first of all, English is not my first language so bare with  me through this basic grammar please!! my name is sylvain. I was involved with the Montreal chapter in 76,77. before meeting with a cobu member on the street of Montreal in the fall on 76.I had spend all my money I made working for the railroad in Alberta to travel all around the states on my quest to find the truth! On that trip,I asked everyone I met "whats your truth?"I was open to anything, and man, did I ever meet some weirdoes!!I checked out the Moonies who were absolutely everywhere,almost went to the ranch(im glad i didn't now!),went to the hare Krishna temple in san Diego where i had a personal meeting with the leader(he tooth i was a space cadet,that's what he told is buddy beside him,he tooth i couldn't understand that).  because ihad real long hair,everyone was getting me high when they picked me up hitchhiking so i did quite a bit of drugs witch never really satisfied me but at least i was funny while high so peoples liked me!!i know that Jesus was with me on that trip even though i didn't believe then,he showed me the real side of human nature.it will take too long to tell you all of what happened on that trip and some stuff will groce you out but i tell you,if your looking for the truth,you'll found it and god will open your eyes no matter what state of mind you are.it will be impossible to ask all the gurus and swamis and leaders of any kind before coming to conclude who hold the truth,but for me ,what i saw and experienced while on that trip took me to my limit of what i could bare to learn and integrate in my daily life while remaining somehow sane!! i prayed to Krishna, that's right i had the mantra with that holly food they gave me and i prayed that afternoon on the highway waiting for a ride and then  a brand new Cadillac stopped,rolled down the windows,5 guys inside,one approached me;"hey man?you got $5. for gas you get in,you don't you stay here and fry under the sun! " "hu?ha,thanks,guys but im kind of broke too".they took off so fast!!i bet my hare Krishna chaplet is still there on that spot today! i never prayed to that god again!!!i went to a private lecture(just for me) at the Moonies headquarter,they're biggest fear was that i looked too much like a communist!!they probably tooth i looked like Descartes!i went to a scientology center for an audit,they learned i was broke so they didn't push too far!not a good candidate for they're greedy business!              in st Augustine,Florida,i met the most beautiful peoples in months,some Christians living together very kind and not judging or pushy and they took the time to explain Jesus to me but i was still skeptical then, . In Montreal,a guy i met in Vancouver came and talk to me told me about Jesus and it was then that i became more and more sure i was close to the truth! I kept a track ,a long hair bearded freak gave me a year before on the street with cobu`s address on it.so i went there in the afternoon,and some gal answered but wouldn't let me in and told me to come back later in the evening for a meeting!i don't know why but i came back that night and met all the guys in there,one guy named glen took me apart ,he was only 16 by the way,i was22 but it didn't matter he did all i did in less time then me!we read a few verse in john {then after,i found out it was the basic verses everyone was told to memorized},then ask me to pray if i wanted Jesus in my life.we did and i truly got born again that night!!it was like my eyes opened for the first time,everything was clearer and brighter,wow!!! so i hung around all them guys for awhile,everybody was freaking out about STEWART!every day someone will say something about him coming soon and how great it will be.meanwhile,i would help the guys out not knowing what really was going on,cleaning carpets and delivering flyers doors to doors in -20 weather!one night we worked all night doing an office,no lunch no break but all the guys were so enthusiasts about the whole thing it was hard to leave them plus all the love they showed you it was like a family!!regardless of the way you want to look at the whole things,most peoples in the church were genuine Christians,you could see Jesus in they're faces!! ive never lived in a house but i was like they're favorite lamb,everyone loved me plus i had a van,man they REALLY loved me when they found that out!one evening,that was it;Stewart was gonna be here ......wow!so one evening he came in!i count believe it!! a long hair freak too straight from Woodstock!!!he looked nice,tender at first.....then he talked.......!       I remember,there was this young guy totally dedicated to him,sitting right beside him,he was only 15 I think,everyday he would go out to clean carpet for Stewart........and now Stewart was here!he had his hand up every time Stewart would ask a question........and everytime Stewart would mock him....right in front of everyone!!he would never answer the right thing,Stewart would always put him down and then everybody else would do the same!that was sad to watch!!and then his wife...I knew there was something wrong here...hes way older then her and she was always mumbling something in his ears during the meeting! she would look at us and then mumble something in his ears!I think everyone were scared she was talking about one of us!!all he talked about was 'get the sheep's.go get the sheep's".later on I almost died!!one guy told Stewart,very innocently(I hope) "Stewart.Sylvain is just a lamb here,and its is first time ,I wonders what he thinks of our meeting?' oh man!!!everyoneturned to me and then Stewart did too, all I could say was "hu,well....im just glad to be here anyway!!with a trembling voice.....!well Stewart didn't say anything,I think he had pity for me,I looked pretty inoffensive!then the meting went on!!first time I prayed like that with my face to the floor.then more excitement coming...the big meeting!!!
                                                                    we drove all night in my van overcrowded with no seats in the back.we made it there in the morning!!no sleep!!Stewart showed up...not much preaching that I can remember..just some tune up about some backslidden members!and then Richard wunbrund (or something) came to talk...that was good!! I got nothing for food spiritually the whole week-end ,I was just tired,so tired and everybody else that I can remember was too!! the general atmosphere was tense in there!I knew there was something wrong but I didn't know what,all I knew is I had Jesus and I had a thirst for more of him!!I really believe I met him there but not through Stewart but trough a normal brother glen!!  I fell kind of obligated to stick around with the guys because of my conversion witch happened here.......ok ok plus I had a crush on a girl there too,but that's between you and me!!I still have the big red button  and the shepherd track,I kept it here and I never knew what to think about all this experience until I fell into this site here!!well thank god for the internet and mister Montoya,we can let it all out!!              so,ive never stayed with the church too long and never lived in the houses but it did something to my life I never forgot!!I fell real guilty when I left,I went on the west coast,cause my unemployment insurances was running out and I wasn't that dumb to work all the time for free!! so after a while I left Jesus,little by little!one day ihad enough and went out to found a church,a friend of mine invited  me to his and I stayed there for just about 10 years but guess what?this one was dysfunctional too!   it really took me a while to see through this one,I was so involved;lived in a commune house,played in the worship band,coffee house,Saturday meetings,Sunday evening singles meeting.Tuesday bible study and Wednesday house meetings!!its was very secluded and intense so you didn't have too much time to think for yourself!!              ok,now don't be scared,here's a few of the weird doctrines applied in the church;members`s married church`s members only;no dating unless you're ready to get married;cant ask the girl directly,the leader would ask her for you;if you get married,you had to go in front of the church after you got back from your honeymoon and tell everyone how it went{im not kidding!!!};theses who complained were been excommunicated in front of the church;if you fell into sins,you had to apologized again in front of the church;we had to WALK with our offering while the pastor would stand in front of the baskets and look at what you gave(Jesus did that,he would say,quoting the lady that gave only a cent in the bible);you had to SUBMIT to your leaders;obey the chain of command established;if you got saved here then you had to stay here or loose the "covering";singles were used to do chores for the already wealthy top peoples in command;had to by books only from the church library approved by the pastor;they would recommended who to be married withor who you cant;the church was forever fund raising,it was never enough,the more you give the more they would spend while the pastor lived in luxury!!! well,his biggest mistake was to start a major fund raising to move the church to a new location,he raised the money(1million for a church of 400 members) and then decided not to move into a new location but instead bought an existing dying church with a declining membership,deep in debts  without our consent! well,that started the biggest exodus of his church,all the originals members left including all board members,it was clear now,he was in total control and always was!a committee was started to solve all the problems so I stayed for a while hoping for a change but the whole thing fell apart when he made clear again to the committee that he was in charge and always will be so I left with many of us,there is only 10 originals members left now.all those years off dedication.......all that work for free.....nobody phoned me to try to get me back or see what was happening.....I was alone.......all alone!!! I checked out others churches for a while;a victory type of church....it was the same,very controlling;then I went to a small independent church for a while until I found out they were discipleship too very controlling but to a lower level,finally my last one was a vineyard church,the music was great but the preaching very light while the meeting was always distracted by loud screams and shootings from peoples supposedly getting "delivered"! but my main preoccupation was that it was too much into itself,ive never heard one alter call or seen someone been saved witch is for me very important and should be the "raison d`etre of every churches!!              Well.right now,im still a Christian but don't go to church.Maybe some day ill go back but it will never be the same I will always be careful and on guard!!I got lots of teaching tapes I listened too and I send some money to a few trusted ministries . Before anyone write me back with some "deep" holy suggestions,let me tell you I don't wanna hear them!! I got my personal walk with the lord and that's is all that matter to me right now,keep your favorite pet doctrine for yourself,....in good Canadian......TAKE OFF,YOU HOSER!!! ive heard enough dictatorial dogmatic teaching ,i have my own personal relation with Jesus and sorry but that's exactly what most preachers tell you to do anyway!! I hope in not rude but firm,don't send me some e-mail with your "advice" and your favorite bible verse cause ill be gone so fast!!! I just wanna be in touch with those who knew me and found out how you got out and how it affected you,thank you for respecting that!            reflecting back on all this, a few things scared me,really scared me.....how easy it is to control even the most well educated peoples and mold them to make them do whatever you want!! Plus,all the abuse....why didn't anyone defended the weaker??why didn't anyone stood up???are we all scared of public humiliation so much were willing to tolerate anything so we can remain in our safe world?look around our world today,we need peoples who will stand up for the week and defend the defenseless,there is very few left willing to give they're life to a cause! Its like Bruce cockburn said:"i wonder where the lions are" ! Man.i wish i would had stood up for that kid at the meeting and when i saw Daniel delivered flyers in -20 weather with a cold,that was sad!!but I kept thinking it must be ok because someone would have stopped it ,some of the others,the ones in charge,the ones with a higher education,the ones more outspoken but they didn't......they became like the leader! if the leader was that way it must be the way to be!! Does`not that scare you how someone could become so cruel just for the sake of approval?They say history repeat itself,so I think were in for more of the same and more and more little cults will emerge as we approach the millennium! As we speak,im      sure someone is been abused in some cults or church somewhere,more then ever we that have lived the pain need to stand up and speak up and totally help out thoses who want out and be set free!!!Jesus said i came to set you free and when you're free ,you're free indeed!!!I have no illusions,some like it in there,they don't have to make decisions anymore,they feel safer,plus its too hard to read the bible and follow what god had in plan for you! Well,id rather take a chance and fall and try again doing what i think god is telling me to    do rather then listening to someone else godly advice for me!If god wont talkto me directly,i think that mean there is something wrong with my relation with him and that's the first thing to work on but so far god hes been with me and not against me like some almost wish when you don't follow they're rules and he taught me and showed me where to go with gentleness and love and even though this whole world is becoming colder and colder,Jesus is always the same ,gently bringing me back to his love!!!I think until the end they're will always be wolfs in sheep clothing's like Stewart,Tilton.Larry lee and some others and they're will always be some who will be deceived by them but at the end,they will get they're rewards!!! As for me now,life is taking care of my kids(they're not really my kids but I know them since babies from a single mom at church !they never had they're dad and now they're mom left them for booze)I loved them as my own and hope one day they will make a decision for the lord!!I moved to western Canada.work in house renovations,have some close friends that have remain close and that's all I want!!So,you can find me playing hockey with the boys,working in a house somewhere,in front of my pc now(I just bought it and I think im addicted!!!) or at home on week-ends with my kids and that is life for me now,me and Jesus and you all my brothers in Christ.........I love you..........Sylvain!!!!!!
                                                                p.s.i shed a few tears writing this....it hurt!!!