Sunday, June 10, 2018


Intimidated into Silence


A friend on Facebook asked that I tell another group on FB my experience of YWAM. I was happy to do so.

Recently, a member of the recovery from YWAM abuse group I started said that she is being intimidated in removing her blog exposing YWAM that she wrote about. The person went to far as to call her parents to see if they could persuade her to take the blog down. This woman is an an adult, not a child. In the end, she would not take it down.

Here is what I told the group:

"YWAM is indeed a cult. Unfortunately, I know this from spending 12 years with YWAM Honolulu. Mostly young people join YWAM wanting to serve the Lord & put their leaders up on pedestals as spiritually superior to themselves. The leaders feed into this notion by how they usually act in public meetings & are often good at speaking on evangelism.

There is much manipulation at YWAM to imply something is God's will for you. I often heard, "God told me to tell you..." I have a direct line to the Throne of Grace, the Lord could easily tell me himself. They have what they call "Principles for Effective Intercession". http://www.prayerforallpeople.com/p4ei.html At the end of going through these steps, sitting in a group, you wait on God to "get a word from the Lord". Then, you go around the group & people say, "What did you get?". People are embarrassed to say, "nothing", so usually have something to say. One person might get, "A red bicycle". Another may get "Taiwan". This may lead the group to then pray for an anonymous person in Taiwan on a bicycle that needs help. One time, a person who'd immigrated from Russia to Australia was in the group. Someone "got from the Lord" to pray for her relatives still in Russia. She told him, "I don't have ANY left in Russia"- but we prayed for them anyway! The steps to get to the throne of Grace seemed more like an incantation & the whole thing New Age.

Intercession was mandatory three times a week. One time the base leader said he wanted to make it optional. The very next intercession time, only he showed up for it so they were immediately made mandatory again.

There was mandatory fasting the first Friday of the month & often on those days you could see many other fellow YWAMers at the nearby McDonald's. They sometimes had mandatory 24-hour prayer chains as well. Your hour spot may have been from 3-4 am. I am ALL for prayer but prayer because it is mandatory is not pleasing to the Lord. It must come from the heart!

One of the leaders told me, "It is your job to OBEY the leaders- even if you think it is wrong! If it is, we are the ones who will be held accountable!" Another leader would get in your face & say, "Are YOU questioning MY authority?!!" We were often told we needed to "give up our rights". In saying that though, it was not to submit to God but to submit to the leaders.

There were often prophetic words from the Lord in meetings that never came true. Of course when the prophecies turned out to be false, it was never mentioned.

My entire 12 years in YWAM, I know of not ONE person who came to a saving relationship with Jesus through me or anyone else (my job on base was mostly graphics) that I can think of. Of course there may have been some, but I know of none.

A few years ago I started a group on Facebook for spiritually abused victims of YWAM. There are now 193 members who experienced similar stories of abuse all over the globe. Many are now atheist or agnostic. Many left God behind when they mistakenly saw YWAM leaders to be an example of God's character. One of the leaders at the Honolulu base when I was there is even a militant atheist now. The group has been very helpful in promoting healing & to let these people know they are not alone. There is another group for people who were in YWAM who are now atheist. Since I am not in that category, I do not belong to that. I have grown in my relationship with the Lord much more since leaving than I did the 12 years I was in YWAM & left feeling emotionally & spiritually dead inside. Still, I mistrust anyone in spiritual authority. I have healed a lot, but the scars run deep.

Several people in the group have written letters to Loren Cunningham to share their abuse stories with no response. One even met with him personally, but nothing changed.

People who join YWAM (usually in their late teens or early 20's) after their Discipleship Training School, which everyone must first take when joining the group are then told they do not need to go off to college or find a full-time secular job. They are encouraged to go on school or base staff. There, most will be for years living in poverty & not having the monies for basic needs, especially if from the third world. The ones who are charismatic leaders, good at speaking & writing books go on the YWAM speaking circuit & their traveling expenses are paid to go speak all over the world as well as given "love offerings" at every place they speak. There were times when base staff asked to use a base car for a doctor's appointment & were denied. The leadership's actions showed they did not care for the sheep.

I was close friends with the secretary of the base director at the time. She told me she was so mad because she typed up his support letter asking people for financial support & sounded in need when in reality, she would take care of the monies that would come in from his speaking & books & know how much he had. It wasn't long before he & his wife bought a home in Honolulu where the average price is about $800,000.

People in the group I started, as well as myself have been verbally attacked & accused of being of the devil & just bitter to try & silence our voices of sharing first hand, the damage YWAM can do.

There was mandatory fasting the first Friday of the month & often on those days you could see many other fellow YWAMers at the nearby McDonald's. They sometimes had mandatory 24-hour prayer chains as well. Your hour spot may have been from 3-4 am. I am ALL for prayer but prayer because it is mandatory is not pleasing to the Lord. It must come from the heart! monies for basic needs, especially if from the third world. The ones who are charismatic leaders, good at speaking & writing books go on the YWAM speaking circuit & their traveling expenses are paid to go speak all over the world as well as given "love offerings" at every place they speak. There were times when base staff asked to use a base car for a doctor's appointment & were denied. The leadership's actions showed they did not care for the sheep. I was close friends with the secretary of the base director at the time. She told me she was so mad because she typed up his support letter asking people for financial support & sounded in need when in reality, she would take care of the monies that would come in from his speaking & books & know how much he had. It wasn't long before he & his wife bought a home in Honolulu where the average price is about $800,000.


People in the group I started, as well as myself have been verbally attacked & accused of being of the devil & just bitter to try & silence our voices of sharing first hand, the damage YWAM can do."


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Loren Cunningham, High & Lifted up!


This is Loren Cunningham's entry into the 50th anniversary celebration at YWAM Thailand. Can you imagine Jesus' disciples allowing this done to them when only Jesus is worthy to be high & lifted up? 

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Motivation


Will YWAM leaders ever realize that love & joy are more motivating than guilt, shame, fear & control?

Sunday, February 25, 2018

How one Feels in YWAM


As soon as I saw this sculpture, I related to it immediately as to how I felt in YWAM, empty & hopeless. It's strange how people are volunteers at YWAM but more is expected of them & their personal life is YWAM's business when there is usually less micro-managing at a real, paying job. A life in YWAM is a wasted life.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Peter Pan Syndrome


I was thinking recently that a lot of people who are in YWAM may have the Peter Pan Syndrome. Socially immature persons in their 30's or so who like to enjoy themselves, like teenagers without responsibility. They may want to avoid a serious job or relationship. They are people who are scared of & don't want to grow up. They want to have adventure & fun. They do not want to loose that sense of comfort.


The 12 years I was in YWAM, even though I was obviously growing older, each new school would mostly have students from their late teens to early twenties, so I was around young people all the time & it did not seem like I was growing older since the new recruits usually weren't. There were students who admitted that they came to YWAM Honolulu for the surfing, not evangelism.


After several years of this one suddenly wonders where the years flew & have nothing but stamps in their passport to show for it. You then realize you have little financially or any marketable skill in the real world.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

YWAM's Loss


I have recently been thinking about what a loss to YWAM it is through the years to abuse people and push them out of the organization. We are all individuals with individual personalities and gifts that no one else could fill exactly. When they have put us down & rejected us for whatever reason, they are rejecting those who have been made in God's own image, are unique and are perfect in his sight. Whether we are introvert or extrovert, we were made exactly as God intended. No member of the body is more important than any other from the base director to the person who does yard work all day on base. Anyone who's being involved with YWAM knows that leaders & visiting speakers are put on pedestals. YWAM leaders who wanted to mold us into the image they desired are taking away from our being molded in the image of God that he desired.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

YWAM's Cycle of Poverty

YWAM tells students that they don't need to go to university after their DTS, as they won't return to YWAM if they get an education. YWAM creates the cycle of perpetual poverty & rarely helps one who's served for years when they have basic needs (Such as using a base car to get to a doctor's appointment).

For the most part, the only people in YWAM who can make it an actual career, buy a house, et cetera are those few charismatic leaders who can profit off having their airfares paid & get a "love offering" to speak at YWAM bases all over the world or have written books & other evangelism materials that they can sell mostly to other YWAMers.


When I first went on base staff at YWAM Honolulu, they wanted us to pay $150. a month but let us pay what we felt we could afford each month so I paid $50. a month. Later, it was a higher, set amount. If you could not pay, "that was God's way of showing you that you should no longer stay there." Also, if you could not pay the full amount, it would carry over to the next month until you were burdened with a large bill for the "privilege" of volunteering to work for them. If you left & had not paid off what you owed, they would send reminder letters until you did!

When one stays in YWAM for years they have nothing to show for it career wise or financially. It is a dead end. If they stay for decades, they usually have nothing put away for retirement. All the while, they will be told that God supplies & will take care of all of their needs. God also gave us a mind & free will. By the time many leave YWAM they are in poverty financially, emotionally & worst of all spiritually.