This blog is primarily an educational site. I currently care for my two sons and run a small business. I have discovered that I have very little time to monitor the blog during this season. I also cannot reply in a timely manner to all the emails I receive.

If you need help regarding a cult situation, please check out the links under “Resources” and contact one of the professional counselors or organizations listed there.

Thanks for understanding the boundaries I need to put in place while I care for my family during this busy season.

Steve’s email: libertyforcaptives@gmail.com


24 comments on “Contact

  1. Its funny to me you have a whole web site just to disprove the Tex guys ie Ryen R.Jake G.ect I know there a off on some things(if not alot of things) because I almost went down there long story…. but the thing I want to know is do you believe in holy living,rightouse living,the fear of God? Or are you trying to shoot them down because some of the things thay say are convicting? I guse what I’m getting @ is how is your life have you experenced victory over sin?is your christianity much difrent from the world? I’m wrighting this from my cell phone cuz its what I got.I’m sencear about this because I don’t know if this website if from a lopsided vew of God and his word.

    • Hi Micaiah,

      Thanks for reaching out and asking your question. I’m happy to reply.

      This entire website is a result of my own spiritual journey and my experience growing up in a Bible cult–only one post is directly about the Church of Wells. My home church was just as strict as the Church of Wells, and we practiced shunning and believed that we were God’s specially chosen people. I am no longer a part of that group and yet I have a passion to help others who suffer spiritual abuse or are trapped in a legalistic orientation to God’s word.

      I do not claim to be anything other than what I am: a follower of Jesus Christ who has experienced the bondage of false religion and who wants to free other captives so that they can follow God more completely in grace and truth.

      I am not convicted by the Church of Wells’ teachings, nor do I feel guilt as a result of their accusations, because I believe they are false teachers. They mishandle scripture, make false prophecies, and have created a false system in which asceticism and false humility masquerade as religion. I am well-familiar with such a culture because that was the environment I grew up in. It is a man-made, not Spirit-created climate. It is under law, not grace, and it brings death, not life.

      I do, however, believe in holy living as the Bible describes it. In fact, God says that “without holiness, no one will see God” (Heb 12:14). Indeed, justification of the believer (Rom 3-5) is followed by a life of progressive sanctification (Rom 6-8). And the Bible clearly says that faith without works is dead (James 2). How we live matters a great deal to God, and in general Christians should be noticeably different in their behavior compared to non-Christians. Their very purity and spiritual fruit (Gal 5:22-25) should act as a testimony that God is within them.

      My concerns with the Church of Wells do not relate to holiness. I believe that different groups of Christians will interpret the Bible somewhat differently in regard to practice (Romans 14-15, 1 Cor. 8). My post regarding concerns I have with the Church of Wells was a result of the death of Faith Pursley, a situation which was covered by local media and therefore became a public event. Unfortunately, the Church of Wells responded with silence. Then defensiveness. And finally accusations against their “persecutors.” Yet it was their own misguided beliefs and false prophecies which led to this child’s death. That’s a huge problem, is it not? By withholding proper medical care, a child was allowed to die who otherwise would have lived. The Bible knows something of this. When King David ordered that help be withdrawn from the warrior Uriah, God called it “murder.” In our society, when a person in leadership withholds help from someone who needs it, and that person dies (like a parent who starves their child, or when they refuse to seek medical help for a medical condition), the term is “negligent homicide.” That is no small matter, especially when a group claims that they have found God’s special path, are in tune with his Spirit, and that most other professing Christians are unsaved. It reminds me of Jesus’ words that hypocrites look at the speck in their brother’s eye and ignore the plank in their own eye.

      The isolation of this group and the elders’ belief that they are being persecuted for righteousness’ sake concern me greatly. As a Christian who believes in holy living myself, it is troubling to me that a church leader could make a false prophecy, enforce the bad decision, see a child die as a result, and then act outraged that anyone would question his judgment. The Bible is clear that when someone makes a prophecy and that prophecy does not happen, they are a false prophet (Deut 18:22).

      I have noticed that the Church of Wells is radically concerned about fruit. They have created a franchise based on judging others and calling everyone around them to repentance. They are not unique–such practices have happened before and will happen again. But such practices are based on a distorted, myopic view of God’s Word which misunderstands God’s calls to holiness and overlook the true nature of grace.

      Instead of pointing fingers at other believers, the Church of Wells would do well to consider the fruit of their own behavior and beliefs. They believe in fruit as a sign of holiness? Good. What is the fruit of their ministry? In part it is a dead child and a black eye in the community which brings disrepute on the name of God. Instead of judging others they need to look in their own hearts and recognize that they have been led astray.

  2. Last post had wrong email

  3. Thanks for taking the time to wright such a extensive reply.I think it was well done well said.I go to the church that the Keys family went to before they went to that tex group.You’ve probly herd about Isreal Keys the killer?Anyway it would take me a long time to say all that has happend but thanks for the reply. Maby we could talk some time…

  4. Brother, I would love to talk with you anytime. I am aware of Israel Keyes and that situation. You can email me at libertyforcaptives@gmail.com, and we can dialog via email or I can give you my cell number. Until then, grace and peace!

  5. hi friend… am ok with your point, may i add…

  6. i just read your review on the tale of 3 kings and i must say you had a point or two there, however i feel you really don’t have to go that way because you did not agree with every thing Mr Edwards said. i don’t think i have ever agreed with every thing said by anybody whether via books or face to face communication, but i have learnt to find out the objective of the speaker or in this case the writer, which helps me to make my decision whether to take action or not. now this are the things i observed in your comments.
    I feel your pain of abuse because i have been abused too in the past by authority, i was also into cultism in my school days, so hatred and unforgiveness was a normal way of life i grew up with. in short if i want to live my life on the principle of cabbage in and cabbage out, i should not only be a hateful person now but a killer, trust me on that. so you finding problem with Edwards trying to make us as Christian leave judgement to God is understandable. therefore even though i see your point in the fact that Edwards tried to use fiction as his communicative style or tool and him using only scriptures that sided his opinion, i think we all do same sometimes especially as writers. maybe at the time of his written that’s was how much he knew, however my friend, i didn’t know this book was written in 1980, i read it in mid nineties when i just gave my life to Christ, and as a HATER then, this was the book God used to lead me in the path of supernatural forgiveness today. i must say with the little experience i have gotten over the years, you really don’t need to always fight for yourself… God said vengeance is mine i will repay, Paul also said, as Christians cant you allow yourself to be defrauded even for once. this is my point friend, i feel the main objective of Edward was forgiveness and allowing God to fight for you, Jesus could have fought for himself if he wanted too, but he continued to pray for his enemy even in death, in Matthew bible advices us to be Perfect as our father is, and his definition of perfection was to constantly forgive the person that does not deserve your forgiveness, why? because even unbelievers forgive people who deserve forgiveness, so what makes you different from them if you don’t go that extra mile. so i will advice you in as much as you have been hurt by leaders in the past, trust me with the right attitude of forgiveness and brokenness you eventually come out better and stronger. fighting them, rebelling against them is an option too but i feel it just makes you follow the path of the ones you detest and decreases your strength of positive impart. if you are truly a bible student as you claim you will agree with me that the most appropriate message tag for the bible is FORGIVENESS. by the way i read you wish his book will die with time, i don’t know if that prayer will be granted because as a Nigerian i see this book and cd’s flooding shops and liberating people from the prison of hatred and unforgiveness. i love you bro. cheers!!!

    • Dear Godwin,

      Thank you so much for stopping by the blog and for leaving a wonderful comment. I really appreciate your tone and your balanced approach. I think we are actually in much agreement. Perhaps I stated my review a little too negatively. My concern is that folks who have been abused and who tend towards codependency and allowing other people to abuse them might read this book and think that this is biblical–that their only options are either to submit to abuse or to fight against other people. But the Bible says there is a third option: we can put up boundaries to protect ourselves from abuse even as we forgive those who sin against us.

      Your point, I think, is that we should not fight for ourselves or rebel against other people and instead should forgive those who sin against us. I am largely in agreement with your point. I agree that God requires us to forgive those who sin against us, just as he has forgiven us. Where would we be without forgiveness? And I agree with you that we should not be fighting against other people.

      Praise God that he used Edwards’s book to help you! I rejoice about that. Perhaps certain books find a home in certain cultures or with certain people because they help to correct an imbalance in that culture or person. My wife was helped in her Christian walk by a book she now realizes is not quite true, but at the time the message helped to correct an out-of-balance view she had in a certain area. Praise God!

      If God is using Edwards’s book to help my Nigerian brothers and sisters in Christ to practice forgiveness, I rejoice about that. But I still advise caution when reading it because I believe that Edwards does make several major errors in logic and hermeneutics. As long as folks can recognize this, perhaps the book can still find a place of value.

      You are right–no human book is perfect. Praise God that the Spirit uses imperfect people to accomplish his perfect work.

      Grace and peace, Steve

  7. I am in a situation that I believe you can help with, after reading everything you have to offer. My husband is seeking the Restored Church of God and I believe this falls within all of the traits you have described within as being a cult. One of his biggest issues is with the Sabbath being on Saturday and not Sunday and the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy, no work, worshipping only on Saturday, etc., claiming Constantine changed it to Sunday and had no authority to do so. Christmas is also a huge issue-this stuff is destroying slowly our family/marriage and I am trying not to get weary of good doing…Do you have any comments on this, please?

  8. Missing your blogging, Stephen!

  9. I was saved in Gene Edwards church in Isla Vista California in 1974.I was with him in the summer of 1979 in Quebec when he was writing the book A Tale of 3 kings. It was based on a message he gave at a conference in Isla Vista California in the summer of 1978. At the time the messages were given we all thought they were about his 5 years under witness Lee in the local church movement. After the message a friend of mine who had been in the sheparding movement with Gospel Outreach begged Gene to turn that message into a book because so many people were being damaged . I love what you have to say about the book . I think you are spot on. Just realize that at the time Gene was one of the few people that were even trying to address the issue of spiritual abuse in the sheparding movement. His error was in accepting the idea of God’s delegated authority to begin with.-Danny O’Daniels

  10. do you have any tips for getting someone out of an abusive Bible group when they are blind to get and won’t listen to anyone outside of the group because they were told that anyone outside of the group is evil and dark and even though they may quote the Bible the words are tainted and don’t mean anything because of the person who is speaking them is evil or in rebellion?

  11. Do you have any tips on how to get someone who is stuck in a abusive Bible study group or home church out? they have been told that anyone outside is evil and rebellious which includes those who left and to not listen to them even if the quote from the Bible because the words are tainted and don’t mean anything because of the person is dark, evil and in rebellion.

  12. Thank you for writing on this topic. I am not in a religious cult, however, I am divorced and my ex-husband has set up this cult-like atmosphere between his family and. Mine and at least one of my adult children has to drink the koolaid. His whole life is dependent on a family business just like a cult and I, the mother of this child and ex-wife of this man, am the family member that my son must cut out of his life. My mother also has to cut me off. My oldest son seems to be the only one I can have contact with.
    My youngest son is getting married in a year and recently he has told me that I can’t communicate with his fiancée or her parents. How do we plan a wedding like that? I divorced the boy’s father in 1992 and was told during a talk about reconciliation during the separation that if we got back together there was a whole list of folks I wasn’t going to be able to ever talk to again. HELP. How do I get my son back. To complicate matters more my ex-husband was just diagnosed with a rare type of throat cancer no doubt caused by the three social diseases he contracted by his infidelity during our marriage.

  13. My 11 year old grand daughter has been bothered by things she read while on a website .She cant get it out of her head.,she feels that she is nit worthy of haven and will go into hell .What are our actions, looking for a reigous counseling agency to deprogram her .P,lease advise.as she is very upset .

    thank you,

  14. Hello Steve. My name is Joe. I have actually been trolling The “Church” of Wells’s contact form for quite a while now. And yes, I have said some pretty derogatory things to them in order to get a reaction or a response from them, just like how they speak to outsiders in ways that get reactions from them (tick for tack). Anyways, whomever from the cult last replied to me (roughly 4 or 5 weeks ago), he or she seemed extremely upset and spoke some words that you really wouldn’t expect them to speak, based on the past and how they’ve tried to appear to outsiders. They’re not true. And they know exactly what they’re doing. I know, I shouldn’t be doing this. I should just leave it be and hope it all works itself out eventually. But on the other hand, these 30 year-old “elders” are nothing more than predators of the naive, and I honestly feel in my heart that horrible human beings like these deserve the torment and ridicule. They deserve to be called out in public, as well as on national TV. They deserve for karma to fall hard upon them. I served in the Navy and also as a police officer, and to learn about such oppression against women and children going on without any kind of barriers set in place by our police forces, by our government, and also by us typical people makes me upset and determined to make a difference, even if it’s just to cause aggravation and annoyance in their minds.

    Which brings me to my question… How can I physically help? I want this cult shut down and its people freed. What kind of information do we need to get on these “elders” in order to potentially put them behind bars and for their place of ritual to be torn down? Feel free to contact me via email for PM regarding this. I have worked uc before.

    FYI, I am a Christian man. I understand the faith. I acknowledge that things I’ve said and thought about the leadership of this cult are not very Christian-like. According to my faith, I know that I should not try to go out of my way to stir up a hornets’ nest. But I am a human being. I am an American. I am trained, intelligent, and disciplined. And I will stand up for the innocent, the weak, and the naive to the best of my ability. This is true, even IF the Cult of Wells is correct and I’m damned to Hell for my actions against them… If the cult’s elders are right, and Hell does exist, and though I call myself a Christian, I would volunteer without blinking to take the side of the Devil if it means followers of cults like these can see true light and walk away from this while they’re still alive. We all know all too well how situations like this end up. And eventually something bad is going to happen to these people if we don’t do something. These peoples’ blood won’t be on the “elder’s” hands. It will be on our hands for refusing to do something about a situation that has bum-rushed us and that has been in our faces for enough to time to have acted on it already. Are we just going to nudge the issue off to the side and preach about how these people are wrong on the internet? Or are we going to accept the fact that THEY are the ones picking a fight with us, and take the bull by the horns, and tear their cult apart from our immense power as a free and vigilant people? I know one thing… If I was being held against my will, I would pray that somebody would come to save me. And if that person showed up, I would have an unimaginable amount of love for that person and anybody who helped.

    • I understand exactly how you feel. This is a group of deluded people being led by men with personality disorders who have done evil things and refuse to repent.

      So far, nothing has seemed bad enough for the DA to take action, including the leaders’ public admissions that they allowed a baby to die and did not seek medical treatment for her.

      I have been out of the loop in regard to this group for several years. I believe the DA had the evidence needed to convict the leaders of negligent homicide, and instead elected to drop the case out of fear of sparking another Waco-style event. A reporter interviewed the DA or sheriff (I can’t recall which), and during the interview the man pulled out a relic from the Branch Davidian compound and basically said, “I will not let something like this happen again.” So fear is a huge barrier to dealing with this group.

      Trolling won’t have any effect on this group. They expect it. They consider it persecution of the righteous.

      Unless the DA decides to prosecute regarding the death of baby Faith, or, as some have said, in regard to human trafficking (which is difficult to prove), I don’t know what legal means would help. Groups like this tend to blow apart eventually after a leader falls or something catastrophic happens. I honestly don’t know what else to do but pray and be kind to the members. I have nothing to do with the leaders—there is no hope for them, in my opinion.

    • Anonymous:
      I love what you wrote. I too feel this way. My daughter left our home in the middle of the night and joined the COW out of fear and confusion over her salvation. These people skyped with her many times and convinced her to come down to Texas and get saved!! yes, they tell you when you are saved! She is completely brain washed and delusional from all the messages and tapes she had to listen to for months in the beginning while twisting biblical verses to suit their agenda. This cult and the “elders” are preying on the lost and the scared and I can only compare them to narcissistic cowards who want to rule and control these poor naive souls under them. I am desperate to get my daughter home.

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