LETTER TO JILL FOLEY
April 2, 1993
Thank you for your recent letter and the article.
I really admire you for your sincerity and would always admonish you to search for the truth and never take anyone's word for anything, mine included. Critical thinking is very important in these days because there is so much deception around.
I want to assure you that I have no ulterior motives in doing what I am doing. I just want people who want to know the truth to have that chance.
I spent a total of 10 years inside the church and another 6 years connected to it mentally so I feel that I could give you a proper insight as to what it is all about and to answer some of your questions you were wondering about in your article.
I agree with you that people can be too eager to believe things that are not true and creating a mysterious place, just for adventure.
To start at the first of your story about the "girls in all black:" There are men and women in the church that are selected to be ushers and usherettes. They are there to seat people and help them in all different manners. They all dress in uniformity, usually in dark colors, black, brown and navy blue. They wear name tags with their names and either "Usher" or "Usherette" on them. This is so that people who need their services can identify who to go to for help or direction. My husband still has his name tag because he was an usher for many years in the church. The waving the hands part was probably in regard to the "Cadillac led processions" you mentioned in your letter and to be honest with you, this is a practice of the church.
Mr. Goodwin, the church leader, has a group of selected people or those who choose to do it, who wait for him after each service, no matter how late, and walk him out to his car in unison, touching his car, be it Cadillac or Lincoln, until he drives out into the street. Then they stand and wave. You can go over and watch after any service and see this for yourself. Unless he is out of town.
As far as being a "Satanic Church", it is not that if you look at it in the light of the "devil worshipers" that we hear of that put people on an altar and sacrifice them to the devil, etc ...
However, it is my opinion and the opinion of any normal Bible believing Christian, that anyone who causes people to take their eyes off the living Savior, Jesus Christ, and turn their eyes to a human man like Mr. Goodwin and put him up like a God of some kind, I would call this a kind of "devil worship". The Bible says: "Even Satan himself is transformed as an angel of light".
Satan doesn't just stand up and say, "I'm Satan!" He is very subtle. He lies just as he did to Eve in the beginning. Satan uses scriptures and the Bible very frequently. That is why it is so important to ask questions and if someone has nothing to hide, they will answer any question that you ask.
You were right in your assumption of why everyone turned to see you when you walked in. You were an outsider and were very conspicuous by your dress and hair. All the women after a certain age or when they get married must wear their hair up off their shoulders. The women cannot wear slacks or jeans. The skirts must be below the knee. The sleeves below the elbow. The men cannot wear sleeves above the elbow either, or shorts etc.. The women must wear their hair long and the men short. You can wear no jewelry except a ring or two, a watch, necklace or broach. Never earrings. The only makeup allowed is a little foundation or powder. Nothing else.
I agree that the atmosphere is very warm and caring. That is when you are a newcomer. It is called "love bombing" in brain washing techniques. They will tolerate a new comer in about anything until they get you hooked by mind control then you find out what it is really all about. Sometimes by this time, especially to someone who is real innocent and vulnerable, it is too late. They are afraid to leave for many different reasons. You must remember that I, a grown woman, above average I.Q. and had heard the things that I had and knew what had happened to my own sister, came back after being gone for six years!!!!!
Realistically, there is nothing wrong with singing a song, like the choruses or four lined repetitious songs that you spoke of. But if you study the material I gave you about brain washing or mind control, you will see that cults use repetition also. On the surface the place seems to be seething with joy but I had no joy when I was there. To be honest, I must say that there were times that I did feel joy but that was rare. I've talked to many people in there and there is a lot of pretending. He actively teaches people how to act when there are visitors or a visitor. I've sat next to new people and we were taught to give them a songbook and explain things without saying too much. His saying was, "be friendly but not familiar". This was true even among the members of the group. We couldn't talk about much even to each other or it was considered gossip.
Some of the other things that you mentioned were the way they pray in unison and crying out loud. This is practiced in many if not all Pentecostal type churches. The Bible admonishes us to do every thing decently and in order. I don't know if they moved out to the front and danced while you were there but I do know that Mr. Goodwin is in control of this. He has signs that he uses to let them know when they are to move out and it is usually to certain ones that he has selected. He also controls the band and ushers and everything. Everyone answers to him and no one does anything without his approval. It is like a little dictatorship. There are really no other words to describe it.
As far as the dividing of males and females, as far as I know, this is not mandatory. I have had some people tell me that he has required this of them but as for my husband and myself and a few others, we always sat together unless one of us was on some kind of duty. One of the purposes is so that the women can move out to the front together and the men for the same reason. I do know that we, as women were taught that we were not to look a man, other than our husbands, in the eye or we would be flirting with them. We were not to make a habit of shaking hands with members of the opposite sex.
You were also right in your view of the materialism part. You were definitely regarded as to the amount of money that you give to the church. We were taught that people could tell your standing with God by what you have materially and how much of it you give to the church. You were made to feel inferior if you were not successful. This is called "intimidation". This is also referred to in the material on brain washing. They use fear tactics also, such as, "if you do not pay your tithes and offerings then you will be judged by God". Or, "if you leave this church, you are full of demons and will fall under the judgment of God". In my case, my life was actually threatened! It was made to sound as if God was going to kill me, but here I am, I'm still alive and well and it's been two years!'
The church hours are long and frequent and very repetitive and when there is a church convention, you are driven to the absolute point of exhaustion! This is also part of the brain washing techniques. Most people are kept so busy they really don't have time to think or ask questions.
Please take the time to reflect on the material on brain washing that I sent to you and put it together with what I have told you in this answer to your article "Behind Closed Doors". Maybe you could write another article with a view point of someone who spent ten plus years behind those closed doors. I give you my full permission to use any information given in this letter.
I admire your active desire to know the truth for yourself and your openness in hearing the other side of it. Jesus said, "you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free".
May God richly bless you in all that you do and please keep in touch.
Yours sincerely and in Christian love,