At 02:30 PM 3/26/99 -0500, you wrote:
>From: "Carol Stutts" <>
>Maureen,... or anyone who knows...
>I just said Maureen first because she has shared an intense study into this
>Is there such a thing as a cult personality???  I really don't know... I've
>heard that highly intelligent people often wind up in cults.
>Personally, I'll restate my honest opinion.  I truly did get saved by
>Jesus, and then was fed a bunch of crap.  Anyone.. well maybe not anyone...
> can take the Bible and pick and choose which scriptures will manipulate
>people who are gullible enough to obey to get them to do what they want..
>Of course NOT ALL that we were taught was wrong, but a lot of it was!  And
>St saw this as a way to gain a huge bank account, as well as violate others
>I will probably remain skeptical of any organized church for the rest of my
>life, but I will NEVER forget what Jesus has done in my life!!  His power
>is undeniable to me.
>Carol Stutts

From: lori <>

Hi. Maybe cult "personality" was the wrong choice of words.  But you
yourself stated one of them---the people tend to be intelligent.  Also you
stated, "gullible enough to obey".
As to the third Tom, could it be Tom Hutton?   Lori
From: "Carol Stutts" <>


Your choice of words was fine.  Seriously I was just wondering.  I think I
saw something on 20/20 or something like that about intelligent people
getting involved in cults because of something like the deeper need to
delve further into understanding or something like that... I just asked
cause I wondered if someone knew....

Gullible may have been the poor choice.  Speaking for myself... I was not
raised in a church and had absolutely NO knowledge of the Bible whatsoever.

I believe the majority of us truly were attempting to live a Christ like
life and were taken advantage of by the MAN in charge... unbeknowest to
ourselves... .. I mean really, if we knew we never would have stayed as
long as we did.

Carol Stutts

In a message dated 3/27/99 12:55:48 AM !!!First Boot!!!,

<< Your choice of words was fine.  Seriously I was just wondering.  I think I
saw something on 20/20 or something like that about intelligent people
getting involved in cults because of something like the deeper need to
delve further into understanding or something like that... I just asked
cause I wondered if someone knew.... >> are right about that.  Several organizations have done studies on
this (including Wellspring).  Funny thing is I went through this low time
about a year after I left thinking I had to be really stupid.  In fact, I
actually took an IQ test just hoping that I would be normal or nearly so.
Much to my surprise, I scored in the 97%.  As I've learned more about these
groups, I find that is not unusual.  When I think of others I know from COBU,
one thing that impresses me is how many bright people we had.
From: "Rod Huffman" <>

I suppose the cult shoe fits me well enough...  It can certainly be
stretched to whatever shape you want.

When I got saved in August 74, I was between by junior and senior years
of college.  When classes started up again in September, I opted out for
what I thought was a higher calling.  I was 21 years old (which was
"old" by the average in those days;-) and I thought I had found a
purpose for my life in the gospel.  (I will not discount that or what
might have been under different circumstances.)  I reasoned that the
world needed more people spreading the good news than it needed another
engineered.  (Reason might not be all it's cracked up to be...)  So I quit
school and, at the first of 75, moved to the New England center where a
'heavy' older brother (Skip) would be able to provide more guidance to
this 'head'strong lamb.

We'll save the full testimony for another time, but suffice it to say
that I had a heaping helping of idealism.  I suppose many would say that
was my vulnerability.  I still have it today, though it may be tempered
a bit by experience.

For a time, I admired Stewart's 'live by your wits' model.  After all,
doesn't God give the wicked the task of heaping up wealth so that it can
be given to the righteous?  Doesn't that justify taking advantage of
whomever isn't part of your group?  Hustle vacuum cleaners.  Hustle
vans.  Hustle carpets.  Hustle lambs.  Oh, my.  For a time, even after
leaving cobu in 81, I thought that I could try a little hustling of
sorts.  But I have never had the stomach for it.  Wasn't any good at it
while I was in and certainly wasn't any good out.

I remember a time in Detroit when I was out with Jeff Seif on a 'buy'
(for the van business).  Someone was selling a vehicle because of some
misfortune.  Jeff was moved by their situation and, when paying for the
vehicle, gave them something over and above the agreed upon price
(something like $100, I don't remember how much).  Definitely bad
business!  I don't know if that was ever 'brought to light', but it
certainly would have caused a stink if it had!

I woke up one morning the February after I left and thought "I should go
back to school."  For the first time in years, I didn't have any
arguments against it.  So I did.  Picked up where I left off after 8
years.  Ooh, was the calculus rusty!  But I graduated on time, went on
to grad school, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Back to the cult personality...  For me, idealism was probably the
biggest factor, humanly speaking.  Add in a little new wine and things
can get wild...  I distinctly remember feeling like I was "home", like I
had been out in the cold and had come in somewhere that was safe and
warm.  Fellowship is a wonderful thing.  It is a great sadness that we
so lacked for counselors and went so far astray.

For some, other things were more important.  Many had terrible family
lives.  I was more fortunate in that regard.  You all know the standing
prohibition against visiting families at holidays...  I did not
understand what all the fuss was about.  Who uses holidays as an excuse
for a drunk?  (Many of you are laughing.  Boy, was _he_ sheltered.  Yep.
I was.)

Enough rambling for now.  Peace be with you.

Get Your Private, Free Email at

I see cults every the street, on elevators, in work.  Cults are
everywhere.  Anytime people are oppressed by fear or sink into indifference,
there's a cult.
From: Tom Pierron <tpierron@Op.Net>

Rod, (and I am on the onelist here)
I don't know if I ever spoke personally with you.
But I'll never forget the meeting in the Diplomat
basement where, when you were considering marriage
I believe, ST went into your investigations and I'll
never forget
I'll bet that's a real grit in your graw.
I hope you are over that.  It is so much in
my memory.  I felt so much for you.
Anyone could see you were sincere.
But the all powerful Oz turned everything for his benefit
From: "Leo Magpoc" <>

Jesus did save us there, where alot of us went wrong is just because
they were right in a few things, we started believing they were right in
all things. Paul said in Galatians "but if we or even an angel from
heaven should preach a gospel contrary to that which we preach to you
let him be accursed" He was telling the Galatians to continue to test
even what he was saying

I wasn't saved there, so my perspective was always broader...I knew God was a
lot bigger than that place.  At different times that helped me keep my sanity.
From: (Doris Petini)

I went from atheism to COBUism and eventually arrived at GRACEism :)


> >