(Picture has been removed at the request of Katy Faust)
What you see above is a map. A map of what Grace Church Seattle calls home communities. On their website they describe these groups as “mini-churches: the leader is like a shepherd who leads the group to be dedicated to living the Gospel in community – also known as Incarnational Community (a group in which Jesus Christ incarnates Himself). We ask that these groups be based on location, be open to newcomers, and prayerfully seek ways to intentionally serve and reach out to the neighborhood in which they live.”
If you examine the GCS website, you’ll find a wealth of interesting material. The indoctrination curriculum (they call them questions) for their home groups is particularly interesting. For the week of March 30th, one of the questions included was “Can Christians be Demonically Possessed?”
The more you look through their website and juxtapose that on Mrs. Faust’s now exposed scam, and Mr. Faust’s reaction to those events, the more one thing becomes clear: their methodology.
- Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
- The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel.
- The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (they are ‘saved’ whilst everyone else is ‘lost’).
- The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
- The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying, deceiving etc.)
- The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
- The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
- The group is preoccupied with making money.
- Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
- Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
- The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.
The list above is taken from Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups – Revised Edition by Janja Lalich, Ph.D. & Michael D. Langone, Ph.D. They’re the most widely recognizable methods of psychological manipulation used by cults/sects. Most of these tactics are codified by GCS’s Membership Covenant, others can be gleaned from the delusive practices of leaders and members of the group.
Also worth highlighting is their total disconnect from reality. Despite having very rigid rules and regulations, they exempt themselves from those rules while asking that they be applied to others. The Faust’s endeavours are particularly fascinating in this regard. Mrs. Faust was creating and enforcing a hostile environment for LGBT children, teens and adults, but doing it from anonymity- and Mr. Faust now claims that exposing her is cyber-bullying and intimidation.
Note the contradictions in his writing, used to justify Mrs. Faust’s behaviour while attacking others:
“Now there are people out there who refuse to show a real picture or use a real name and they like to hide behind a computer screen and say things that a normal person would never say in a face-to-face conversation. But for some reason when they get behind their mask and write in a pseudo-screen name they become emboldened to say what they are really thinking and feeling with emphasis!!!! Robert Putnam calls this developing a Cyber Super-Ego. I call it another form of bullying.
One reason people develop a screen name might be out of fear. And this fear is real. There are people out there savvy enough at using the internet to destroy, intimidate, or strike fear into people (and sometimes they do real harm). These people don’t like what certain people are saying and once they realize they have been out reasoned in a discussion they resort to name calling or worse, and sometimes try underhanded tactics such as getting information about people to unmask them posing a potential threat to their family, livelihood, reputation, etc”
He begins by implying anonymity is wrong when he falsely attributes it to other people. Followers know I’m anything but anonymous, having certainly been bored to death by my stories regarding my family history, Mike’s life as an actor in the RSC and beyond. Endless bad mirror pictures and pictures of our house from every angle imaginable. Many of you probably even know our dog’s names and where we go out to eat! But that fact doesn’t bridge Mr. Faust’s disconnect from his cult world to reality.
He then changes direction and implies that anonymity is only bad if done by other people. His wife is obviously not one of those behind the mask, emboldened by anonymity! Her anonymity is based in benign fear.
Isn’t that a clever trick? These people are experts in distortion. He projects his wife’s behaviour onto people who weren’t doing what she was doing, calls the behaviour wrong, and then finds a way to say “but if she did it, it’s totally justified!”. The rules that apply to others don’t apply to those within their sect.
This is an example of the Faust’s and Grace Church Seattle’s warped world view and how they use it to benefit themselves and further their agenda- in the next few days I’m going to continue analyzing their practices and the material they make available on the internet for a more in-depth look.
- “Can you hear the piteous weeping? The wronged tears? Those poor bigots are under attack. Those who are prejudiced against gay people are having their constitutional right to say so trampled. It’s a terrible injustice: you can’t believe that gay people are lesser without some pesky homosexual objecting and “bullying” you into believing that equality under the law is a venerable aim.” :In Gay Rights Fights, Bullies Love to Play the Victim by Tim Teeman
- “And while I am not easily shocked, I have been quite horrified to read how obsessive and deluded some of these people are. If they had their own way, they would impose religious law in any Christian country (and the rest of the world if they could beat Islam, for example) and civil rights would go out of the window” :Lies, damned lies, and ‘The Bible’ by Rough Seas in the Med
- “I am angry and offended, even outraged, at the rampant abuse of people, especially children, to deny them their own humanity. Ordinary people are the “flock,” the “fallen,” the “unworthy,” the “sinful.” The reason they are so labeled? Because they are guilty of Original Sin and if they do not repent they will burn in the barbeque pits of Hell for all time. (Yes, I am talking about you Christians.)” :Why I Am an “Angry Atheist” by Steve Ruis