3/13/2014

Church of Wells: I see no good end ....

... to this small group in Texas. I hope I'm wrong and that the group will eventually dissolve. Time will tell.



The group has a website here: The Church of Wells.
Here is a link to access the bios of the founders: About Us
Apparently the Church of Wells had its beginnings as Ye Must Be Born Again Ministries and started in Arlington, Texas, in 2010 before moving to Wells, Texas, in 2012.

To me, the above video and the bios of the young founders are almost more telling of, and are at the very least corroborative with, the cult-like allegations from various news reports.

Exclusiveness and elitism, emotional conversion, literalism, obedience to elders, and the perception of persecution - all justified by scripture - are only a few of the telltale indications of "my-no-good-end" statement.

The group has been in the news due to at least a couple events linked below.

A former member of the group, Patrick Jones, who (at 23 years old) quit school and his job and cut ties with his family to join the group, shares his experience in a two part interview series linked below. Jones was a part of the group for one year while the group was based in Arlington, Texas. Good on Patrick for leaving the group and for speaking up.

EXCLUSIVE PART I: Interview with former Church of Wells member
EXCLUSIVE PART II: Interview with former Church of Wells member

From the Part 1 Interview:

...Jones says he felt trapped, he felt like he was being held "spiritually captive" and there was no way out.

"I felt like, if I leave, I felt like where am I going to go? You know that was my first question. At this time, I had preached very harshly to my mom and basically told her and just condemned her and told her she was going to go to hell because some of the elders told me that I needed to cut all ties and that I need to stop talking to friends and family and cut everything loose, and so I did because they felt like I was holding on to some stuff and Houston, and so I did. I called her and preached to her and I said unless you repent, I can't have a fellowship with you, basically I couldn't talk to her."

He said he felt like he had no family to turn to besides his "spiritual" family in the church, so Jones stayed. ...


***
Dr. Laurie Roth provides a phone number and email for Church of Wells followers considering an exit from CoW. The contact information is: churchofwellsexitplan@hushmail.com and 206-984-6859.

***
Links to my blog posts regarding Church of Wells:
Church of Wells: I see no good end ....
More thoughts regarding the Church of Wells...and The Way...and us humans...and...
Church of Wells ...when the doubts arise...

***
This following link directs to a discussion forum regarding the Church of Wells: Church of Wells/YMBBA Ministries. As of 3/16/14, the board is not accepting new registrations, but threads can be read by the public.

***
The following was posted on 3/13/14.
Religious group staking its claim in Texas town of Wells

The Al Jazeera America video is no longer available. According to their website: Select video clips are available on Al Jazeera America’s website for a limited time. If you are unable to locate a specific video clip by using the search bar, they are currently not available.

***
The following was posted on 3/17/14.
Family fears their daughter is lost to controversial Church of Wells

The Al Jazeera America video is no longer available. According to their website: Select video clips are available on Al Jazeera America’s website for a limited time. If you are unable to locate a specific video clip by using the search bar, they are currently not available.

***

6 comments:

  1. Oh NO, been down this route...seen this...NOT GOOD.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hear ya' April.

    I've been doing much more reading about this group since I posted the blog piece. And I've viewed more videos from the group's website. As a result, I have more thoughts on the matter and am even more convinced that there will be no good end. Even if the group dissolves and former members learn huge life lessons from their experiences (which if there is a good end, that would be the only one that I can see), harm will be (and already has been) done.

    I'm not sure why I am so interested in this particular group. Perhaps, part of the reason is because the founders are in their 20s and the group itself is young. There is still time in their youth to come to their senses, accept responsibility and accountability, and see their actions as being taken from idealistic youthful zeal...and then to utilize that zeal and youthful energy toward more healthful ends.

    When I watch their videos and read their sharings, I see my former zealous true-believer self from some 30+ years ago. That may be at least one other reason for my interest.

    I won't be surprised to later hear of controversy between the three founders and then a split between them; it seems almost aximotic within these type totalistic, all-or-nothing groups. If that does happen, in that too people will be hurt.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This link directs to a discussion forum regarding the Church of Wells: Church of Wells/YMBBA Ministries. Currently, 3/16/14, the board is not accepting new registrations, but the threads can be read by the public.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Typo: "axiomatic" not "aximotic"

    ReplyDelete
  5. Been there too done that got the t shirt and 7 years of therapy! Get Out Now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope the recent exposure brings more questions to CoW followers' minds...and that take that what-seems scary step out...and then others follow suit.

      Thanks for commenting Cyndee!

      Delete