IDENTIFYING MARKS OF A
HIGH CONTROL GROUP(CULT)
Can community members make decisions for themselves?
1. Led by Elbert Eugene Spriggs who claims to be an "Apostle" and "the prophet Elijah." Spriggs says of himself, "I must begin by saying that the only authority I have to be called an apostle is my fruit. Of course authority comes from God, but is recognized by men according to its fruit its practicality". (Apostolic Role) He also says, "This is why Elijah must come to raise up the age old foundation, restore the church to the Israel of YHWH. The Roman, Greek and Protestant are completely off the foundation (Apostasy, Apostate Israel Today).
2. Elbert Spriggs also claims a "direct pipeline to God", and that he is a special messenger with a unique revelation! "Yoneq (Spriggs) expressed how there have been several things which our Father has spoken to him which have kept us on course." (Letter from Yoceph to Jonathan and Caleb). And in another teaching Spriggs says, "This is a word to all true disciples. Our Father revealed to me that we were to observe the Sabbath - the day He made, not Sunday." (Observing The Sabbath).
3. Only Elbert Spriggs is allowed to give original teaching, and his writings are the final authority within the communities. Elbert Eugene Spriggs has no real accountability.
4. Community members must obey the teachings of Spriggs or risk shunning or excommunication. "Everything we hear in the teachings we are required to obey." (Repentance 4/2/91). "If an elder questioned Spriggs' teachings he could lose his place of authority. Dissenting elders were also talked about in the apostolic workers Meetings." Michael Painter, Former Member
5. Every person must submit to the elders who are in submission to the leader (Spriggs). Demand absolute obedience.
6. Inhibits critical thinking so that a "group think" predominates. Followers give up the right to make value judgments of their own. (They cannot reason). Behavior Control
7. There is intense control over community members in the areas of dress, and the regulation of where one lives. "When we are in the Body we have no independent action or movement. AWM 6/12/88) "When God commands us, if we stop to consider the matter to see if there is sufficient reason for us to do it, then we are still living according to the flesh. If the elders say, you need to move to...' and you say, 'what is the reason for that? I'm doing fine here, etc., no matter how good you may do in the flesh, you cannot go past that rebellion" Reasoning 11/I 8/90
A. All men must wear their hair in short ponytails with a long, trimmed beard. All women wear long dresses, skirts or “Sus” pants. Women also have long hair. Unity with the “church” is heavily stressed, usually to the point where it becomes the chief doctrine. Unity is considered to be more important than “Doctrine". (Behavior Control)8 Emotion control is also practiced within the communities, narrowing a person's emotional responses. The gray areas of life are slowly eliminated, and everything progressively becomes black and white. This manipulation and narrowing of emotions occurs in three ways. –Bob. Pardon NEIRR
9. The Twelve Tribes Community practices brutal information control. Community members are not permitted to read newspapers, books or listen to the radio. This causes the individual member to become highly dependent on the group.
10. The community claims a special exalted status for itself. "We are the light and the hope of the world. We are the only ones who can reclaim this earth for its Maker. We are the only ones whose lives of love and pure devotion, like a bride for her groom, can bring heaven to earth all other attempts to do so are not merely futile, they are evil..”
11. Members are encouraged (strongly) to break ties with family and friends and society. The Community becomes a replacement family and society.
Restricts the ability to leave the group.
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