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I demonstrated the limbs lengthening trick to some friends in a restaurant after we had watched a Maranatha preacher do it. One was still convinced her back was better...

 

I deconverted after 30 years of ardent faith, the last 9 of which were spent promoting a guy from the Pentecostal branch of the church who claims some outstanding miracles in his mission in the remote areas of Mexico. Some of them were 21 people raised from the dead, every body part healed or regrown, driving his truck under water across a river (others in his group have tried it and lost their trucks), accidentally driving a motorcycle over a cliff and being transported down to the street by his home, praying over dry crops and having them bear peppers, and a thousand other stories. He's a great storyteller, and I believed him because he seemed genuine. He didn't do a lot of self-promotion, dresses in blue jeans and boots, and seems to work very hard. I collected audio and video of him preaching in various churches around the world and made those available for listening on my website. People began sending me tapes from other states and countries where he was preaching.

 

One day I got a set of videos from Germany and watched them. Standard Pentecostal services with him telling long stories of healings, followed by the invitation to be prayed for, and people line up and get prayer and fall down or take off running, etc. The only thing that was different was that his preaching was being translated into German, but the translator had trouble with the preacher's Louisiana accent and was unable a few times to translate, which clearly frustrated the preacher.

 

I then watched a video from Kansas (I think) where he described what had happened in Germany. He went into a long involved story about a coven of witches that showed up to challenge the power of God. He described the lead woman, the decorations she had woven into her hair, her smug attitude, and that because of them his translator had trouble keeping up and was eventually unable to speak. He said that he finally had enough and jumped down off the stage and confronted them. There was an intense power battle where they all shook violently until the woman was thrown several feet into the thick glass doors of the sanctuary and was knocked out with all her followers. Afterwards during the prayer time, she and her followers crawled up and begged to be born again! The Kansas church ate this up like it was their team winning at a football game. I sat there stunned and turned off the tape, realizing that he'd made up the whole story from his imagination after his translator couldn't understand him.

 

I quickly realized that all the other amazing stories I'd heard were also from his imagination. I'd always figured that his fellow missionaries would have called him out for lying if they hadn't actually happened, but then realized to my chagrin that in any cult with a charismatic leader like him, everyone wants to be close to the leader. So they not only agreed with him, but had stories of their own. A couple of times I had talked briefly with some ex-missionaries who had left his group after describing abusive treatment from him, but discounted them as "in sin" in some way. Now I realized that I'd been promoting a cult for 9 years. I had watched and studied cults for years, learning about how they work, and wondering why anyone would believe such crap. The irony didn't escape me. It took me a while, but I eventually asked myself "I wonder what else I've believed that is a lie?"  That is what led to me asking questions and finding this website, and completing my deconversion from the cult of Christianity.

 

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PLEASE EXCUSE THE ANNOYING COMMERCIAL BREAKS IN THE CONVERSATION:

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