Short version: My mom’s friend is involved in a cultish church, run by a local police officer and attended by a local judge. When her son stopped attending the church, they called the FBI on him, had him put in a mental hospital, and sabotaged other aspects of his life. It disturbs me that local officials with great power are involved in a cult like this.
Long version: My mom’s friend, let’s call her “Betty,” has been attending this very strange church. The “pastor” is a local county police officer, and the church services are these 12-hour marathon services, where they only get a few bathroom breaks. These services involve much “rebuking” and criticism of the membership for anything and everything. A prominent member of the church is a local county judge.
Here’s an example illustrating the weirdness of the church: During one recent 12-hour church service, a young woman raised her hand to ask for permission from the pastor to use the bathroom, because she was on her period and had overflowed her pad. The pastor proceeded to rebuke and condemn the girl for getting menstrual blood on the seat, thereby “soiling” church property - menstrual blood is “dirty” and a woman’s period is when she is cleansed of sins, etc.
Back to Betty - she has a son - let’s call him “Jason,” who is about 25 years old, and who used to attend the church with her but later became skeptical of the church and religion as a whole and stopped attending. He subsequently became active in the local Libertarian party and is actually the party’s candidate for local office in the upcoming election. He has a campaign web site which extols his Libertarian ideals. Some of the stuff he writes is a little “out there,” but pretty innocuous standard Libertarian stuff.
So the pastor has proceeded to demonize Betty’s son, constantly berating Betty about her son’s evilness. Here’s a recent example: Jason wanted to get rid of some furniture, so he offered to give it to a family from the church. Betty and Jason drove the furniture over to the family’s house, and the family invited them to stay for dinner… Well when the pastor found out about this, he got very angry at Betty and the family. He rebuked them harshly at the next church service, criticizing the family for taking the furniture and for having Jason in their house and inviting him for dinner. The pastor MADE the family give back the furniture.
Here’s where it gets worse. The pastor reported Jason to the FBI for his political writings, saying he was dangerous. I am serious!! The FBI actually began an investigation of Jason, and thoroughly interviewed Betty about her son’s activities.
Most recently, the pastor talked Betty into involuntarily committing Jason to a mental hospital!!! When Jason arrived, they interviewed him and he said he was a Libertarian candidate for Congress, and was under investigation by the FBI - which is true. When the psychiatrists heard this, they thought he was schizophrenic, and started him on anti-schizo drugs. However, after more examination they found that there was absolutely nothing wrong with Jason, and they released him after a week. When the pastor found out that Jason had been released and that Betty did not call him right away to tell him, he got very angry.
Also, Jason is scheduled to be interviewed by a local radio station in regards to his candidacy in the political race. The pastor and the judge drilled Betty to find out when and where this interview would be, and the pastor is going to call ahead of the interview to inform the reporter about how evil Jason is.
This church would be disturbing in and of itself, but the fact that it’s run by a local police officer, and attended by a local judge, it’s quite scary. One example of this is that the pastor/police officer will sit in the judge’s courtroom and monitor her. So clearly this judge’s “judgment” is being directly influenced by this wacky church and this police officer/pastor.
My question is, is there anything I can/should do to expose this?