|Title||Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB)|
-Common reading material for those in the group is Michael & Debi Pearl's book To Train Up A Child which instructs the parent on how to properly punish their child to make them more obedient
|Leader||E. Allen Griffith|
IFB is a highly conservative Baptist church which maintains Old Testament ideals on how to raise children, treat women, and go about day to day life. For example, women are treated as second class citizens and told that they must obey the husband. They also seem to hold onto a blame-the-victim mentality as displayed on the Tina Andersen case (view links at the bottom of the page). They are very isolated from the outside world and believe that they are the one true branch of Christianity. They believe in corporal punishment for the children, meaning that physically beating the children is encouraged to create obedience. One woman states that babies as old as two weeks were to be spanked "how many whacks is irrelevant, you may need a hundred strikes. That's what the Bible speaks about"(quote from 20/20 video at the bottom of page).
It seems that pedophilia is rampant among the clergy, there are several first hand accounts of rape and abuse from pastors or leaders within the group. Those who have been raped or assaulted are made to feel that they are at fault and are told to ask for forgiveness.
There is also something called the Hephzibah House which is a home for teen girls in Indiana that IFB families have been known to send their daughters to if they judge them to be too disobedient to them. The pastor who runs the house, Ron Williams, has been responsible for acts of physical and psychological abuse for decades according to former residents. It has been reported that they do everything from forced labor under deplorable conditions, to girls being forced to wear diapers/being refused permission to go to the bathroom as a form of punishment, and brutal beatings.
Behavior1. Regulation of individual's physical reality
a. Where, how and with whom the member lives and associates with
b. What clothes, colors, hairstyles the person wears
c. What food the person eats, drinks, adopts, and rejects
d. How much sleep the person is able to have
e. Financial dependence
f. Little or no time spent on leisure, entertainment, vacations
2. Major time commitment required for indoctrination sessions and group rituals
3. Need to ask permission for major decisions
4. Need to report thoughts, feelings and activities to superiors
5. Rewards and punishments (behavior modification techniques- positive and negative).
6. Individualism discouraged; group think prevails
7. Rigid rules and regulations
8. Need for obedience and dependency.
-Forbidding of indulgence in popular culture i.e. music, movies, dancing, etc
-Strict dress codes for men and women; no shorts for men and women must wear a dress when seen in public
-A woman must submit to her husband under all circumstances
-Members are forbidden from going to movie theaters
-Discourage friendships and relationships between members and those outside the group
-The belief that ALL forms of alcohol consumption is sinful, and that when wine is used in the new testament it's referring to grape juice
-Some IFB churches are very politically active, requiring their members to support a candidate based on their stance on abortion and homosexuality
Information1. Use of deception
a. Deliberately holding back information
b. Distorting information to make it acceptable
c. Outright lying
2. Access to non-cult sources of information minimized or discouraged
a. Books, articles, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio
b. Critical information
c. Former members
d. Keep members so busy they don’t have time to think
3. Compartmentalization of information; Outsider vs. Insider doctrines
a. Information is not freely accessible
b. Information varies at different levels and missions within pyramid
c. Leadership decides who “needs to know” what
4. Spying on other members is encouraged
a. Pairing up with “buddy” system to monitor and control
b. Reporting deviant thoughts, feelings, and actions to leadership
5. Extensive use of cult generated information and propaganda
a. Newsletters, magazines, journals, audio tapes, videotapes, etc.
b. Misquotations, statements taken out of context from non-cult sources
6. Unethical use of confession
a. Information about “sins” used to abolish identity boundaries
b. Past “sins” used to manipulate and control; no forgiveness or absolution
-Only the of the Bible is the inspired word of God
-Strict rejection of science and technology
-Rejection of a secular education: many churches have their own school at the church for K-12; and smaller churches without schools generally have parents who homeschool
Thought1. Need to internalize the group's doctrine as "Truth"
a. Map = Reality
b. Black and White thinking
c. Good vs. evil
d. Us vs. them (inside vs. outside)
2. Adopt "loaded" language (characterized by "thought-terminating clichés"). Words are the tools we use to think with. These "special" words constrict rather than expand understanding. They function to reduce complexities of experience into trite, platitudinous "buzz words".
3. Only "good" and "proper" thoughts are encouraged.
4. Thought-stopping techniques (to shut down "reality testing" by stopping "negative" thoughts and allowing only "good" thoughts); rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism.
a. Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking
e. Speaking in "tongues"
f. Singing or humming
5. No critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy seen as legitimate
6. No alternative belief systems viewed as legitimate, good, or useful
-The belief in a of Genesis; God created the universe in 6 days and any other interpretation is heresy
-Strict to the pastor
Emotional1. Manipulate and narrow the range of a person's feelings.
2. Make the person feel like if there are ever any problems it is always their fault, never the leader's or the group's.
3. Feeling-stopping. Like thought-stopping, this is the automatic suppression or blocking of feelings that are not acceptable by the cult identity- such as feeling "homesick" or feeling "depressed" or feeling "resentful".
4. Excessive use of guilt
a. Identity guilt
1. Who you are (not living up to your potential)
2. Your family
3. Your past
4. Your affiliations
5. Your thoughts, feelings, actions
6. Social guilt
7. Historical guilt
5. Excessive use of fear
a. Fear of thinking independently
b. Fear of the "outside" world
c. Fear of enemies
d. Fear of losing one's "salvation"
e. Fear of leaving the group or being shunned by group
f. Fear of disapproval
6. Extremes of emotional highs and lows.
7. Ritual and often public confession of "sins".
8. Phobia indoctrination: programming of irrational fears of ever leaving the group or even questioning the leader's authority. The person under mind control cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled future without being in the group.
a. No happiness or fulfillment "outside"of the group
b. Terrible consequences will take place if you leave: "hell"; "demon possession"; "incurable diseases"; "accidents"; "suicide"; "insanity"; "10,000 reincarnations"; etc.
c. Shunning of leave takers. Fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family.
d. Never a legitimate reason to leave. From the group's perspective, people who leave are: "weak"; "undisciplined"; "unspiritual"; "worldly"; "brainwashed by family, counselors"; seduced by money, sex, rock and roll.
-Sex outside of marriage, adultery, and homosexuality are strictly forbidden and are punishable by hell
Ramblings of Sheldon: Former IFB Pastor Pleads Guilty
Ramblings of Sheldon: Exposing the IFB
(articles, videos, information)
Ex-Pastor Jack Schaap (youtube video)
John Matzko on the Rape of Tina Anderson (dialogue)
20/20 Shattered Faith (on IFB)
Help a Loved One
716 Beacon Street
Newton, MA 02459
Phone: 617 396-4638
Fax: (617) 628-8153
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