Posts Tagged ‘The Pentecostal Mission’

At the moment India is a rocked by the news of the Chief minister of Tamil Nadu convicted under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The Special Court in Bangalore pronouncing AIADMK general secretary, Jayalalithaa, guilty in the disproportionate assets case discharged their responsibility. (If law were to go after the political leaders guilty of amassing disproportionate assets hardly a handful will be left in the field with clean hands.) But the party workers are not obviously happy at the fate of one in whom they had blindly laid their hopes on.

Tamilians by and large invest their loyalty blindly on anyone who shall pour honeyed words into their ears be it in alliterative prattle as M. Karunanidhi can or one who has the power at the moment. Karunanidhi who was once darling of the masses is a loser whose stars now seem to be on the rise. Come 2016 elections we shall know. If Jayalaithaa has lost power she shall know where her masses stand, soon enough.

But now it is another. Tamil Nadu reeled under violence as party faithful went on rampage as soon as verdict was announced. One AIDM party worker in Kancheevaram committed suicide while a young woman immolated herself unable to contain her grief. Was it because her trust in the incorruptibility of ‘Amma’ was shattered beyond repair? I do not know.  I suppose over excitability is a key personality feature of otherwise simple tenor of Tamilians.  Over large part of my adult life was spent among them and I have noted with amazement how this emotionalism overtakes them. When Chief Minister CN Annadurai of DMK party died in the late 60s I was a witness to their mindless acts of violence. It defies rhyme or reason.  Even this day. The American doctors who were called then to treat a hopeless case must not have quite forgotten it either.

The day he died all the shutters were down while the mob went on abusing even the pedestrians for no reason. One was slapped for wearing flip-flop on that day of mourning and another who looked a North Indian and well-heeled was manhandled. These are hiccups issuing from some unexplained fault line of human psyche that would require Science to put the finger on. This trait also may partly explain the first suicide bomber was a Tamilian groomed by the defunct LTTE to promote its greater Eelam demand.

A Tamilian can only put up with so much stress be it individual or as a movement.

Every now and then I have read a housewife hanging herself from the ceiling fan over some trivial domestic quarrel.  Is there a hidden death wish that an anthropologist can explain?  It invariably needs a flashpoint  as the death of a well loved father figure or conviction of Jayalalithaa would illustrate. There is a cult group that originated from Sri Lanka that insistson ‘divine healing.’ What it means is that those who are taken into ministry cannot take medicine. Instead rely on God to heal them. From the mortality rate one may imagine if it is God or some atavistic death wish taking over the ministers of the Pentecostal Mission.



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Here is a AP news item Maoist Sect Scrutinized in Wake of UK Slavery Case

LONDON December 1, 2013 (AP)

Ian Haworth, founder of Britain’s Cult Information Center, said brainwashing techniques appear to have been used to keep the three freed women in the group. Experts in cult strategies have often studied the way the Chinese government used such techniques during Mao’s reign, he said.

“The woman saying, ‘you’re part of the fascist state’ again and again — I would simply say that whatever combinations of techniques are being employed are clearly working,” he said. “The idea of them being psychologically held for 30 years makes a great deal of sense to me.”

When Sian Davies died after mysteriously falling out of a window in a south London house 16 years ago, her family was stunned — they had not seen her for two decades.

Davies had moved to London as a young woman pursuing a master’s degree, but soon she cut off virtually all contact with her family and disappeared from sight. Her relatives gathered that she had gotten tangled up with a cult — a secretive, closely knit Maoist group whose members lived together in a communist collective. The family knew little else, and was none the wiser even after her death…

Hockx, the professor of Chinese studies, said Maoism should not be blamed for the London cult. But he acknowledged that extreme propaganda — bombarding people with slogans until they are afraid of being caught not repeating them — was a key feature during the height of China’s Cultural Revolution, which began in 1966.

Through the years Davies sent a few letters home, and only broke her silence once — in 1996. She phoned but said very little, brushing aside concerns about her wellbeing, Morgan said.

“The next time I saw her was in the morgue,” said Morgan, who was furious that the collective had not notified her family during the seven months Davies survived in a hospital after the fall.

“They gave no chance to her mother to say goodbye to her only daughter,” Morgan said. “They showed no compassion at all. It was just cruel.”

When the inquest ended without conclusion — the coroner returned what is called an “open verdict” — a commune member, Josephine Herivel, approached Morgan and asked if they could talk about Davies.

Morgan rebuffed her. “I said no,” Morgan said. “I just said what you had done is wicked, or words to that effect.”

Fast forward 16 years, and Herivel, now 57, was identified as one of the three women freed after some 30 years in the collective.( reported for Ap by Sylvia Hui)

In the early 70 there was a split in Communist Party of India and Naxalite movement belonging to Mao than Marxism was engaged in violent activities. This ‘Comrade Bala’ seems to belong to this radical group. There was also another movement called Proutism. All these movements by hind sight have degenerated into making brutes of each as the leader of the South London cell in all probability is.  (Shri. Aravind Balakrishnan’s guilt is not yet fully established.) In whichever case we find people seized by ideas and given their full flow of idealism take on the world but end up as brutal taskmasters. They are as deceived as those whom they brainwash. The trail of misery they leave behind is unbelievable! Not to mention the loss in human resources and their potential wasted beyond redemption.)

China has learned to move away from Mao as should be in the context of changes taking place everywhere these radical groups have no depth to absorb new ideas. Paradox of Marxian ideologue speaks of Hegel or dialectical materialism but is set on a single idea to be of any use. In South London we see how radicals end.
It happens also in cults like the People’s Temple of Indiana, USA ended in Jamestown, Guyana. In some Pentecostal cults like the Pentecostal Mission or in New Testament Churches commune living is insisted upon as the early churches  of the first Century. They brainwash their followers of holiness that mark them for Zion! But on the earth and in flesh these are servants domestic slaves doing donkey’s work without wages. In all aspects they lose out.  Invisible handcuffs make the brothers and sister live without access to medicine. The Mission insists they live on faith but it will not stand the test of scrutiny. Domestic slavery thrives still.  (cf: cults-wolves in sheep clothes)


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Reading a news item about Glenn Close and Rose McGowan who were reared in a cult group made me think of a cult group that I had known. In the US it goes under the name The New Testament Church and it had its beginning in Sri Lanka when it was called Ceylon. The group Ceylon Pentecostal Mission was a mongrel church alright. They drew from so many sources, Armstrongism, Church of Rome to name a few. They lived and preached two different things. They chose ministers from members who were to practice celibacy like the Catholic Church. They preached grace and yet made works as their cardinal virtue. They like pharisees made outward observance of prayers, fasts abstaining from alcohol, tobacco as proof of their holiness. They claimed they were totally separated from worldly affairs but always found members whose filthy lucre bankrolled their faith life. They insisted on their recruits full immersion baptism and speaking in tongues. The latter was the means to ensure their hook on the congregation. If anyone wanted to leave the two elders or pastors would buttonhole and ask him or her by wanting to leave they must have been speaking tongues ( not of Holy Spirit) but of devil.
They knew how to control minds of their congregation in spending hours in shrieking and blabbering. They made tattle-telling a virtue and made attempts at believers to ferret out how others lived at workplace or at home. They came between husbands and wives in telling ‘the weaker vessel’ what to watch out in the other. Sunday service for example the joy of Christian spirit was the ‘holier-than- thou’ Yahooism. Let me explain what it is. Gulliver speaks of Yahoos in his travels and these were brutish in body and mind. In these Pentecostal group there were believers who made a virtue of cheeseparing and leanness in their spirit as ticket to Zion! The Mission called special meetings whenever they could and these were mind numbing sessions as waiting for the Spirit. Innocuously enough they made him/her toe the line having got control over his/her emotional and mental reserves.
In order to be counted as part of the group how members lied through their teeth before taking communion!How they made some pillars of the community shiver in their pants! Those who drank(social drinking) skipped it and made virtue of their lack of consideration for others by crying and making a show of tears only to repeat the same ad nauseum.
The Mission made the members read only passages they wanted them to know- Nothing more. Most of the elders are iliterate whose knowledge in the Scriptures ( as far as I know) was limited and calculated to serve the purpose. Typical of Catholic church that they discouraged private interpretation!They rearranged emphases of OT and New Testament in order to reimpose the rule of Levites in the Church! They discouraged reciting Lord’s prayer giving reason it was only for the nominal Christians! ‘After this manner pray ye’ (Mt.6:9). In their view there was to be a hierarchy and they were to be part of the select few 144,000 souls meant for Zion!
The pastors and elders are those who have left all or burned the bridges after them so to speak. All their sermons are taped and sent for screening. They are put charge of ‘faith homes’ anywhere and are liable to be sent on short notice to anywhere decided by the Mission HQ. There are fat and lean areas the latter being assemblies that do not have many members to provide for their necessities. One may judge what it would mean. In such a controlled atmosphere with sisters and brothers bound by invisible handcuffs the Alwin controversy was bound to happen.
At the time of marriage I joined this group. I was a sunday school teacher and wrote hymns etc. For me reading Bible was not merely for reading. ‘Truth shall make you free’ it is said. One fine day I had enough or rather I saw their pernicious doctrine and decided to quit. The pastor asked if I was speaking in tongues under Holy Spirit or was it something else. I admitted I was mistaken and that made me get out of their hold.
I have never even come across these rascals after that day. It was as phony as my marriage which had to stop somewhere. The Pentecost Mission must be still around and never more I got entangled with the group.

Nov.9 2015: With regards to speaking in tongues, it was seen and heard on the day of Pentecost. As Jesus promised to his disciples it happened. He had to go to his Father in order to found the Church. This speaking was therefore a sign for all. There were many gentiles present on that momentous occasion. The Holy Spirit gave several abilities for building up the Church. I believe speaking in tongues accompanied with interpretation do serve any local church if it were done properly and the counsel has some grain of truth to benefit the assembly. . In the Pentecostal Mission bad faith of the pastors to differentiate the ‘holy’ and ‘nominal’ on the basis of speaking in tongues has already debased their ministry. Each member of the Body of Christ is part of that Church by faith. No longer he has to prove others by making noises. Such tarrying for Holy Spirit as insisted by TPM is an useless exercise. Having mastered English to write this post I did not set out to recite alphabets first. Similarly faith in the salvation offered by the blood of Christ has made it unnecessary to prove my life before some.

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