Follow the Money (Part One)

I have learned something in my almost 40 years in dealing with religious cults, summed up in the familiar phrase:  “follow the money.”

These three words, if used faithfully and correctly in one’s life, can answer some of life’s most vexing questions.  By “following the money,” you will gain insight into one of the main—if not the main—motivations of religious cults (and of groups in general).

Take, for example, the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG), a growing cult birthed in South Korea.  Growing by leaps and bounds, their membership may be over the one million mark.

With a growing Youtube and social media presence, this group presents a carefully choreographed face to the world of being a helpful, caring and “look how much good we do for the world” religious organization.

Their cheery and slick ad’s, however, hide their true sinister side, which is a corrupt, power and control hungry group whose main existence is—you guessed it—$$$.  Lots and lots of money.

The leadership of the WMSCOG, like all cults, exists for one main purpose: they want and love your money.

Like most religious groups (and I’m saddened to write this includes legitimate Christian organizations), collecting money from their sheep is the main priority and reason for their existence.  “Follow the money” and you will learn why they wake up in the mornings.

Recently, I stumbled upon an outdoor meeting the WMSCOG was holding in Tucson, AZ.  They called it an “Ascension Day Worship.”  At the height of this gathering, approximately 40 to 50 people were in attendance.  One could describe it as a religious service common throughout America on a typical Sunday.

Of course, during one portion of the service, it was time for the male leaders of the group to break out the red, super-sized collection bags  and walk down the aisle, soliciting “donations” from those present.  My own eyes were literally “following the money.”

But understand this: In the last days terrible times will come.   For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money…”  2 Timothy 3:2

The Bible warns that people in the last days will be guilty of the sin of greed, which can be defined as someone who loves money.  Thus, we should not be surprised to discover that “religious” people, masquerading as Christians who don’t know the first thing about authentic Christianity, will be marked by their love of money.  In America, where one of the many false gods is money, none should be surprised at this fact.

You will be astonished by the paradigm shift in your thinking and outlook on life when you begin to incorporate into your life the principle of “following the money.”  It will open doors of such insight and understanding that you might wonder why you never thought of this type of revelation before.

I ask you to think about the lopsided importance that money has in our society, how the endless pursuit of it dictates so much of what we do every day.  It is so deeply woven into virtually every aspect of our daily routines that, again, few even think about it.  Fewer consider it to be a negative aspect of our culture.

Even more disturbing, the love of money has also tainted the true Church, the Bride of Christ.  Many churches in America, particularly mega ones, are run more like successful corporations than places which exist to glorify the Name of Jesus.

If you remove the profit motive from many churches, para-churches, and other religious organizations, many of them would permanently shut their doors.  The sad and revoting reality is this:  countless churches and “Christian” ministries are in it for the simple fact they are “following the money.”  And if there is one place in America where easy money is to be found, look no further than your local church.

This being said, it is not surprising that “ministries” are as common as mushrooms popping up in the fields after a summer thunderstorm.  And cults, like sharks who smell blood in the water, congregate to places where they believe easy kills are there for the pickings.

The WMSCOG exists because they know, like so many other false religious groups (Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Moonies, phony faith healers like Bennie Hinn, etc.), that religion is big business.  Billions of dollars a year pour into the coffers of both legitimate and non-legitimate religious groups.

Wise and experienced people who have been around the block many times understand the dark nature of humanity.  Young and idealistic people often have not lived life long enough to understand the power that money has over most of the population in the world today and how strong of a motivation money and greed is in the heart of the average person.

Again, the Bible clearly teaches that, in the last days, people will be lovers of money.  I don’t know if we are the generation that will see the second coming of Jesus, but one thing I do know:  we are closer to His coming than any other generation.  And if we are living in the last days, one serious problem will be that people who love money will be a source of pain to us.

We have to face facts and reality:  people love money, and many people will do whatever it takes to gather as much and as easily as they can.  Another sad and sinister side of life is that many people would sell their own mothers if they could realize a handsome profit by doing so.

If you find what I just wrote difficult or even impossible to believe, you are no doubt younger than thirty years old and are idealistic in nature with the proverbial stars in your eyes, believing in the innate goodness of men and women evolving into increasingly better people as the years pass by.

You are in for a rude awakening as you pilgrim through this life.

Why is it that cults like the WMSCOG heavily recruit on college and university campuses?  Because young people are there, idealists, who believe in the nonsense that spews out of the mouths of the leadership.  Most university and college students born and raised in the United States have been pampered and raised in the lap of luxury and are clueless to what the “real world” has to offer.

Because of their idealistic nature and belief they can “change the world,” (some will), they are targeted by sinister people like those of the WMSCOG who understand they will become their own personal ATM machines.

Think about this:  what easier way to earn money than having idealistic, happy and starry-eyed young people dropping money into the offering basket every Saturday during a WMSCOG meeting?

Sadly, this act of passing the plate is what most churches and cults build their entire “ministries” around. It is the crowning apex of all they do and exist for.

This is why the leadership of cults like the WMSCOG emphasize tithing so much.   To be fair, this is also why many (and I would say most) mainline churches emphasize the same thing:  it is all about the money.  Money, money, money and more money.

When your eyes are opened to this reality, that money is the driving force behind the WMSCOG, all the pieces neatly fall into place.  You will understand why they unceasingly recruit on university and college campuses, why they hold so many weekly meetings, why they incessantly teach on the importance of tithing, why they are such control freaks, etc.  It is all about the god they worship, the false but powerful god of money.

The disturbing story of the judge who found me guilty

The judge who found me guilty on the third degree criminal trespassing charge for preaching using my amplification system is a new judge with no legal experience; she was elected by the voters and not appointed to this important office.
Almost immediately she was embroiled in controversy: reports came out that she stole the answers to a test given to new judges (see article below).
An Arizona Court of Appeals judge who heard the case, Lawrence Winthrop, ruled that she violated three rules of the code of judicial conduct, saying, “While this misconduct may have only occurred once, it is too offensive to ignore or to resolve informally.”
Unbelievably, she received a gentle slap on the wrist, having only to pay a fine, the cost of the investigation, and take additional ethics courses. She was allowed to remain a judge—this is the individual who literally sat in judgment over my case.
She should have been removed from her noble position, having forfeited the trust of the people and the dignity and importance of her exalted office. How could someone who stole the answers to the test for new judges possibly be seen as someone who was fit to judge others…like other thieves?
Aboud made the fantastical claim that the whole thing was merely a “prank,” done as a joke. In another article she said, “This is a joke that I do. We do [it] within my family, we’ve done for 50, 60 years. You know, it’s ‘play a trick on somebody. Hide their stuff.'”
As one reads the handful of articles that report on this disturbing story, it becomes clear that Aboud is unfit to hold this honorable office.

I was found guilty for a second time

My criminal case is now in the appeal process after the judge found me guilty, for a second time, of third degree criminal trespassing while I was preaching at the UA during their annual “Tucson Festival of the Books” while using my small amplification system.

This case in the Pima County Consolidated Justice Court lasted over one year. The appeal process could take another year—even longer.

My criminal defense attorney handling my case, Mark Williman, is experienced and knows the law. Unfortunately, when you had a judge like I did, newly elected with no background as a lawyer and an avowed lesbian, the deck was stacked against me from virtually the get-go.

I could not discuss this judge, Paula Aboud, throughout the over year long trial because I felt that, if she got wind of what I posted on FB or my blog about her, things could have become uglier than what they were.

Just who is my judge, Paula Aboud? First, she was a democratic state senator here in my home state of AZ, born and raised in Tucson. Here are some quotes from a Wikipedia article about Judge Aboud:

“In addition to her professional career Aboud was a long-time activist for the Tucson Democratic Party.” This should give us a glimpse of Aboud’s political leanings and I would suggest they are not conservative. I don’t believe Aboud is a card carrying member of the NRA but probably is for Planned Parenthood.

But the article gets more interesting. Under the heading “Personal Life,” it reveals this:

“She was one of four openly LGBT members of the Arizona State Legislature.”

Aboud proudly identified herself as a lesbian while she was a state senator. Putting a couple of these facts together (and there are more), I would argue that it would be difficult for Judge Aboud to objectively sit as my judge for the “crime” that I was arrested for.

I will explain more in subsequents posts about this judge.


The dangers of growing old in the Lord

One of the many dangers aging Christians face as we pilgrim through this world is forgetting our Lord.

Though we may have begun strong in Him, full of faith, blessings and wisdom, there is a chance of throwing all of this away and dying in foolishness—even apostasy.

Solomon prominently comes to mind as one such example: a king who was blessed beyond measure in the beginning of his reign, full of godly wisdom and knowledge, who ended in tragedy. His riches, power and influence in the world for righteousness sake were incalculable.

Solomon threw all of this away and appears to have died a fool and an idolater of the worst kind. His rise and fall from greatness is a story I often return to in the hope I might learn not to follow in his disastrous footsteps.

He forgot God, allowing the innumerable blessings showered upon him to come between him and his Lord. The very blessings poured abundantly upon Solomon were the very things that destroyed him. This causes me to tremble in my spirit—if this apostasy and rebellion could happen to the wisest man in the world, it can certainly happen to me.

Jesus warned His disciples of this very thing in Matthew 26:41: “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (NIV).

Most of us know people who began strong in the Lord and now, years later, no longer walk with Him. Or, if they still profess to be believers, you would not know this by the lifestyles they now lead and the words that come out of their mouths.

We all need to remember this other warning from Jesus and take heed: “…but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” Matthew 24:13 (NIV)

First Amendment lawsuit against the UA

I filed my federal lawsuit against the University of AZ and their police department for my illegal arrest and incarceration last year at the annual “Tucson Festival of Books,” the third largest outdoor book fair in the United States.

This case, if won, will have far reaching implications for those who use amplification in their outdoor ministries: sidewalk counselors in front of abortion clinics and open-air preachers, to name two.

My case is unique because the case law (Supreme Court rulings, for example) concerning the use of outdoor amplification is not well settled. Some district courts have ruled one way while others have ruled the opposite.

In general, the use of amplification is recognized by the courts as being an essential part of our first amendment rights: one must not only be allowed to speak but also to be heard, and amplification allows this to effectively occur with our target audience.

The problem is that amplification runs into obstacles that cities and universities use to restrict its use. For example, one argument against the use of unrestricted amplified sound is that it can bother and annoy people and others affected by its use. Universities use this argument to their advantage by claiming (and sometimes legitimately so) that preachers using amplification interfere with classroom activity.

Again, my case is unique in that it is asking the 9th Circuit Court to rule on this specific issue: can a university forbid the use of any and all amplification by the general public during the weekend at at public, outdoor event when the vendors, musicians, and other paid participants of the event are allowed to do so, even though the public is freely invited with no cost to attend?

I say “no,” and this is the point of controversy.

As of yet, I cannot find a Christian law firm to take my case “pro bono” (for free). This case might literally take years to work its way through the courts. Can I afford hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney fees to litigate this? Of course not.

The difficulty in finding an experienced first amendment law firm to take my case on a pro bono basis is because of the above mentioned unknowns. I’ve worked with first amendment lawyers long enough to understand they only want to take cases where they are assured of victory; then, the losing side pays all the bills incurred because of the litigation.

This case is certainly no shoe-in for victory. The attorney I hired at first to take this case (paying him almost $2,000 for next to nothing; I let him go) gave best odds at 60/40 in my favor. As he delved more closely into the case law, he lowered the odds to even.

These are some of the reasons I decided to file this action myself with no attorney representing me. I have a fair amount of experience in fighting my own legal battles and am familiar with much of the court requirements for filing a lawsuit.

But District Court is an animal of a different color. This is Federal Court and not your local justice court or even Superior Court. This will require, and I have already dedicated well over 100 hours into this battle, extensive amounts of time, paperwork, research, and a fair amount of money.

I may lose. If I hired a law firm and lost, I’m out all of their fees; plus, I may have to pay the costs and attorney fees for the State if I lose. This is always an additional risk of these lawsuits.

The kingdom benefits, of course, are huge. A favorable ruling should help open up all public universities for amplified sound, with certain conditions. No longer should God hating, university bureaucrats and police officers be able to bully preachers for using amplified sound unless they can make a strong showing that such sound truly disrupts indoor classroom activity.

I plan of keeping everyone posted on future updates.

Lawsuit filed today against the University of AZ

I filed my First Amendment lawsuit against the University of AZ today in the United States District Court here in Tucson.

I did this because of my false arrest last year during the annual Tucson Festival of Books while sharing a message about the Bible being the #1 selling book in the world.

The reason I was arrested was because I was using my small amplification system to speak to the crowds of people. And all around me, literally, were many other people amplifying their sound at the exact same moment.

In reality, I was arrested because of WHAT I was saying. As we all know, the only speech not welcomed on college and university campuses across the USA is “bible speech.”

This lawsuit is complicated and technical. Few lawyers specialize in First Amendment law and I could not find one that would represent me “pro bono” (for free). Many law firms do represent Christians like myself pro bono who are illegally arrested like I was, but they want to make sure they win the case so they can have the opposing side pay their attorney fees.

My case is unique: there is no case law that directly addresses my particular set of circumstances. And the cases that address similar issues like mine have had mixed rulings in different districts around the country.

This is one reason why law firms specializing in First Amendment law would be hesitant to take my case; too much ambiguity in the case law.

This is a true “David v. Goliath” situation. I am going up against the power of the State of AZ by myself. They have all the power, all the money, and all the lawyers one could hope for at their disposal. I only have the little bit of brains the Lord gave me and His presence.

If I win, this will set a precedent that will help all open air preachers who wish to use amplification on university and college campuses to do so.

And I want to fight evil and injustice, exactly what has happened to me in this arrest. Don’t you grow weary of Christians who refuse to stand up and fight against the evil that is sweeping across our nation? I certainly do, which is another reason I put this particular stone in my slingshot as I’m approaching Goliath.

Why cults are so deadly

Religious cults abound in the world today, but their dangers to a person’s soul is usually overlooked.

Consider, for example, cults like the Hare Krishna’s or the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG).  Both of these groups worship as God man made religious objects (the Hare Krishna’s do this) or people (the WMSCOG does this).

The WMSCOG worships two people as God:  a south Korean woman known as “Zang Gil-ja” and her dead husband, “Ahn Sahng-hong.”

I want to stop here and let this sink into your spirit for a moment:  they literally worship two human beings as “God.”  And one of these two people, Zang Gil-ja, is alive today.  For people living in the United States or another western European nation, this is unheard of, so bizarre that it cannot possibly be true.

Zhang Gil Jah, worshipped as “god the mother” or “the mother god.”

Unfortunately, it is true, and there is nothing more soul-damming and eternally disastrous than to lead someone into idolatry.

But what does the Bible teach? The first commandment of the Ten Commandments, found in Exodus 20:1-17 commands this: “I am the Lord your God who brought you up out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods besides (or before) Me.” These deceivers of the WMSCOG never tell new recruits they worship this woman as “god the mother,” nor do they tell new recruits they also worship her deceased husband, Ahn Sahng-hong, as “god the father.”

Most people do not thoroughly read the Bible—if they read it at all. If they did, they would know that worshipping a mere man and/or a woman is idolatry, an abomination in the eyes of the living and true God. Cursed is the man or woman who offers any mere human only that which God Himself demands and is worthy of. Read the entire 13th chapter of the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy. In this chapter you will discover what happens to people who tempt others to worship anything or anyone other than the one true God.

I wish to highlight the following verses, 6-11, from this important chapter:

“If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son or your daughter or the wife you embrace or your friend who is as your own soul entices you secretly, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which neither you nor your fathers have known, some of the gods of the peoples who are around you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other, you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him. But you shall kill him. Your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people.  You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  And all Israel shall hear and fear and never again do any such wickedness as this among you.” (ESV)

In the Old Testament, the penalty for leading someone into idolatry was death.  And this death penalty was enforced even against those who were closest to the person who was to stone them:  wives, sons, daughters, best friends, etc.

Do you see how serious God is against the sin of idolatry?  Since this is true, plainly revealed in His eternal Word, what does this teach about the teachers and leaders of the WMSCOG who instruct and lead others to worship Zang Gil-ja and her dead husband, Ahn Sahng-hong?

These cults are evil.  It matters not how “nice” and “friendly” or “loving” they come across—they are out to destroy your eternal soul in the everlasting flames of hell.

Woe to these people!  Woe to these leaders who go to any length to recruit new people into their cult.  On the day of Judgment, God will judge these people the harshest.

If you have been deceived by these two groups, I urge you to flee and get as far away from them as is possible.  And you must repent before God of your abominable idolatry of worshipping mere humans as God, begging Him to forgive you.

This is the most serious business one can be involved in, friends.  If you are reading this page, it is my opinion that God has led you here for a reason and a purpose.  And part of that reason is clear:  to convict you of your sin of idolatry by being involved in these groups and to repent of your sin and get your life right before Him.

I would like to hear from you.  Please don’t leave a comment below or in the comments section because I receive so much spam that I delete all comments en masse without reading them.

Instead, go back to the video that linked to this page and leave your comments there.  Here is one of my videos that may have brought you here:

Below is an interview with Zack, a former member of the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG):

Are you ready?

Our lives are consumed with deadly distractions.  And the word “deadly” is not used flippantly or carelessly but chosen with great care.

You won’t understand what I mean by this until you read what Jesus said in Luke 12:35-48.  I’m reading from the English Standard Version.

Verse 35 says, “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning…”  In the context of the rest of the passage through verse 40, Jesus is referring to a typical and traditional Jewish wedding feast of His days.  Then, it seems, a rich man’s household servants were expected to follow certain protocols, such as what  he expected them to do when he returned from the wedding feast.

One of these protocols was that the master expected his servants to be waiting for him to open the door when he returned from the wedding feast where he had been in attendance.  Since this feast was held during the nighttime, it would be dark when the master returned.

Electricity had not yet been discovered, so the master would be returning to a dark home.  It was the duty of the servants to not only have lamps burning for the master’s safe entrance into his own property, but that these servants would immediately open the door when the master knocked.

This is where the “deadly distractions” come into play for us modern Americans.  Our days are so consumed by distractions that virtually none of use would be ready, metaphorically speaking, if our master (the Lord Jesus), returned this very evening.

Perhaps the biggest modern distraction is our smart phones, tablets and computers.  It seems we are constantly using one of these three devices.  In fact, they have become, for many people, necessary to get through our days.  Without them, we would be lost, unable to function in a society that is becoming increasingly dependent upon being connected to the “internet of things.”

And as the importance of these mobile devices rises in our lives, the deadlier they become:  they distract us from the most critical aspect of our existence: being ready to have lamps burning when the Master returns and opening the door the instant He knocks.

Does anyone even think along such lines?  When was the last time you discussed whether or not you, your family members, or any of your friends were “waiting” for the Master to return?  It is not part of the daily fabric or reality of our lives, in the same way we don’t think about feeding and watering our horses so that they will be fit and ready for us to ride tomorrow to work or school.

In the same way that technology made the riding and caring of horses obsolete and irrelevant to functioning in modern society, the rise of the digital age is making increasingly connected individuals seemingly immune to the second return of the Lord Jesus.  At the very least, this constant connectivity distracts us from  thinking about it.

Allow me to ask the question a second time:  are you ready?  Is the daily, permanent mindset of your existence focused on being “ready” for your Master upon His return?  Do you have your “lamps burning” so that not only you will be able to see in the dark, but can provide “light” for the Master to safely enter His own domain?

Is your state of preparedness so fine tuned and planned out that the instant you hear the knock of your Master, your hand is unlocking the door and He can enter without waiting for you to fumble around in the dark in search of the key or a lamp to lighten the premises?

Jesus said, “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes (37).”

What is the opposite of being “blessed”?  If one is “blessed” for being ready, what is that person’s condition if he or she is not ready?  It’s obvious:  they are not blessed (see verses 45-48).  Worse, they may even be cursed.  Whatever the ultimate ramifications are for not being ready, it will not be a pleasant condition to find oneself in.

I want to urge you to “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Cor. 13:5)

Perhaps one way to determine whether or not your are truly a child of God—whether you are one of His children or not—is the state of your readiness for His return.  If you can honestly evaluate yourself on this point, if you fail the test, no doubt one of the reasons will be is because you are consumed with “deadly distractions.”


One reason America is disintegrating

I’m reading the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling which legalized same-sex marriage, paying particular attention to the dissent portion. The dissent is excellent and all should take the time to read it.

One point brought up concerned the disastrous Dred Scott decision of 1857 which ruled that black people were property of their Southern masters.

Justice Roberts, in his dissent, wrote on page 12 that the “Dred Scott’s holding was overruled on the battlefields of the Civil War and by constitutional amendment after Appomattox…”

In essence, it took a Civil War and the loss of over 600,000 American lives to correct that infamous ruling.

But what, in your opinion, has more importance to our American way of life: slavery or the concept of marriage? Though we all agree that slavery as practiced in our country was a great evil, was that institution—slavery—as important to the continued health of the nation as the institution of marriage?

Clearly not; marriage is the far greater and more important institution because our survival as a nation depends on it: marriage “…forms “the foundation of the family and of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress…” (Roberts in his dissent, pg. 7)

Here is the frightening paradox: Americans fought and died in a bloody, destructive Civil War to right the wrongs of the evil and misguided Dred Scott decision, but what is America’s attitude toward the far more injurious and potentially catastrophic ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges? Mostly, “business as usual.” On to the next problem.

And this is the crux of our problem in America: we have lost our moral compass, and we cannot see, or we refuse to see, where our priorities as a nation lie. We no longer have an ever growing army of influential single-minded men and women of God who see things clearly, who, like John the Baptist, call the wicked King Herod to repentance for his unlawful marriage to his brother’s wife.

We lack men of conviction in America today, fearless men, men who will not compromise with the fickle world and who are wholly divorced from the allurements and temptations of that world with all of its charms, pleasures and conveniences, who will fearlessly and unreservedly call this erring nation to repentance.

We will not have a Civil War to overturn Obergefell v. Hodges. We never did for Roe v. Wade, so why for Obergefell? Because the very heart and soul of America is rotten and compromised, drunk with ease and luxuries, fixated on the natural and temporal, we have no leaders to lead us, no men we can look up to and say, “I will follow you to the death because you represent all that is good, righteous and holy.” We thought that way about George Washington, didn’t we? Where are the Washington’s today?

Football season begins soon, and the attention of America will forget all about Obergefell v. Hodges as we root, cheer, debate, party and fight over who is the best football team this year.

But there is another sound most of us fail to hear, and this is the rumbling of the distant thunder of God’s wrath and judgment as it rolls across this land in an awful magnificence, increasing in might and fury as it draws closer and closer until suddenly, the downpour falls.

America will not—America cannot—survive this evil Obergefell v. Hodges ruling. And unfortunately, we as a nation are refusing to wake up and see how near our national disaster looms.