can only assume they are trying to gather more "facts" with which to attck us and defend themselves.
 
They are digging their own grave so I hope the reporter and editors start looking for new work. They will not, however, get away with this.
 spyplane4.jpg  

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Recommend  Message 12 of 15 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameCommunity_Moderator Sent: 7/3/2006 3:13 PM
We have learned that this was the satanist coven operating against us as part of their overall strategy to save their necks from having their activities exposed to the law, and that the newspaper is actually working with them though may not possibly know who they are. The visit was a survey of our property for "future activity". However, who can say where there photographs will land up.
 
If anyone wants to do an investigation into the plane registration markings, they're most welcome, but some computer enhancement of the pictures will probably be necessary to read the registration markings as they are red and a bit blurred. We are assuming that it came from a nearby commercial airstrip.
 
 

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Recommend  Message 13 of 15 in Discussion 
From: MSN Nicknameteh_bondservant Sent: 7/4/2006 4:32 PM
You really should get a better camera
Then you could have read the N number of the plane and been able to identify who it was

Reply
Recommend  Message 14 of 15 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameCommunity_Moderator Sent: 7/4/2006 5:08 PM
Was that an offer to buy a new one for me?   I'm lucky I'm, not forced to use an old box camera.

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Recommend  Message 15 of 15 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameCommunity_Moderator Sent: 7/20/2006 4:01 PM
John Swinton, a former Chief of Staff at the NEW YORK TIMES, was asked to give a toast before the prestigious New York Press Club in 1953. Swinton was called "the dean of his profession" by other newsmen who admired him greatly. He made this candid confession:

    "There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell the country for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press. We are the tools and vassals of the rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."