Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Adultery On The Compound


This part of my story is a little saddening. I say that because of the people who suffered because of the adultery that took place on the Holyland. While I was there I would hear rumors of adultery and of course because I was so loyal to The Bishop I couldnt believe that this was happening. It was'nt long after I left that the puzzle pieces began to come together. This Adultery that I had heard of over the years not only happened while I was there but it was going on long before I even knew anything about the Holyland, Reach Inc. or The Bishop.
What I find sad is that The Bishop would tell us a story to us about a farmer and his eggs. He was telling his story the whole time and those of us who were new had no clue as to why this story was so important. But when I left the farmer and the egg story became clear to me.
The story he would tell was about a farmer who would move eggs. He would say that the chicken wouldnt know that the eggs they sat on were moved. But when the eggs hatched the chicken treated the little chick/s as their own. Moral of the story...Be Careful how you treat the children....The could be related to you.....
Ok..So these are his children by several of the woman that lived on the compound including his wife...

Bishop Luke Edwards fathered alot of children on the compound and some were born before he moved to the South and started the Holyland. The personal stories that I have heard and personally know about helped me in putting all the children together with the parents. . There are many amazing stories behind how the children were concieved. Nevertheless the living arrangements were as such that the opportunity for this type of adultery not only by the Bishop but by many other married men were easy to take place becasue the wives were made to spend months away from their husbands and children. I will cover those stories  later in another blog and my book

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Why I Feel The Holyland Is A Cult

Ok, so I received a few emails where people wanted to know why I felt I was in a cult. So....let me explain why I feel I was in a cult. It took me some time to understand what this truely meant but I had to first understand what a cult was, right. In my research I learned that a cult is any group which employs mind control and deceptive recruiting techniques. In other words cults trick people into joining and coerce them into staying. This is the definition that most people would agree with. Except the cults themselves of course!
Bishop and alot of the members there would say that you are free to leave whenever you want. But anyone who has been there knows that this is and is'nt the case.
The Holyland  looks wonderful from the outside but on the inside some of the people are very manipulating. Cult leaders are desperate to trick you into joining. They are after your obedience, your time and your money or the money you can make for them.
The following information explains some of the psychological techniques that cult leaders like Bishop Ewards uses in their attempt to control their members with. And these are some that made sense to me and how I concluded that I was in a cult.

1. Mind Control which can be used along with a series of other techniques - Mind Control as a dishonest influence placed covertly on cult members by the cult. So instead of Mind Control being some sort of irresistible force like the aliens in the movies that take over peoples minds, rather it is more like a gun. The cult leader points the Mind Control "gun" at a member and says, "if you leave us then you will lose all of your friends and family", "if you don't conform then you will go to Hell", which is something we were told alot.

2. Deception - REACH INC/The Holyland had a well-rehearsed Public Relations front (the Route) which hides what the group is really like. You will hear how they help the poor, or support research, or peace, or the environment. They will tell you how happy you will be in their group (and everyone in the cult will always seem very happy and enthusiastic, mainly because they have been told to act happy and will get in trouble if they don't). But you will not be told what life is really like in the group, nor what they really believe. These things will be introduced to you slowly, one at a time, so you will not notice the gradual change, until eventually you are practicing and believing things which at the start would have caused you to run a mile.

3.Exclusivism - A cult leaders will tell you can only be "saved" (or can only be successful) in their organization alone. No other organization has the truth, all others miss the mark. So it is not the belief system that decides your future, but it the belief system AND your membership with that particular groupcult leaders need to make you believe that there is no where else you can go and still be saved, and if you ever leave the "one true church" then you are going to hell. This is a fear based control mechanism designed to keep you in the cult. It also gives the cult leaders tremendous power over you. If you really believe that leaving the group equals leaving God (or means you are leaving your only chance to succeed in life), then you will obey the cult leaders even when you disagree with them instead of risking being kicked out of the group. Exclusivism is used as a threat, it controls your behavior through fear.

4. Fear and Intinidation - Now Cult leadership is feared. To disagree with leadership is the same as disagreeing with God. The cult leaders will claim to have direct authority from God to control almost all aspects of your life. If the cult is not a religious group then questioning the leaders or program will still be seen as a sign of rebellion and stupidity.
Guilt, Character Assassination and Breaking Sessions. Guilt will be used to control you. Maybe the reason you're not making money is because you're not "with the programme". Maybe the reason you're not able to convert new recruits is because "your heart is prideful and full of sin". It could never be that the programme isn't working, or those new recruits have valid reasons for not joining. It's always your fault, you are always wrong, and so you must try harder! You will also be made to feel very guilty for disobeying any of the cult's written or unwritten rules.
Character Assassination is used to help create the guilt in you. Character Assassination is a type of false reasoning used by people and groups who have no real arguments.

5. Love Bombing and Relationship Control - Cults like the one ran by Bishop Edwards  know that if they can control your relationships then they can control you. Whether we like it or not we are all profoundly affected by those around us. When you first go to a cult they will practice "love bombing", where they arrange instant friends for you. It will seem wonderful, how could such a loving group be wrong! But you soon learn that if you ever disagree with them, or ever leave the cult then you will lose all your new "friends". This unspoken threat influences your actions in the cult. Things that normally would have made you complain will pass by silently because you don't want to be ostracized. Like in an unhealthy relationship love is turned on and off to control.
They would also try to cut you off from your friends and family because they hate others being able to influence you. Through this kind of  control they would seek to manoeuvre your life so as to maximize your contact with cult members and minimize your contact with people outside the group, especially those who oppose your involvement.

6. Information Control - Those who control the information control the person. In a mind control cult any information from outside the cult is considered evil, especially if it is opposing the cult. Members are told not to read it or believe it. Only information supplied by the cult is true. One cult labels any information against it as "persecution" or "spiritual pornography", another cult calls it "apostate literature" and will expel you from the group if you are caught with it. Cults train their members to instantly destroy any critical information given to them, and to not even entertain the thought that the information could be true.

7. Reporting Structure - In the reporting structure at the Holyland we were told  that we must be careful of what we say and do; "The walls have ears". Everyone was encouraged to watch out for "struggling" brothers and sisters and report what they see to leadership. Often information given in deepest confidence is automatically reported to leadership. Some of those evil leaders will then use this information to convince other members that they have a supernatural link, the trusting member does not suspect the very natural mechanism behind the supernatural revelations they are given.
Some of the members at the Holyland would also hide their true thoughts and feelings, and instead wear a mask which presents them as a perfect cult member. This mask is a defense against being reported to leadership and being punished for not measuring up (cult members never feel like they measure up to the cult's ideals, and yet often believe the other members around them do, when in reality the others feel the same as them). Hence cult members are trained not only to deceive outsiders, but also to deceive their fellow cult members. Rarely can close friendships form in cults, and if they do the cult's leaders may see them as a threat and move those people away from each other. Nothing is allowed that can be more powerful than the cult members' allegiance to the group and it's leaders.

8. Time Control - Time Control within cults keep their members so busy with meetings and activities that they become too busy and too tired to think about their involvement.
Time control also helps the cult keep their members immersed in the manufactured cult environment.
And time control helps keep cult members away from friends and family.

There are so many other things that ultimately convinced me but the first few had me sold. I do hope I've made myself clear on how I personally came to the conclusion that I was in a cult.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Day I Met Bishop Luke Edwards

About 2 days after I had arrived at REACH Inc. I had heard so much about The Bishop. I had sat down with so many of the other members and listened to their stories on how they became members and how long they had been there and how it was such a blessing for me to be there.What REACH Inc. meant to them, and of course what it should mean to me. It was clear that after listening to all these people that I could only see that there was definitly no mistake that I had come to this place. Everyone testified that it was God and to him only should the glory be given.
I felt lost and in a place in my life where I felt I had no one to turn to and I was a teenager pregnant with a child I knew I wanted to keep, I just wanted to do the right thing, make the right decisions and be a better parent to my son than my mother had been to me.
One of the sisters that worked in the office came over to the church to get me so that I could have a private meeting with The Bishop. I was eager to meet him and a little nervous too. Nevertheless, I walked over and into his private office and sat down in a chair across from his desk.
Bishop had a very bright and welcoming smile, and as we talked about how I had arrived,  he told me about Gods sheep that are scattered in the field (meaning the world). He went on quoting scriptures from the book of Ezekiel,  he said that as God has said "“I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land. This was the land that God was speaking of  (The Holyland) according to him and I had been brought there by non other than God. There were many other scriptures that were quoted to me on that day, to explain to me the plan and  vision that God had given him for his people.
Mark 10:28 - 30  "Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life." and then there was 2nd Corinthians 6:17 "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you". This is where the separation of family and friends came in. I was not to contact anyone outside Reach Inc. or The Holyland Compound. The were all the enemies of God.
All this talk with scriptures to back it up really gave to me what I thought was valid and made sense so much that by the time our meeting was over I had made a decision to stay and to never look back.
Our meeting was over and I felt my life for the first time was on track.
I would come to understand later in my life that alot of my so-called brothers and sisters were being and  engaging in so much evil that somewhere along the line they had overlooked the scripture Jeremiah 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Its clear that after the rapes and wrong doings and suffering from the people of God that though they  were to  rule and guide, protect and defend, the people of God.but, instead of that, they were such that destroyed and scattered the sheep  God.s pasture, saith the Lord God; Instead they set themselves as bad examples, led others into idolatry and other sins, which became or will become the cause of their ruin, and of their being carried captive, and scattered in other countries; and their sin was the more aggravated, inasmuch as the people that were the Lord's pastured sheep, whom he had an interest in, and a regard unto were harmed, and The Bishop  had committed certain followers to the care and charge of these the people of God to be particularly taken care of. The Bishop allowed alot to happen when I feel he was suppose to protect and care for those that God put in his care. You may be asking yourself what am I talking about.......I will tell you...To Be Continued.......

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Made It

 I made it, meaning the one day bus trip had come to an end. I was glad, and anxious because this was a new place but most of all I was confused. I had just left all that I knew, I was a teenager and 3 months pregnant. My babys father was going through his own legal problems. He was in jail for murder and I felt so all alone. I did know that I wanted my baby and I wanted him to have a better life than the one I had. And at the time I was hoping that being pregnant and making this big decision, that I had made was the right one.
I arrived at the bus station and pulled out my piece of paper and found a payphone  to call the number so that I could be picked up. I remember calling and asking for Denise and I was told that she was still working and couldnt come to get me but that they were expecting me to call and nicely I must say, that I was told a ride would be there to pick me up.
I was a bit confused as to why Denise would tell me to call her once I arrived and then she not be able to come and get me. After all, she would be the only person I knew. I didnt understand at the time but I would before long find out the answers to my whys and whats of being at REACH Inc.
So I sat down and waited. Not scared or anythiing just still in a state of confusion but everyone had been so nice to me I really had no reason to fear anything.
I was greeted by a lady who had a big beautiful spirit as well as her smile. It was like meeting someone sent from heaven. Her name was Sis Davis. I can honestly say that she was always the same, out of all the evil people I got to know there she was never considered one of them.
She gave me a hug and we got into the car and drove not far from the bus station to a church. I didnt understand why we were going to a church but I remained quiet.
Once we parked, she told me to get out and we went inside the church from the back, since it was so late she kindly told me to help myself to something in the kitchen to eat, and then she would show me to my room. And my room did not mean my room. The room I went to was the room I had to share with Denise. This was a bit weird at first, surely not something I was used to or expected because I thought the whole time that I was going to Denise' house to live with her, the set up at first was weird but I went along with it.
Well, that was my first night I cleaned up for bed in the church bathroom upstairs and went to sleep. I only wanted to see Denise..........

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Greyhound Trail

Well, the time had come for me to get on the bus. I did everything I was instructed to do the previous day. Don't Tell ANYONE that your leaving....check....Dont pack ANY of your clothes, we have what you need to wear...check... Dont forget to PRAY because this is the will of God...and check.
Sis Ola came to pick me up and took me to the greyhound bus station which was located in Ypsilanti, Michigan September 9th 1984. We talked a little while we waited for my bus to come and when it did she bid me well and said that she would see me once she returned home.
Home for Sis Ola was in Meridian, Mississippi where she lived in a room  in the basement of the Church. I found out later that she was very fond of her little whatnots, and if you wanted to get her anything, a whatnot was quite enough.

So, I boarded the bus and headed to Meridian, Mississippi. The trip from Michgan to Mississippi  was  a 1 day trip and I was instructed to call the REACH Inc. office once I arrived so that I could be pick up. I didnt know what the REACH Inc. office was all about but soon I would find out....

Monday, August 15, 2011

In The Beginning....

It was not my plan to go to the Holyland, I didnt even know this place existed. My mother had a friend named Denise Chapman and she was who I looked at a God Mother when I was a young girl. Denise had joined a church that had connections to the Holyland and had left the city of Ypsilanti years before I actually had contact with her again. It had to have been about 4 to 5 years that had passed and in between that time my mother had gone to prison, my grandmother had a stroke and I was left out on the streets to fend for myself. I had stayed with some of my mothers so called friends but I didnt know any family members that she may have had besides my Uncle Ted  (my mothers brother) who was financially in a position to take care of me and my two brothers but he had told my mother that he would only take me and not my two brothers and my mother told him that if he was'nt going to take all of us then she would just have us put into foster care.
I ended up living with a lady name Elaine Taylor who took me in as her daughter. She did have children of her own and at first they weren't too fond of her taking on another mouth to feed  but eventually learned to accept me. And believe me that road to acceptance was not at all an easy one to travel.
Years went by and at 16 and going into the 11rh grade I became pregnant. I had just ran away from my last foster care home to live with my mother. If anyone wants to know if abuse happens in foster care? The answer is yes, more than you could even imagine.  The social worker in charge of my case was looking for me, I didnt want to go back because I was tired of being moved from home to home while being asked to keep quiet about what went on  in the previous home by the very ones who were suppose to be helping me The State of Michigan (at this time I was legally a ward of the State of Michigan). So, I continued to move from home to home in an effort to make sure that I was not located. .
I found myself pregnant, with no food, no money and no one to turn to. Eventually I asked a friend of mine to let me live with her and she agreed. was hungry on day and headed to the Farmer Jack grocery store after I had gone to Kmart Department Store and helped my self to some necessities. There was a lady sitting outside the Farmer Jack grocery store selling peanuts and peanut brittle who began talking to me about the Lord and as we talked the name Denise Chapman came up and before I knew it I was on the phone with her and felt I had been reunited with My God Mother. We had a long conversation which led to me preparing to leave all and everyone that I knew the next day. I was told not to say anything to anyone just to be prepared to meet a lady by the name Ola Hinton who would take me to the Greyhound Bus Station and put me on a bus headed south and there I would be welcomed with open arms to a new family. I followed all instructions and I can remember thinking as I road on the bus that I hoped I was making the right decision in leaving........and heading to a place that I was told was prepared and waiting for me by the people of  God.........

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I've Decided...

So, it took me a few hours but now Ive made a decision as to where I"ll begin my journey blogging. I'm going to start at the point where I was first approached about going to the Holyland. At the time it sounded like a Good Idea and so at the age of 16 and pregnant I decided that this was the best thing for me to do. I made the call and then I followed instructions as to meet at the bus station and then I found myself on the greyhound bus station September 9th, in 1983 headed to Meridian, Mississippi. Check on the story on my next post, to hear how going to the Farmer Jack grocery store changed my life forever........