Biblical Answers to the World Mission Society Church of God

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.--1 John 4:1

Are you or a loved one struggling with this group? Do you need Biblical answers about the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCoG or CoGWMS), their founder Ahnsahnghong (Ahn Sahng/Sang-Hong) or their current leader "Mother Jerusalem" (a.k.a. "Heavenly Mother God," Zang/Zahng Gil-Jah, or Chung Gil Cha)? Thank you for coming here. I hope my blog helps you. Questions and comments are always welcome.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Bride in Revelation

Who is the Bride in the book of Revelation?  Is it the Church or "Mother Jerusalem"?

When I first studied with the COGWMS, the woman I talked to asserted strongly that the Bride in Revelation was "God the Mother" and that in fact NOWHERE in the Bible did the God's Bride refer to the Church.

Now when members explain about the Bride, they will say that yes, in other places in the Bible, the Bride is the Church, but NOT in Relevation.  In Revelation, the Bride must be "God the Mother" (Mother Jerusalem).

Now let's think about the logic they are using.  The COGWMS says...
  • "Clouds" are used metaphorically for people in a few verses.  Therefore, when Jesus returns "on the clouds" it means He will be born as a person again.
  • Jesus kept the Passover with bread and wine.  Therefore, other verses that mention bread and/or wine are referring to Passover.  (For example, Gen. 14:18 and Is. 25:6).
  • The Heavenly Jerusalem in Rev. 21:2 and Gal. 4:26 is "Mother God."  Therefore, many other verses that mention Jerusalem (especially in the Prophetic books) are talking about "Mother God."
  • BUT even though the 'bride' of God throughout the Bible refers over and over again to God's people (His nation or His church), it does not in Revelation. 
Not very consistent, is it?
For more information about who the bride (wife) of God is, please read Who Is the Bride?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Mind Control, Part 3

Today I'm going to take a few real life experiences and see how they can be categorized into Steve Hassan's BITE model.  These are a combination of quotes, paraphrases, and observations.  They are from my own family and trusted friends, including what members have told me directly.

For reference, here again is a link to Mr. Hassan's detailed BITE model of mind control.  Remember, the acronym stands for Behavior Control, Information Control, Thought Control, and Emotional Control.

  • On Feast days, she went for prayer at 5:00 am, and then went back to church after work and didn't go home until at least 9:00 pm.  With work and other things that must be done, there wasn't much time left, and this was everyday for a week.
  • I wouldn't take a vacation unless there was a 'Zion' nearby.  If it was an extremely important trip, I would keep the Sabbath by myself, but I would rather not go.  If my employer asked me to take business trips over a Sabbath or relocate and there was no 'Zion' there, I would look for another job.
  • They all had the same posture when praying.  The men and women were different from each other, but the women held their hands the same way, and the men held their hands in the same way.  I asked [the ladies] why that position, is there some meaning in it?  They answered, "That's the way Mother does it."
  • People are assigned to take attendance during services, feast days, activities, etc.
  • He has spent so much money buying suits and going on the trip to Korea
  • Ahnsahnghong's books are not available to the general public.
  • Stay away from the internet.  You shouldn't read those websites criticizing the "Church of God" because they are unreliable and deceitful.
  • She shared studies with me from her new church, but it was months before she told me what they believe about Ahnsahnghong, "Mother," and us being angels.
  • We are the only church with the way to salvation.  All other Christian churches and denominations are the prostitutes mentioned in Rev. 17:5.
  • Different people used the same phrases over and over again in their prayers and preaching and even just talking, such as "without any fail" and "just like 2000 years ago" and "understand God's administration."
  • It doesn't make sense, but I will trust "Mother" and "Father" and not let it shake my faith.
  • They showed me a video of nuclear destruction.  It was very graphic showing people burning up, turning to skeletons.  They said it was what was going to happen when God judges the world by fire and the only way to be saved is to take the Passover and follow "Mother."
  • On the Sabbath I attended, the message from the pulpit was about how the book of Jeremiah prophesies destruction coming from the north, which meant that North Korea was going to start a nuclear war, and the only way to be saved was through their church.
  • If you don't continue faithfully with the WMSCOG, every Passover, Sabbath, Third Day, Feast, etc., then you will not receive salvation and you'll definitely be destroyed in the final disaster.

About the behavior aspect--As Christians, we want our behavior to reflect our love for God.  And when someone becomes a Christian we expect a change in their behavior to reflect that.  Some of these behavior changes are understandable from someone excited about their faith.  But when the behavior change is coming about through manipulation, that's different--that's more like the behavior control that the BITE model is looking for.

Also, these are all personal examples--what we experienced.  Each person's experience may be a little different, so think about what has happened in your experience.  Does your experience fit the BITE model?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mind Control, Part 2

The idea of mind control (from Wikipedia) is that "an individual's thinking, behavior, emotions or decisions can, to a greater or lesser extent, be manipulated at will by outside sources."  I've posted some video links about mind control on my links page.  Please check them out.  I found this one especially interesting: How a Creeping Commitment Traps YOU in a Cult.

I'd like to take a look at Steven Hassan's BITE model for assessing if a group is practicing destructive mind control.   BITE is an acronym for Behavior Control, Information Control, Thought Control, and Emotional Control--the four basic components of mind control.

This is important to know regarding ANY group that you might be getting involved in--not just a religious group.  When this kind of control and manipulation makes people "dependent and obedient" on the group and its leaders, then there is a problem.

For the sake of space, I'm only going to quote some of the details for each component.  To get the full picture, you'll definitely want to get more information on Steven Hassan's website, or in his book, Releasing the Bonds (Freedom of Mind Press, 2000) where it's on pages 42-55.

Behavior Control
includes such things as:
*Where, how, and with whom the member lives and associates
*What clothes, colors, hairstyles the person wears
*What food the person eats, drinks, adopts, and rejects
*How much sleep the person is able to have
*Financial dependence
*Little or no time spent on leisure, entertainment, vacations
*Major time commitment required for indoctrination sessions and group rituals
*Need to ask permission for major decisions
*Individualism discouraged; "group think" prevails
*Rigid rules and regulations 

Information Control
includes such things as:
*Deliberately holding back information
*Distorting information to make it more "acceptable"
*Access to non-cult sources of information minimized or discouraged
*Information is not freely accessible
*Information varies at different levels
*Spying on other members is encouraged
*Extensive use of cult generated information propaganda
*Unethical use of confession

Thought Control
includes such things as:
*Need to internalize the group's doctrine as "Truth"
*Use of "loaded" language ("cliches, doublespeak, and coded jargon")
*Only "good" and "proper" thoughts are encouraged
*Use of thought-stopping techniques, which shut down "reality testing"
*Rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism
*No alternative belief systems viewed as legitimate, good, or useful

Emotional Control
includes such things as:
*Make the person feel that if there are ever any problems, it is always his fault, never the leader's or the group's.
*Excessive use of guilt
*Excessive use of fear
*Extremes of emotional highs and lows
*Ritual and often public confession of sins.
*Phobia indoctrination.  The person cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled future without being in the group.
*Terrible consequences will take place if you leave.
*Shunning of leave takers; fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family.

After studying this, I thought of my own family's experience, and I'll tell you... I was dismayed by how many similarities I saw.  But you can decide for yourself--think about your experience with the WMSCOG and whether you see any parallels with the BITE model of mind control.

Click here to go on to Part 3.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Mind Control, Part 1

I've written previously about how the WMSCOG qualifies as a cult under the definition that a cult is a "deviation from orthodox Christianity."  That definition concerns the doctrine of a group, but not necessarily the behavior of the group.

There is another definition of a cult, though, that has everything to do with behavior and nothing to do with doctrine.  In that sense, a cult is a group that uses mind control in a destructive way.  It doesn't have to be religious, but could also be political or commercial or even a therapy group.  The key is that they manipulate things to impair the member's ability to think for themselves.  To the extreme, destructive mind control results in such tragedies as Jonestown or Heaven's Gate.

There is an excellent book on the topic by Steven Hassan called "Releasing the Bonds."  I encourage you to find a copy and read it for yourself.  In it, Mr. Hassan explains a few different ways to tell if a group is using destructive mind control.  He details Lifton's Eight Criteria of Thought Reform, Singer's Six Conditions for Thought Reform, and his own BITE Mind Control Model.

I'd like to take a look at mind control next and compare it to the behavior of the WMSCOG.  You can try this yourself... Look at those three links about mind control and see if any of the points apply to your experience with the WMSCOG.  Keep in mind, a group does not have to display all of the characteristics, but the more they have, the more likely they are to be a destructive mind control cult.

Here's more information about mind control.  Interestingly, the first subtitle is "The Korean War and the origin of brainwashing."

Click here to go on to Part 2.