I was thinking back of when it was that it became illegal to see my
family. I remember alot of Christmases that I spent at big Meetings
when I really wanted to spent it with my family. In fact, I think the
timing of those meetings was designed in part to keep us from going
home at Easter, Christmas,Thanksgiving, and the 4th of July.I never
intended to divorce my family when I signed up. Of course, I wasn't
aware it was an issue until I left my family and moved in back in
1978. When that first Christmas came around, I had been living in for
6 months. I just assumed that I would be going home for Christmas.
When I brought it up, I would hear those verses that would become so
important - "he who does not leave mother, father, sister, brother,
is not worthy of me"(paraphrased, I know)When I asked about how I get
home, (that was before the days when there was an actual allowance of
20 whole dollars) an older brother told me, "remember Lot's wife" The
meaning was lost on me so I reread the Bible story. Oh, I get it. No
looking back. Give it up, or I am not worthy. The church is my mother
now, God is my Father. Those people who raised me for 18 years were
merely custodians, they didn't care about me in the real way. I went
witnessing on Christmas Eve. No one was out, but at least I was
safely away from the influences of my parents, and with my true
family - the only ones who REALLY care about me. What did my parents,
after all care about my salvation? Didn't they try to keep me from
the fellowship? I was asked things like, "Is that God's spirit to
keep you from serving Jesus?" It was all a very seductive argument.
Others did go home that Christmas, and I watched the grilling they
got when they came home. There was an unwritten rule that if you went
home, you at least couldn't enjoy it, or you might be 'getting into
the flesh." What powerful seduction!
   In later years (the allowance was either 10 or 20 dollars by that
time), I watched a whole meetings devoted to whether, was it Jim
Sadorne?, should go home to bury his father who had died in a car
accident the day before. Of course there was the verse about that too-
 Stewart explained the story about the guy who wanted to follow
Jesus, but first he had to go back to bury his father- Stewart told
Jim to let the dead bury the dead. Jim sunk into his chair in the
dank basement of Woodruff Ave. One after another, brothers, myself
included, would recite applicable verses. Here was a really hurting
brother, who just lost his own father, and there we were, ripping our
baby zondervans out from our pouches to "encourage" him to do the
right thing. Jim fought valiently, and at the end of the meeting stew
suggested that we should take a vote. How many think Jim should go
back, (slowly,several weak hands partially raised-probably from
brothers whio also wanted to go home) and how many think he should
serve Jesus? (alot of hands went up, high, and waving)So the line was
drawn: staying meant serving Jesus, and leaving meant,well...enemy of
the cross. After all, you're either for me or against me.
    But it wasn't merely through wolfpack persuasion or the threat of
being counted as an enemy of the cross. There was also the other
problem. No one could independantly afford to go home. For the ticket
we NEEDED the fellowship, the approval. I remember filling out
a 'chit" to get a pair of shoes when the duct tape kept falling off
the boots I had. That "chit" had to get signed by a representative of
the council, and then approved by someone in the finance committee.
Usually Sarah Weiss. I had to write on a file card why it was I
needed them, how much it would cost the church. Then about 2 weeks
later, someone handed me an envelope with like 18 crisp dollars in it
for new boots, along with a small lecture on how every extravagance
directly takes away from the children in Haiti. Of course by then,
the sale I saw on them was over and I still couldn't get the boots.
So I got more duct tape- the 4" instead of the 2" wide roll. No
probem, I'll just wait till my next allowance. But then on allowance
day, I would be questioned about the receipt. "I see you have no
boots, but you  haven't turned in a  receipt. So no allowance this
week."  I can only tell you that my feet grew about 2 sizes before I
got those boots. In the back of my head, I wondered if I should've
gotten sneakers...
     Thank God, that the donation program would start soon. Then
everyone could wear someones used shoes. That made sense since
Athlete's foot cream and an insert was cheaper than buying new shoes.
     No cult can survive long without establishing a relationship of
dependency. In this regard, I think the Wackos were without equal.
Jim
==================================
Hi Jim,

I think your letter was very well written. It held my attention and explained
everything in an orderly fashion.

I understand, from several people I know that had been Marines, that the
Marines tear you down psychologically but then are responsible enough to
build you back up, with self esteem.

The COBU didn't build back up, which I've heard through other sources does
cause physical brain damage.  Sad to say this is documented.  -   Mark
Traupman

======================================
Hi Jim, those using the Haiti guilt trip, to dissuade you from asking for the
money for your necessities. Did it ever occur to them that our fearless
leader, our example in all things,
should have a $400,000 home, 4 planes, a helicopter, & bought only a certain
brand of sneakers, male & female servants (the brethren) at his beck & call,
while you were made to feel guilty for asking for a pair of shoes. it still
goes on after his so-called enlightenment of grace. He is a disgrace to the
name of Christian & elder. It's no wonder
that some who escaped have trouble even today with the sound teaching of the
Bible.
His version of Jesus is nothing but a hard task master, & his imitation of
that false Christ is the only Jesus some have ever been exposed to. What
hypocrisy!!!  His interpretation
of the Bible, his twisting of the word, as caused many to dislike studying
the Bible. Emotionally,
their experience with ST is often unconsciously transferred to their
experiences with
other churches. As ST used to say, the Roman Catholic church gives it's
members just
enough of Jesus to inoculated them from the real thing. He didn't realize he
was doing the same thing to us. Thank God for his mercy in freeing some of us
from that.

============================================
About your comment "he didn't realize"

I used to think he didn't realize it also, until I met my husband.
And all the more as I grow older I am convinced that St knew and
knows exactly what he's done and is doing.

Carol

====================================
 
 

From:  Owen
        Dear Jim
       Perhaps you've got your history scrambled:  When did this Jim Seidorn episode happen?  I was at Woodruff when you returned till mid 88.  Jim Seidorn never lived in during that time.  (The donation program got going in earnest in 85.)  PLUS in 84 ST explained to us young sheep that "bury the dead" meant staying with your parents till they died.  So if he changed his tune after 88, then he condemns himself out of his own mouth.  (And all the YS that were silent that night.  Bob S, do you remember that episode with Jim Seidorn?)
=================================
Jim Writes: No intentional deception meant. It was Jim Oinman not
Sedorne. That would be sometime in the early 90's. The incident with
the shoes was considerably earlier than that.The Christmas story
would be 1978 or 1979. I was just meandering in my story, and wasn't
trying to give a chronological line. So I understand where the
confusion comes from. I was just trying to explain what I perceived
as the effect of dependency in a cult.
By the way, an almost identical meeting happened to Steve Torpe at
another time. Many brothers went through this mill over that issue.

===========================================
Hi, Owen,

Jim Enright said that it was Jim Oinman (sp?) who was involved in this
incident, but I don't remember it. I may have been in another city at the
time, or just totally out of it. It's very sad to hear about this. I hope
Jim is doing alright -- he was my guardian when I was a new Christian in
Queens, NY in the early 80s. I remember him as a sincere, quiet, and
hard-working brother.

In Christ,
Bob San Pascual

===============================================
Hi Jim, a big ditto to that. It happen to me.

                                                            Herm
========================================
, male & female servants (the brethren) at his beck & call,
From:  Owen
        Dear All
       I once asked Jim G "why doesn't ST hire a local lawn guy to mow the grass etc. instead of taking 4 bros off of carpet cleaning for the day?" (Jim Enright was with me when I asked that.)  Jim G gave some spooky answer that evaded the question,  But I now conclude it was either an ego trip for ST or he was afraid that the local guy might spread rumors.
 

The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground
      Owen Camp  So Cairo  NY    dococ@surferz.net
=====================================================
Oh yes, dealing with Stewart as a customer- Just think of all the diner
waitresses and
waiters that had to put up with his 'Shenanigans" in the early years!!!"

Eric Fetterolf
=============================
--- In cobu@egroups.com, nkcsigner2@a... wrote:
> That would be Harold Ziggon, correct?  A more loyal brother you
doubtless
> could not find.  Isn't that bathing suit thing why he left?  He was
the kind
> of bro where it would take a lot to upset him.  He wanted to
believe the
> good.  I guess when he was slapped in the face by ST's indulgence,
it finally
> got to even good ole steady Harold.  May God bless him wherever he
is now.  I
> did have to laugh at the idea of ST as a steady customer for some
Princeton
> lawn-cutters.  Nah!
> Nancy C.

==========================================================
Jim writes: You would think he would have left, but no. He actually
hung around for years. Actually he left from Philly sometime during
the construction of the Castle, er, I mean the compound, er, I mean
te church home.  I remember, because I had to finish some of the
plumbing that was still left. Image the gall of Harold leaving
without finishing the plumbing!
Stew just loved to go after him though. He was a challenge because he
never said what was on his mind while it was obvious he had plenty on
his mind. Stew used to get so razzed about that. But old Harold just
had that clownish mischievous smile. Drove Stew nuts. That brother
was simply badgered out of fellowship.

================================================
Brother Herm,
Very well said. Especially your comment: "It's no wonder
that some who escaped have trouble even today with the sound teaching of the
Bible.
His version of Jesus is nothing but a hard task master, & his imitation of
that false Christ is the only Jesus some have ever been exposed to. What
hypocrisy!!!  His interpretation
of the Bible, his twisting of the word, as caused many to dislike studying
the Bible. " This to me is the most damning thing of all that Stewart did to
many who have come out. He turned them against the real Jesus of the Bible
by turning them against His Word. Jesus said it would have been better to
have a millstone tied around one's neck than to cause one of these little
ones to stumble.
All of us read the Bible every day and were taught error. We followed (we
meaning myself also) ST's example and used the Word against each other.
But like Paul, God has showed me that we did it out of ignorance and
unenlightened zeal. We really did want to please Jesus-99.9% of us anyway.
I earnestly hope that anyone on this onelist who is struggling with
confusion and bitterness over the pain and hurt that they have received in
the house of their friends, I urge them and encourage them to ask God to
give them a fresh view of His Word. Read  it anew and ask the Holy Spirit to
give real understanding where perversion (of the Word) ruled.
I can testify that God took the crooked and made it straight for me. Not
over night, but over a period of time (for me, 4 or 5 years went by before
God really began to straighten out the mess that ST's false teaching had
made out of my Biblical understanding.). Faith and patience can work
wonders. Our God is faithful, brethren.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
-----
=============================================
nright wrote:

> Iyt has occurred to me reading over old notes of mine that it was Jim
> Oinman, not Jim Sadorne who I was speaking of whose father died and
> we gave him so much trouble. Jim Sadorne is the brother who I partied
> with once or twice after we had both left. I do not know what became
> of Jim Oinman, or if he is still in or out. I just didn't want to
> confuse things because although I got the person wrong, I got the
> event right. Anyway, I just wanted to clear that up.
=====================================================
Message: 12
   Date: Sat, 6 May 2000 18:57:10 -0000
   From: "Owen D Camp" <dococ@surferz.net>
Subject: Re: Archenemies - COBU & Family
 

From:  Owen
        Dear Jim
       Perhaps you've got your history scrambled:  When did this Jim Seidorn episode happen?  I was at Woodruff when you returned till mid 88.  Jim Seidorn never lived in during that time.  (The donation program got going in earnest in 85.)  PLUS in 84 ST explained to us young sheep that "bury the dead" meant staying with your parents till they died.  So if he changed his tune after 88, then he condemns himself out of his own mouth.  (And all the YS that were silent that night.  Bob S, do you remember that episode with Jim Seidorn?)
 

The mighty oak was once a little nut that stood its ground
      Owen Camp  So Cairo  NY    dococ@surferz.net
 
 

=======================
> Jim Writes: No intentional deception meant. It was Jim Oinman not
 Sedorne. That would be sometime in the early 90's. The incident with
 the shoes was considerably earlier than that.The Christmas story
 would be 1978 or 1979. I was just meandering in my story, and wasn't
 trying to give a chronological line. So I understand where the
 confusion comes from. I was just trying to explain what I perceived
 as the effect of dependency in a cult.
 By the way, an almost identical meeting happened to Steve Torpe at
 another time. Many brothers went through this mill over that issue.
======================================
Owen, right on. Besides, you didn't have to pay us, carpet jobs could
be rescheduled, and who else could deal with Stewart as a service
customer?
===========================
Owen, you were on the regular crew to mow the lawns at Princeton,
right? There was Jim Greiner who was always there to enforce
the "quiet around the property" regulations, and Harol. They are the
2 I remember. (I myself only went 2 or 3 times.) But once was
memorable. I was with Harold. Stew actually called Harold over where
Stew was sitting with some of the sisters, the rest were out in the
pool. Stew said, " So, Harold, see what you are missing?" Harold,
with that nervous, I am not going to let you get to me smile, said
nothing. All day, Stew was busting on him. Later he had the sisters
paraded by him in their bathing suits like it was a model runway. I
know my testosterone level went berserk. I was ashamed, and of course
attracted - and ashamed that I was attracted. That vision stayed
with me for months after that. Were you one of the ones there? I know
there was me, Harold, probably Jim G. and one or 2 others.
==================================
That would be Harold Ziggon, correct?  A more loyal brother you doubtless
could not find.  Isn't that bathing suit thing why he left?  He was the kind
of bro where it would take a lot to upset him.  He wanted to believe the
good.  I guess when he was slapped in the face by ST's indulgence, it finally
got to even good ole steady Harold.  May God bless him wherever he is now.  I
did have to laugh at the idea of ST as a steady customer for some Princeton
lawn-cutters.  Nah!
Nancy C.
====================================
Oh yes, dealing with Stewart as a customer- Just think of all the diner
waitresses and
waiters that had to put up with his 'Shenanigans" in the early years!!!"

Eric Fetterolf

Yes, Eric, can you imagine what kind of a tipper he is?
Nancy C.
=====================================
> Yes, Eric, can you imagine what kind of a tipper he is?
> Nancy C.

Jim writes:    Tipper! He would probably have one of the camera
sisters leave the waitress something nice from the donation program
=================================
Jim writes: You would think he would have left, but no. He actually
hung around for years. Actually he left from Philly sometime during
the construction of the Castle, er, I mean the compound, er, I mean
te church home.  I remember, because I had to finish some of the
plumbing that was still left. Image the gall of Harold leaving
without finishing the plumbing!
Stew just loved to go after him though. He was a challenge because he
never said what was on his mind while it was obvious he had plenty on
his mind. Stew used to get so razzed about that. But old Harold just
had that clownish mischievous smile. Drove Stew nuts. That brother
was simply badgered out of fellowship.

==============================
> That would be Harold Ziggon, correct?  A more loyal brother you doubtless
> could not find.

In a similar vein in talents "around the house" is/was Roger Borasso.  More of
a car mechanic though, but great to keep around the property to do ST's bidding.
As far as I know Roger's still there.  Back in 1989 while I was doing my final
stint in the confines of Cobu, Roger shared with me the way ST wooed him back
to fellowship.  It was during the 1980's when a lot of shenanigans were going
on everywhere...  Roger was impressed, and so was I, that ST was so kind and
personal with Roger.  But, if you ask me, this was conditional.  I think ST
invited
Roger over for coffee and stuff like that.  Think he's done that once in the last

ten years or more?  I doubt it highly.  But ST knows what kind of loyal subjects
are good to keep around the house.  I would have to say Harold was the best,
though.  What couldn't he do?  I can see Harold rolling his eyes now.  He came
to the Tobyhanna reunion and looked great.  We barely talked - he was busy
driving places.
One of the last times I saw Roger I was getting something out of my safe that I
had donated.  (probably 1991 - and I recorded some of it that's also on a tape
somewhere...)  One of the statements Roger said struck me as "weird".  He said,
"What if you are never able to come back to the Church of Bible Understanding?!"
As if this is something I should fear. (truth be told, during the 1980's I
thought
Cobu disappeared and did fear)  I'll never forget the time I was in Atlantic City
and there
was no one in the fellowship house.  There was no one anywhere.  (this was 1976)
I had only
been saved six months or so.  I thought Jesus had come back and taken everyone
but I had been left behind.  But then there was Denny's daughter lying in
whatever
you call those things baby's sleep in.  Why wasn't his daughter taken?  It made
me
wonder.  Well, I finally found someone, and Jesus had not come back yet.

> Isn't that bathing suit thing why he left?  He was the kind
> of bro where it would take a lot to upset him.

I don't think I was there, but I heard about this - and I hesitate to say it,
because
they're Harold's words, but it's so funny, it's gotta be told ( and I know one
bro
who will really "especially" appreciate this!)
You know how we would be honest and candid with one another, and not want to
be in the dark about anything, and all the rest of it...
Well, we all know how Jimmy was in his zeal to carry out the abusive leader's
wishes
(I've said it before, I don't know why it was, but I always liked Jimmy and got
along
great with him); well Harold admitted to having fantasies of strangling Jimmy and

brought it to the light.  You can imagine, Harold was always around the Lamb
House
or the new property fixing the plumbing and what not - the latest crisis he was
always
solving - and he would have to take a lot of orders from ST through Jimmy who
would
add who knows what spin on the whole thing.

===================================

Nancy,

I don't often defend ol' Stew, but I do know that he was a tipper.

Came down on a bunch of brothers  one time for "cheapin" on the tips.

He wasn't elaborate , but fair.( as regards tips)
==================================
   From: nkcsigner2@aol.com
Subject: Re: Archenemies - COBU & Family

Okay, Big Mac - fair is fair, but let me ask you, how many brothers had
easily accessible cash to leave the tip, while Stewboy liked to show off
(even in bikinis, we know) what he thought he possessed?  Like a bro could
just reach in his pocket to find he had more than a dollar a day?   But see,
if he was only faithful, like old ST, he would be prosperous...
(seeds of the prosperity teaching I hate now).
Nancy C.

==========================================
Ziggon

In a message dated 5/8/2000 11:19:12 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
Jtenright@aol.com writes:

<< Stew just loved to go after him though. He was a challenge because he
 never said what was on his mind while it was obvious he had plenty on
 his mind. Stew used to get so razzed about that. But old Harold just
 had that clownish mischievous smile. Drove Stew nuts. That brother
 was simply badgered out of fellowship.
  >>
Hi Jim, Read EZEL 34:21, it describes exactly what ST is doing as a shepherd
in the above example. "Becauseyou push with your side & with shoulder, &
thrust at all the weak with your horns, until you have scattered them abroad.
Read the chapter for the context.
                                                                Herm
=================================
Sister Carol,
I agree with your assessment. I'm not sure when ST realized it but I believe
that he did at some point-maybe sometime in the late 70's or early 80's.
That makes it even more heinous.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
==================================
Message: 14
   Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 23:11:47 -0400
   From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: Brother whose Dad died - Clarification

Brother Jim,
Thanks for clarifying that.
I knew Jim Sidoran and he was a great brother but I didn't remember that
event happening to him while I was there.(1976 to 1981). I sort of remember
Jim Oinman.
I've been trying to recall the meeting where Jim O was dealt with so
inhumanly, but I have either blocked it out or wasn't there.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve

>====================================
From: "Steve Saxton" <sksaxton@sg23.com>
Subject: Re: Archenemies - COBU & Family

Brother Jim,
I do remember the "Christmas Meeting".
I did go home to visit that year and a bunch of us, Jim Sidoran included,
all went to western NY. I think Jim was from Buffalo.
The sad thing is how I treated my Mom while I was home. I read my bible and
work books and practically totally ignored her. By God's Grace, all that has
been healed.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
==================================

Jim writes: I don't remember the dates(part of why I needed to
clarify) but I am sure it was some time after 1981. It was some time
around when "sweeping" started a couple years after the "We People"
phase. Jim Oiman was not alone though. For a while, every family
death or holiday was met with the same scrutiny. I know Stecve ATorpe
had a nearly identical meeting when it was his turn, and several
others.
==================================
Sister Nancy,
A double hearty Amen regarding the Zig Man.
Harold and Bob Secrest and I were roomies for a while and Harold is a gem of
a brother.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
========================================
Brother Jim,
I'm laughing as I write this because I know exactly what you mean about
Harold's smile.
However bro, you must understand that the Secrest and I learned how to gang
up on Harold and we knew how to get things out of him.
After all, how can you defend against a guy in a wheelchair and a guy on
crutches? Not easily I assure you.
Some of those times were really great.
Praise God for brothers like Harold.
Yours in Christ,
Sola Scriptura,
Steve
==========================================

0400
   From: "Carol Stutts" <cstutts@kih.net>
Subject: re: Did Stew know?

I also rec'd another conformation to my conclusion.  In a phone call to Ann B. we both clearly remember seeing Stew make jokes with Gayle about:  "They'll believe anything."  Etc.  That was in the early to mid 80's.
Carol

==========================================