Nothing New Under the Sun: Trends and Patterns of Ex-Adventist Cult Leaders
Most (but not necessarily all) of these ex-Adventist cult leaders have the following patterns, trends and behaviours in common:
- Most have a negative relationship with the ‘mainstream’ SDA Church. In fact, many are offshoots of the SDARM and other break-away groups – schisms-of-schisms.
- Most claim to be either Jesus, the Messiah, a prophet or some other persons with divine standing – clearly false Christs or false prophets.
- Most seem to be motivated by power – especially sexual-linked-power.
- A surprising number have been involved in sexual indiscretions or perpetrated sexual abuse.
- A surprising number have been in trouble with law enforcement – some have been incarcerated in prison.
- Most seem to be middle-age white men with a fascination for church-plants in Africa.
- Most seem to teach a legalistic and perfectionist theology of purported ‘Victory over Sin’ – an ironic concept given the fruits of most of them.
- Most seem to teach wild conspiracy theories – about 9/11, Freemasons, Hitler and the moon landing.
- Most seem to have an amazing knowledge of the Bible, and a charismatic personality; however, so does Satan himself as coming in an angel of light. By contrast, when judged by their fruits, these men seem to come out sorely lacking.
- These men usually cause havoc to God’s people much in excess of their tiny sizes.
- Ellen White providentially warned of such offshoots repeatedly arising where, ‘little companies continually rising who believe that God is only with the very few, the very scattered, and their influence is to tear down and scatter that which God's servants build up.’
- The ‘mainstream’ SDA Church leadership should perhaps do more to intervene against these men, warning its sheep, and do so much earlier. Sadly, the SDA leadership is far less inclined to intervene against Adventism’s conservative fringe compared with its liberal fringe.