Self-Proclaimed Shepherds
by Friedrich Wilhelm Haack
August 1988

Translated from German to English by Carmen Brill
April 5, 2003

Friedrich Wilhelm Haack
Self-Proclaimed Shepherds
(orig. Hirten im eigenen Auftrag)
Shepherding / Discipling
Bob Weiner's Maranatha,
Kip McKean's Boston Church of Christ

Dokumentations-Edition 17
der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Religions- und Weltanschauungsfragen

Translation from German into English by Carmen Brill with permission from ARW

All references to this text must refer to the original German text. If the reference is on the internet a reference to the ARW site at must be included as well (Alle Hinweise auf diese Übersetzung müssen einen bibliographischen Hinweis auf die deutsche Erstausgabe beinhalten. Bei Netz-Veröffentlichung muss dazu ein Hinweis auf beigefügt werden).

Permission to post granted 11/29/2005 by Manfred Ach of ARW.

Copyright by Author, ARW (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Religions- und Weltanschauungsfragen) & WMC (World Media Consulting).
All rights reserved, including those concerning reprints, photocopies and translations (Alle Rechte, auch die des auszugsweisen Nachdrucks, der fotomechanischen Wiedergabe und der Übersetzung, vorbehalten).

ISBN 3-921513-86-3
München 8/1988

Friedrich Wilhelm Haack

Self-Proclaimed Shepherds

Excerpt from an old text:

Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my father hath sent me even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained (translator's note: John 20: 21-23, KJV used). To the one that has the power of the key, or bishops: practice and spread this using only the teaching and preaching of God's Word and the implementation of the Sacrament(s) to many or individual persons - as your vocation calls you to do….

Documentational Edition 17 The Society for Questions Concerning Religion and Philosophies of Life (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Religions- und Weltanschauungsfragen)

Titles by Friedrich-Wilhelm Haack with the A.R.W. publisher:
Secret Religion of the Wise. (orig. Geheimreligion der Wissenden) Neo-gnostic movements. 83p. DM 8.--

Belief in Witches and Superstition in the Federal Republic of Germany (orig. Hexenwahn und Aberglaube in der Bundesrepublik). A documentation. 55p. DM 8.--

Churches not Included in Dioces in German-Speaking Countries (orig. Die Freibischöflichen Kirchen im deutschsprachigen Raum). Office bearers and institutions. LV, 207p. DM 72.--

Don't Mince Words (orig. Kein Blatt vor dem Mund). About freedom of religion, saying yes and no. 278p. DM 36.--

The Fraternitas Saturni (FS) as an Example for a Mysterious Secret Order of the 20th Century (orig. Die Fraternitas Saturni (FS) als Beispiel für einen arkan-mystogenen Geheimorden des 20. Jahrhunderts). 143p. DM 36.--

Leaders and the Misled (orig. Führer und Verführte). Youth religions and political-religious youth sects. 190p. DM 8.60

The Way of Life is Now This… (orig. Der Weg des Lebens nun is dieser…). Apologetics on the edge of the 3rd millenium. 140p. DM 36.00

What Can We Do If… (orig. Was können wir tun, wenn…). 28p. DM 5.00

The Power of God from Human Hands (orig. Gotteskraft aus Menschenhänden). The Japanese Ki movements. 70p. DM 18.00

The God of Life and the God of the Bible (orig. Die Lebensgottheit und der Bibelgott). New Age, occultism, Christian beliefs. 86p. DM 18.00

Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Religions- und Weltanschauungsfragen, Postfach 50 01 07, 8000 München 50


with documents and illustrations

Scientology is "The religion of the 20th century." F.-W. Haack: "Over ten years of research and hundreds of interviews have shown me a bottemless pit of delusion, hate and will-power. Organizations like scientology are a real danger for human society." The author refers to the many cover and spin-off organizations among other subjects.
The Claudius Publishing Firm, by releasing this book, has launched a controversial and potentially explosive work into the field of religious debate.
392p. Pbck., Format 14x22cm. DM 36.--


A large volume of the "Munich Series" with numerous illustrations and a document section

The West is increasingly becoming a missionary target of guruism. Yoga and other so-called life-changing techniques were the forerunners of this religious phenomenon. In the end the new convert often becomes addicted. Some of the so-called youth religions have emerged from guruism. Reverend Haack has researched the most significant guru movements as well as the entire phenomenon of guruism. The inspiration for this book originated from questions posed by victims, but the author has also studied these phenomena at their source.
192p. Pbck., Format 14x22cm. DM 22.80

Friedrich-Wilhelm Haack

Haack is one of the most famous philosophy-of-life experts of our time. He presents us with a long needed pioneer work about a series of religion and philosophy-of-life questions that up to the present time have never been compiled and prepared in this way. The book arrives at the right moment. It will, without a doubt, inspire many discussions and direct the public eye to a previously blank spot on the map of life philosophies.
250p., with 45 illustrations and 21 pages of documentation. Pbck., DM 26.--.

Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Religions- und Weltanschauungsfragen, Postfach 500107, D-8000 München 50

Self-Appointed Shepherds

Shepherding / Discipling
Bob Weiner's Maranatha,
Kip McKean's Boston Church of Christ

Documentations-Edition 17
Of the Society for Questions Concerning Religion and Philosophies of Life

Copyright by the Author, ARW(Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Religions- und Weltanschauungsfragen) & WMC (World Media Consulting)
All rights reserved: including those concerning reprints, photocopies and translations (Alle Rechte, auch die des auszugsweisen Nachdrucks, der fotomechanischen Wiedergabe und der Übersetzung, vorbehalten).

Printer: Maro, Augsburg

ISBN 3-921513-86-3
Munich 8/1988


Shepherding as a Method of Leadership 5
Shepherds in the New Testament 6
The Office of Shepherd from a Reformational Standpoint 7
Mose(s) David and the Children of God 8
Shepherding at Large 13
The Evangelistic Center Maranatha e.V., Municha 15
Criticism in Munich
Mission Strategy
The Boston Church of Christ of Kip McKean 24
History of the Founding of the Boston Church of Christ
The New Hierarchy of Churches
Offices, Services, Disciples
Recommendations 29
Literature Excerpt 30
Who can one turn to? 31
Protestant Regional Churches
Catholic Diocese
Orthodox Churches
Parental and Counseling Offices

Shepherding as a Method of Leadership


The considerations and material presented here should serve as an aid to discussion of a method of leadership that is increasingly spreading in Christian communities, fringe groups and cultlike groups. This method is gaining ever more support in bible-fundamentalist circles and with those that call themselves "charismatics."

A definition of shepherding:

The all-encompassing, unconditional acceptance of the believer in the spiritual guidance of a "shepherd", "a spiritually older brother"; accepting the will of the shepherd as the will of God and the help of God for the believer's life.

The shepherd1 has the function of absolute leadership over the "sheep" under him. This goes far beyond the spiritual realm and, in that the control encompasses all facets of life, is similar to the authority of the Indian Diksha-guru2 over his students.

It must be mentioned here, that although the suggestions of the shepherd to his "sheep" are considered to be the "will of God," the shepherd does not embody the full presence of God3 - with the exception of some small more extreme cults.

Shepherds in the New Testament

The office of shepherd exists in the New Testament (poimhn). Jesus himself is the "good shepherd" (John 10). The only reference to the office of elder being the same as that of shepherd is in Ephesians 4:11:

"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;…"b

This is commented upon as follows:

"(…) so that the 'shepherds' and 'teachers' come together to form a group, obviously because they both serve in one church community."4

"The leader of the church" is always the subject being addressed. Whenever "shepherds" are mentioned; it is never mentioned that one believer should serve another as a "personal shepherd."

"The texts during the succeeding period show that it was always known what was meant when the leaders of the church were referred to as 'shepherds.' The same can be said of the passages that use the verb poimainein to describe the work of the church leader (1 Peter 5:2; Acts 20:28; John 21:16) and respectively the noun poimnion for the church community ( - 501,3ff). "Shepherds" refers to the leaders of the churches (pjesbntejoi 1 Peter 5:1; Acts 20:17; episkopoi Acts 20:28), with Ignatius the Bishop (Ign. Phld. 2:1; Romans 9:1); only John 21:15-17, where the insertion of Peter as shepherd by the Resurrected One is described, seems to refer to the whole church as the field of influence. The assignment of the shepherd is to care for the church community (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2-4; Ign. Phld. 2:1; Romans 9:1), the search for the lost (Mt. 18:12-14 compare with Mt. 12:30; and Lk. 11:23) and the defence against heresy (Acts 20:29 and following). The shepherd, while exercizing his office, should be an example for the flock (1 Pet. 5:3). The supreme shepherd ( -493, 13ff) will acknowledge their service when he comes again (v. 4)."5, c

It is also apparent that the office of shepherd does not contain any individualistic components that would make one person the shepherd of another. The shepherd is not confronted with individuals but with the church community. As an office bearer, however, he is responsible for service to the church, i.e. he is accountable to the church.

The Office of Shepherd from a Reformational Standpoint

In the writings of the Lutherian Confession of Faith, the office of shepherd is one of preacher, whose field of work is not only in the sheep pasture (spiritual welfare, service with proclamation of the gospel and with the dispensation of the sacraments) but also consists in fending off the "wolves" (apologetics).

"God has used the office of preacher to achieve such faith. He gave us the gospel and the sacraments, through which he gives us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit moves when and where he wills, through those who preach and those who hear the gospel. And this so that we, through the work of Jesus, not our own, can experience a merciful God in whom we believe."6

The respective offices of preacher and shepherd further the reception of the Holy Spirit but do not convey him. Taken together they are an office of service that help others to "attain faith." The shepherd is not the one that is important: it is his assignment.

This includes the duty of the shepherd to defend against spiritual danger.

"The pure and healing teaching of the Word is not enough in order to preserve the pure doctrine and the full, continual unity of the churches that pleases God. It is also necessary to punish those that speak out against it by teaching falsely, 1 Tim. 3; Tit. 1. According to Luther, loyal shepherds should do both: feeding the sheep and fending off the wolves, so that they will flee from a strange voice, John 10, and 'will divide the fine from the mundane.' Jeremiah 15."7

The office of the shepherd with relation to the church community has always been controversial. It was never understood to be an office having control over individual believers. The shepherd was always "shepherd of the church". He does counsel individuals in spiritual welfare matters, but only as a member of the herd - to use a metaphor.

The relationship of the office of shepherd to the believer is expressed clearly in a song of the Reformation where it is stated:

"The Holy Spirit reigns within, / has implemented his protectors; / they always guard, just as they should, / that God's Word remains untainted; / they excercize the office of preacher within / and direct us to the eternal light; / in which we win the right to become citizens / through faith, love and assurance."8

We see clearly that the same song shows us that the shepherd or preacher is not the direct object of belief but that God is.9

The office of shepherd is always opposite in conjunction to the church community, without which it is neither meaningful nor possible. The office of shepherd is not an earthly representation of the power of God to the "sheep." It is an office of leadership and care, an office of protection from spiritual threats. It is not an office consisting of dictatorial authority over the members of the church community that have been entrusted to the shepherd.

Mose(s) David10 and the Children of God11 (CoG)12

In 1973 a booklet with the title, "Letters from a Shepherd by Moses David"13, was published in the german language. The booklet consisted of a collection of so-called "MO-Letters," named using one of the self-selected names of the founder of the church of the "Children of God," the American cult-preacher David Berg.14

The same published a brochure that year: "Revolution for Jesus: How to do it! Basic Lessons from the Children of God - founders and leaders of the Jesus - Revolution."15

The holder of the office of shepherd at the CoG was seen as one endowed with absolute authority over the life and actions of the sheep, i.e. those being guided within the church (at the CoG these were often called "Babies"). This was the first time that this authoritative system was thus taught and practiced.

The "shepherd" takes the place of God for the "sheep," his word is the word of God in God's name. No one can speak out against him, not even in reference to the ten commandments or the Bible. To oppose the shepherd would be opposing God.

Berg described a hierarchy of shepherds as a "structure of God's kingdom" and as a "Crystal Pyramid." The individual levels from top to bottom are as follows:

MO = Prophet and King (his fianceé as "Queen");

Prime Minister;




Regional Shepherds;

District Shepherds;

Colony Shepherds.

"In the summer of 1975 Berg started to reorganize his cult according to the priciple "one over two": one district would consist of two colonies, one region four, one diocese eight, one archdiocese 16, one ministry 32 and one prime ministry 64.

'According to our new world estimate of less than 10 disciples per colony, this means that every prime ministry should not have less than 640 disciples.'"16

This system ensures that every "sheep" is under direct guidance by a "shepherd," because the shepherd, with at most 10 sheep under his care, can devote himself completely to them nearly all of the time and in every instance. This being even easier when living within close proximity to one another in the "colonies," often with little room to spare.

The shepherding system is also effective at the upper levels because of the continuation of the "one over two" principle used at lower levels (i.e. one shepherd - two sheep). Major distances between levels do not need to be traversed. David Berg and his family, especially his daughter Faithy17 function as the "shepherds of the shepherds" and control the whole system.

In the paper, "Revolution for Jesus!" the section "Obeying Leadership"18 addresses the shepherd - sheep relationship. The shepherd has absolute authority to give orders. In contrast to this the sheep are referred to as those that the shepherd feeds and that are under his authority.

The shepherds are representatives of the "true church," which is to be obeyed "just as a small baby obeys its mother." The "spiritual parents, elders and leaders" are more important than the "natural parents, elders and leaders":

"You, as a Christian, should obey your spiritual mother (EP 6.1), the true Church, just as a little baby obeys his physical mother. God puts elders and leaders in the Church through whom He leads His family ( 1 COR 12.28). We are to obey them (HEB 13.17) and follow them (1 TH 1.6 1 COR 11.1 4.14-16). It's more important to obey and follow your spiritual parents, elders, and leaders than your physical parents, elders, and leaders (EZK 20.18 JN 6.63)."19

Further citations from the shepherd chapter of the "Revolution for Jesus" paper will give a better understanding of the matter. The "Revolution for Jesus" embodied the character of the movement and even afterwards played a large role when those influenced by the CoG joined other groups or founded offshoot-churches.

"GOD'S SHEEP AND SHEPHERDS--Another way the Lord describes the Church is as sheep (PS 100.3). He Himself is our Shepherd (PS 23.1). A sheep is one of the most stupid animals in the world. It cannot take care of itself. It is totally dependent upon the shepherd for its life and guidance and it follows him wherever he leads.

On the other hand, goats, which outwardly look very much like sheep (JN 7.24), are one of the most stubborn, rebellious animals in the world. Sheep, you simply lead (JN 10.27) but Goats, you must drive. Read MT 25. 31-46.20 Are you a humble, submissive sheep, or an old goat? We will know by how well you submit to your shepherds. Yes shepherdS. Read 1 PT 5.1-4. Jesus is the CHIEF shepherd and elders (V1) are His personal, appointed under-shepherds. Don't let your pride, which is your biggest enemy, hang you up (PS 119.165). Remember, pride is what defeated the Devil."21

In the next paragraph they assert that, "GOD HAS ALWAYS LED HIS PEOPLE THROUGH A MAN."22

The conclusion of this statement is finally revealed (The most important section that the whole discourse is aiming at is printed in bold letters).23

OBEYING, SUBMITTING AND FOLLOWING--HEB 13.17--You can obey without submitting. Obeying is the actual doing of it outwardly, but submitting is yielding in your spirit or heart (1 SA 16.7). ISA 1.19-20--You can be obedient and not willing. God wants us to do things willingly (2 COR 9.7) from the heart (COL 3.23) for the glory of God (1 COR 10.31) not because we have to. 1 TM 5.17 says elders are deserving of twice as many privileges. 1 TH 5.12-13 tells you how you should regard your elders (Be at peace--not uptight-PS 119.165). 1 SA 16-28 David, in his obedience to God, refused to speak against God's anointed, King Saul, though Saul was blowing it completely and sought after David's life (1 SA 26.9). Remember--"My family, my family, Right or Wrong--My family!", and "the leader is not always right, but he's always the leader". FOLLOW JOYFULLY--2 COR 8.5 1 TH 1.6! Even until REV 19.14! The apostle Paul ignored the warning of the Spirit (AC 21.4,11), and then ignored godly counsel (AC 21.12). Yet his followers still followed with him to Jerusalem (AC 21.15)!!

Paul had God-given AUTHORITY-AC 14.23 1 COR 11.1-2 2 COR 10.8-11 13.10. Obey your parents (in the LORD) IN ALL THINGS!! EP 6,1 & COL 3.20! If they are "wrong" God will have to honor your faith in HEB 13.17! You're better off following one of God's leaders who has made a "mistake" than to trust in your own wisdom (PR 3.5 23.4), which is trusting in man (yourself), which brings a curse (JER 17.5). Ask yourself these 2 questions: Is this God's movement? If so, then whose leaders are here--God's or Satan's? "Consider the end of their conversation" (which is thousands of sold-out disciples)--HEB 13.7.24 Could YOU have done better? Could you handle this work and keep it going? If not, then follow humbly (RO 12.3) lest you be found to fight against God."25

The closing statement of the chapter supports Berg's message once more, that only the shepherd knows what is correct:

"Ask yourself this question: 'If it comes to a difference of opinion between leadership and myself, as to what God's revealed will is, what reasons do I have for trusting in myself rather than my leadership?'"

Berg provides a few "key verses" as a guideline, including some that concern the natural parents (for example Colossians 3:20).26

That is also the case with Berg's use of Ephesians 6:1 (Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.) The verse is twisted to become proof of evidence of God's demand for disobedience to the natural parents. The trick used here is that Berg has designated the words "in the Lord" to be a term, that he then incorporates into his shepherding ideology at a prominent level.

In January of 1978, as Berg renames his organization into the Family of Love, he destroys the previous hierarchy and takes over the "direct dictatorship" (as he calls it). This took place with the letter entitled "Reorganization, Nationalization, Revolution."27

"In other words: the king takes back the reigns and we return to a direct dictatorship. It will be a very generous, liberal and loving dictatorship."28

It is not known whether Berg took over the shepherding method from the church where he served as preacher before the foundation of the CoG or whether the cult, Church of the Open Door that his parents had founded29 were aware of this method. Berg came from at least a cult-like environment and it has not been proven that his shepherding method is new. It can be assumed, however, that Berg is the first one that implemented and theologically backed such a structured method.

At Berg's CoG the shepherd is the absolute authority over the sheep or group placed under him. His authority is "godly authority." Opposing him means "going against God." Reports show that he is the one that approves "marriages,"30 he is in charge of guidance and division of work, even the whole life planning of the "sheep" or "babies."

The office of "Shepherd" with the CoG finds its most extreme expression with the ever-increasing distribution of "Flirty Fishing."31 The shepherd becomes a "Flirty Fisher,"32 who lures new members33 to bite the fishhook of the CoG.34

Shepherding at large.

Meanwhile we are dealing with completely new groups and expressions of shepherding. Especially within the frame of fundamentally and charismatically oriented groups, whose origin can often be traced back to the latter time of the so-called Jesus-People.

Before specific groups are discussed, it should and must be pointed out that, according to the information at hand, there are church-oriented organizations (if they can be thus named),

for example the Munich-based CVJM, that have adopted the shepherding model as an internal structure and partially implemented it.

At the CVJM this took place simultaneously with a "spiritual revival," that according to them revived special gifts of the Spirit in that community (to which some of those interviewed attributed the gift of leadership). According to the observation of the author,35 the CVJM Munich has managed to establish a well-controlled personal spiritual-welfare system that is largely free of cult-like tendencies. They have managed to keep exaggerated forms under control. The fact that there have been occasional problems,36 was due to the limited capabilities and emotionalism of lay pastors.

If we return to the question of the origin of shepherding, it would seem that the source would be attributed to David Berg and the CoG. Another factor is introduced when one refers to an article of the "Apologetic Lexicon"37 under the word "Shepherding," based on an US-American source:

"Shepherding * cf. et. Multiplying Ministries Movement, a method by which every member of the group is subject to a so-called "Shepherd," who is to be "responsible for his spiritual growth" and who makes or influences life's most important decisions for his "sheep." Based on the Book by Robert Coleman "The Master Plan of Evangelism," published in 1963, "disciples" should completely dedicate their lives and every moment thereof to "Christ." Shepherding is also called discipling. "The actual method of discipling probably began in Argentina in 1970 and has come to be known as the Shepherding/Discipling Movement in religious groups all over America and the world. This Movement came under the leadership of Juan Carlos Ortiz, a former Assembly of God pastor. He is the author of a book, CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP. In the same year, 1970, the Cuban communist guerillas began to arrive in the rural area of Argentina. It is possible that Ortiz may have seen the effectiveness of the

organizational structure of the guerilla's chain of command, because his own structure follows the pyramid of authority with ascending power to the top. These and similar groups have done much work on college campuses. This particular form of the Movement came to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 1972 where a group of five men launched what is described as a radical form of the Discipleship Movement."38

The question could be posed, whether Ortiz was completely without knowledge of the events surrounding David Berg and the CoG.

The other term is called "Multiplying Ministries Movement": Multiplying Ministries Movement it became known as Shepherding (i.e. Discipling Movement; Kip McKean) through the book by Robert Coleman, "The Master Plan" (1963): "In January 1987, an historic milestone was reached. With the Boston church plantings in North America (Chicago, New York, Providence, Toronto), in Europe (Paris, London, Stockholm), in Asia (Bombay), and Africa (Johannesburg), combined with London's first church planting in Australia (Sydney) and New York's first church planting in South America (Sao Paulo) - all of the populated continents of the world will have multiplying ministries" (Biblical Discipleship Quarterley, Vol.1/No.1 p 8)39

The Evangelistic Center Maranatha e.V. Munich (EZM)

The EZM is a ministry founded by Maranatha Campus Ministries International (MCMI), one of the US-American extreme fundamentalist and neo-pentecostal centered movements of the shepherding type. Those involved in such movements perceive the territory of the historic churches of Christianity primarily as a missionary area.

The MCMI was founded by Bob Weiner and his wife Rose Weiner as a campus ministry. In conjunction with the Jesus-Movement, Bob Weiner claims to have been "baptized with the Holy Spirit" in 1969.40 In 1971 Weiner founded Sound Mind Inc. together with Bob Cording for the purpose of youth evangelization. Soon afterwards, the previous café owner41 Weiner accepted

a post as youth pastor at Christian Life Center in Long Beach California that he gave up in the fall of the following year.

Weiner organized many spectacular events like the "Jesus March" in Paducah, Kentucky and an "Evangelistic-Tour" of 500 people to Sweden. He moved to Paducah42 in 1972 and initiated work in campus at Murray State University.

In the fall of 1982 Weiner added a newly opened Bible Training Center. That grew into Maranatha Campus Ministries which was present at 30 universities and colleges until 1980.d One of the teaching methods was the so-called "discipling" method with which the whole life of the converted was to be "Christianized." The Maranatha Christian Churches grew out of MCM.

In 1984 there were a total of 75 churches and 375 pastors; 3,000 members in the USA as well as 2,000 members in other countries including Canada, West Germany, England, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Australia and Singapore.43

Weiner's Maranatha follows the Assemblies of God in teaching and practice, but is based on the shepherding interpretation of Ephesians 4:11 which seems to prevent a close relationship between Maranatha and the AoG.

"Doctrine and practice follow that of the Assemblies of God, but special emphases not usually associated with the Assemblies have become central to the life of Maranatha. Weiner emphasizes a 'spiritual pattern' for church organization based upon Ephesians 4:11, and attempts to build each center as a strong fellowship and training ground for practical discipleship. Each center has a dorm in which converts may live while attending college. General meetings of the fellowship are held weekly and most members also participate in small group fellowships. 'Directed prophecy' is important to the life of the fellowship. Those claiming a gift of prophecy advise the entire group and individual members as to the direction their lives should take. Prophecies, seen as direct immediate communication from God, are believed to be an ongoing confirmation of God's present activity in the church."44

The Shepherd's Journal was first published in 1975, The Forerunner (A Prophetic Voice of the Nation) came out in 1981.

The first missionaries were sent to Argentina in 1977 where a new branch of the church was soon founded.


Parent organizations like the American Family Foundation (AFF) soon started to criticize MCMI. The Advisor, a publication of AFF, released articles criticizing MCMI in which MCMI was compared to other destructive cults like the Children of God, The Unification Church, etc..

The renowned expert on cults in the USA, Lowell D. Streiker,45 calls Maranatha one of the "very typical (…) ultrafundamentalist Christian sects,"46 in his publications, "The Gospel Time Bomb" and "Mindbending, Brainwashing, Cults and Deprogramming."

The Advisor states that according to an MCM publication, MCM "wants to infiltrate and dominate every sphere of life on campus."47 The Advisor also uncovered the MCM "statement of Covenant" in which it is stated that those that submit to MCM must finance the MCM authorities as God-given leadership, and that they obey them in all matters so that their lives can be "corrected and directed." The members are to make all of their abilities and opportunities available to MCM.

One former member asserts:

"100% surrender to Jesus Christ was replaced by 100% surrender to Bob Weiner (MCM's 'Apostle of God'), Joe Smith and Bob Nolte (MCM's 'Prophets of God').

The term "complete slavery" could be used in place of the words, "complete surrender," because a member subscribes himself completely to the organization including assets and property.

According to the abovementioned former member:

"We were taught not to use our minds because they belonged to the old nature. They would have to be renewed by the Word of God. The areas not renewed could be used by Satan."

One of the things criticized about MCM is the "alienation of individuals from their families." Separations were practically commanded because one must "break all ties to the the old world."

"If we wanted to go home, then we would have to pray about it and bring the matter up to the eldest in the group (…). If we wanted to go home for the summer then they (elders or shepherds) would remind us that Jesus Christ could return tonight and thus we should not be doing other works or hanging around but should be actively practicing evangelization."

Payments of members consist of so-called tithes and over and above that consist of sometimes substantial donations. As for what the monies were used for, one magazine stated:

"The turning point came when Tillman realized that Maranatha was not doing any of the good works the church said it stood for, such as helping the poor, the weak and the sick. 'All the helping was turned inwards', she says."48

Criticism in Munich49

Letters of member's relatives state:

"Since then (since the son joined EZM) his behavior toward us became unloving and somewhat colder. What bothers us the most is his religious fanaticism. We cannot have a normal conversation anymore. He only talks about the Holy Spirit and his miracles. If we ask him about his future he gives us a stereotypical answer, 'If the Holy Spirit tells me to study I will study; if he tells me something else, I will do that.

(…) If you are sick you can only become healthy by believing. Doctors are there for those that do not believe.' He has given everything up now. He gave away his record collection and his books, he has removed all of his posters and (sport) awards from the walls because they are all dirty and rubbish. Now he is only 'Christian,' he lives for God and the cult."

An educator that was caring for a child of Maranatha parents concludes:

"The boy was affected very negatively and was enormously 'handicapped' because of that when involved in interpersonal relationships."

A former Maranatha member reports:

"After attending services for more that 2 - 5 times you are handed a particular Bible study. If you have worked your way through the book and have gone to the Bible seminars there will come a day when you are baptized (although they do not say that it is because you have worked through the material), completely submersed in water, in the name of Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit. Infant baptism as it is practiced in Catholic and Protestant churches is not acknowledged by Maranatha people. During the services (…) at the beginning of every service there is praise and worship. Praying in tongues usually takes place during this time. Afterwards testimonies are shared with the rest of the congregation. The sermon follows this. Towards the end of the meeting there is singing and dancing. During a calm period of song every individual decides for himself how much money he will contribute for the advancement of the movement.
It was not easy for me to leave because 'my Maranatha fellows' saw me as the one who was falling away, that is who the devil had won over. It was not easy for me to overcome this condemnation."

Mission Strategy

The home group-leader or his representative takes the place of the shepherd in Maranatha. The levels of hierarchy are firmly built up to the "Apostle of God" (Bob Weiner).

The home group-leader leads a "14-day integration program" with those to be converted in order to get them completely on the MCM track. The plan shows that the daily visits are planned out exactly:

1. Visit (The day after the salvation/experience; lasts at least 1 hour)
a) About 10 minutes of friendly fellowshipping with the disciple.
b) 10 minutes of prayer together.
c) Review of Lesson Nr. 1: 'The Sin Offering: God's Provision for the Sins of Humanity' (from the textbook, 'Jesus Brings New Life') for 1/2 an hour.
d) Review of the 'Circle Chart of Obedient Life' (see illustration) and practical application of it on the life of the disciple.
e) Assignment: Study nr. 2: 'Repentance, the Reign of Jesus the Messiah.'
f) Make new appointment and close in prayer.
g) Spend 10 min. with the disciple passing out tracts before he leaves.
2. Visit
a), b) and f) as above
c) Review of Lesson Nr. 2. 'Repentance...' for 1/2 an hour.
d) Practical discussion with the disciple about how to recognize and write down everything that the Holy Spirit reveals; and about restitution and forgiveness.
e) Assignment: Lesson Nr. 3: 'The Reign of God's Word.'
g) 10 min. of evangelizing together by passing out tracts.
3. Visit
a), b) and f) as above.
c) Review of Study Nr. 3 (see above).
d) Always: teach the disciple methods of Bible study; i.e. by theme, by names of persons, by word and the use of the concordance and dictionaries.
e) Assignment: Lesson Nr. 4: 'Righteousness: The Reality of the New Creation' (1st half).

g) Accompany the disciple to a Christian bookstore to help him with the purchase of a good Bible.
4. Visit
a), b) and f) as above.
c) Review of Lesson Nr. 4 (see above).
d) Exercise: help the disciple to write down a few discoveries out of the bible that can be applied positively to his daily life.
e) Assignment: Lesson Nr. 5: (see 4)(2nd half) for 1/2 an hour.
g) Help the disciple for 10 min. to write a letter to a friend inviting him to a meeting.
5. Visit
a), b), c) (Lesson 5) and f) as above.
d) Use the study speaking of the positive discoveries the disciple made on the 4th visit.
e) Assignment: Lesson Nr. 6 'Belief in God' (1st half) ( and read: 'Right and Wrong Thinking' by K. Haign)
g) Help the disciple for 10 min. to call a friend inviting him or to make an appointment to meet with him.
6. Visit
a), b) and f) as above.
c) (Review of the book: 'Right and Wrong Thinking'). Review of Lesson Nr. 6 (see above) for 1/2 an hour.
d) Help the disciple to pray a specific prayer and believe God for the answer.
e) Assignment: Lesson Nr. 7 'Belief in God' (2nd half) and read: 'The Authority of Belief' by K. Haign
g) Take the disciple out to eat and encourage him to evangelize.
7. Visit
a), b) and c) (see 6 e) as above.
d) Exercise: Give the disciple a chance to use the name of Jesus by having him exercize authority in prayer.
e) Assignment: Study Nr. 8: 'Baptism by Water.'
g) Spend 10 min. together with the disciple conducting a survey.
8. Visit
a), b) (see 7 e) and f) as above
d) Exercise: let the disciple try to explain baptism by water to you (you play the part of the one needing advice).
e) Assignment: Lesson Nr. 9 'Baptism with the Holy Spirit.'

f) Spend 10 min. with the disciple conducting a survey.
g) Have the disciple write down the names of 5 people he will witness to and invite to a meeting.
9. Visit
a), b), c) and f) as in visit 8.
d) Exercise: take the time to guide the disciple to exercize freedom using the gifts of the Spirit by having him ask God and make first experiences receiving a Word of Prophecy.
e) Assignment: Lesson Nr. 10: 'Praise, Worship and Prayer' (1st half).
g) Let him witness to someone that you are currently ministering to.
10. Visit
a), b), c) and f) as above.
d) Exercise: use the lesson about Praise and Worship by serving the Lord together this way and experiencing his presence.
e) Assignment: Lesson Nr. 11: 'Praise, Worship and Prayer' (2nd half)
g) Have the disciple write his own tract about God's healing plan.
11. Visit
a), b), c) and f) as above.
d) Exercise: Use the lesson by having the disciple construct his own prayer time that includes the four following kinds of prayer:
1. Praise and Worship for who God is
2. Thanks to God for what he has done
3. Request (spiritual warfare) for others
4. Prayer for himself
e) Assignment: Lesson Nr. 12: 'The Command to Mission.'
g) Help the disciple for 10 min. to write personal letters to those that he has witnessed to.
12. Visit
a), b), c), f) and g) as above.
d) Exercise: have your disciple explain how he would give his personal testimony while using scriptures about salvation.
e) Assignment: Lesson Nr. 13: 'Prosperity and Giving.'
13. Visit
a), b), c) and f) as above.

d) Talk to your disciple about giving the tithe, let him explain it and also about how he will listen to God's guidance when the collection is taken at the meeting.
e) Assignment: Lesson Nr. 14: 'Dedication to the Body of Jesus, the Messiah.'
g) Distribute fliers together at the university and invite people to the gathering.
14. Visit
a), b), c) as above.
d) Exercise: use the study by explaining the introductory meeting to him and see to it that he is signed up for it. Also explain how he can and should become an active part of all regular gatherings.
e) Assignment: the rest of the lessons in the book '…for a solid foundation,' by having him go through two lessons a week.
f) Agree to meet regularly with him in the future in order to review the lessons together, to give the disciple exams and preach the gospel."

In 1982 the US-President Ronald Reagan sent the MCI a greeting in which it was written:50

"Maranatha Campus Ministries plays a major role in furthering Christian Fellowship and principles on campuses around the world. By working to promote wholesome values among young people, you are helping build a more humane, compassionate, and spiritually attuned world."

In light of the greeting, it is not apparent how well or how deeply President Reagan was acquainted with MCM. One way or another, such a statement is not proof of the religious quality or Christian value of MCM. At best it is the testimony of the [speech]writer and his intentions.

One year later the magazine "Nutshell" would issue a report entitled, "Hard-Sell Religion" concerning an MCM establishment:51

"The organization has been accused of being a cult, that takes over the lives of students to the point of arranging marriages for them and leading them to abandon school and careers in order to devote themselves to the propagation of Maranatha."

MCM holds a prominent place among the shepherding movements.

The Boston Church of Christ of Kip McKean

The most aggressive missionary shepherding community is without doubt Kip McKean's Boston Church of Christ. It is a group with which the Churches of Christ do not want to be confused, even though it had its origin from them (the Lexington Church of Christ).

McKean, Kip * leading man of the shepherding, etc. Multiplying Ministries Movement, Pastor from Boston/MA, Leader of the Boston Church of Christ (it was founded through the activity of Kip McKean at the Lexington Church of Christ which was thereby split). McKean is the absolute authority of his movement. McKean: "You know, it makes me sick when I hear brothers and sisters, who I even knew when I was growing up in the Lord, who when they were single were really zealous and fired up for God but now that they are married and they got kids start making excuses about why they can't be totally committed to Jesus Christ. I don't care if you are married or have kids, Jesus Christ has to be number one in your life." (Multiplying Ministries Series, A Six-Part Informative Lecture Series, Memorial Church of Christ Houston/Texas Jan.10, 1987 by F.H. "Buddy" Martin).52

History of the founding of the Boston Church of Christ (BCC)

The term "Church" as used in the following text is not used in the traditional sense of Christian ecclesiology but in the manner that it is used in the USA. It should be noted that the present information at hand points to the conclusion that the Boston Church of Christ under Kip McKean's leadership perceives itself as "THE" Church and does not acknowledge this of other churches and denominations.

The data used here is taken from the publication: Flavil R. Yeakly Jr. Editor/Howard W.Norton/Don E. Vinzant/Gene Vinzant: The Discipling Dilemma, Nashville/TN 1988.

At the beginning of the direct "geneaology" stands the

Crossroad Church of Christ (Gainsville/FL)

Pastor and Founder: Charles H. (Chuck) Lucas.

A fairly successful campus ministry is led at the University of Florida. Those employed are being trained to serve existing churches.

A movement called


is initiated. In 1985 Chuck Lucas leaves this movement after having converted Kip McKean.

Kip McKean goes to Lexington/MA. The

Lexington Church of Christ

is calling him. Founding year: 1970, before the arrival of Kip McKean. Kip McKean brings his wife with him and 10 young Crossroadism-trained people who are dedicated to him.

Membership Development: 40 at the time it was founded;
July/Dec. 79: 68 baptisms
1980 180 "
1981 250 "
1982 365 "
1983 402 "
1984 594 "
1985 703 "
1986 818 "
1987 over 900 "

The method is called discipling or multiplying.
In June of 1979 the community moved to Boston and from then on called itself the:

Boston Church of Christ

The founding of daughter churches followed in quick succession.

June 1982 Chicago
July 1982 Central Church of London
June 1983 New York
Aug. 1985 Toronto
June 1986 Johannesburg
Aug. 1986 Paris
Oct. 1986 Stockholm
Nov. 1986 Bombay

Since October 1987 the church began with takeovers i.e. existing churches were taken over. The pastors and elders of those churches were taken to Boston for training and others that had been trained there took over the existing churches. This was a clear deviation from the doctrine of absolute church autonomy as it had been practiced by the Church of Christ until then.


Nov. 1986 Kingston Church of Christ
Dec. 1986 Vienna - founded in 1985 by Crossroads - is taken from them.
Apr. 1987 Gateway Church of Christ, St. Louis/MS renamed into St. Louis Church of Christ.
July 1987 Attempted takeover of the Atlanta Highlands Church fails because the elders reject the claim [of authority] of the Boston Church.

Further takeovers took place and the mission policy was formed to infiltrate and take over communities founded by other churches or to attempt it. Only cities in which other daughter-churches of the Boston Church are active, are left undisturbed.

In 1986 a leadership meeting took place in which the following steps for church takeovers were laid down:

1. Prayer and fasting;
2. One individual with authority within the group and who is qualified for the work should be recommended by the brothers.
3. Contact of churches in the selected cities.
4. If another congregation (associated with Boston) has a planting in a particular country, the cities there are taboo with the exception that the first congregation that set foot there approves. In that case another city in that nation can be selected.

Yeakly: "discipling churches now constitute a totally separate fellowship of other Churches of Christ." (p. 17).

John C. Whitehead, a member of the Crossroad Movement, wrote an article entitled, "Stop, Look, Listen, " opposing the Boston takeovers.

The New Hierarchy of Churches / Ecclesiastical Hierarchy

The BCC has created a system of categorization and subordination of churches that Yeakly characterizes as a new organizational structure in which one congregation officially assumes the oversight of another congregation (p. 10). This system is not legitimized by the New Testament no matter how much those at BCC might juggle "biblical proofs."

The hierarchy is organized as follows:

Boston Church of Christ / Kip McKean

has the leadership over the entire system, the new leaders are trained here and elders are sent out from here. It is at the top of the pyramid and guides the 2453
Pillar Churches

Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, New York, Providence/RI, San Diego, San Francisco plus 17 outside the USA. Their "spheres of influence" are limited like those of the German Landeskirchen (German Statee Churches). The have leadership over the

Capitol City Churches

Who in their turn control the
Small City Churches

While these observe the
Countryside Churches

(Source: Bulletin, BCC, January 4, 1987).

Using this structure the BCC-churches have separated themselves distinctly from the heretofore existing Church of Christ, one of whose doctrinal pillars was and is the autonomy of the church community.

In this light it is apparent that BCC announces its takeovers in November 1986 as follows: "We are excited to announce that the Elders of the Boston congregation have assumed oversight of the Kingston Church of Christ, a two-year-old mission effort originally planted by the Miami-Gables congregation".54

To follow the Boston church "with a true disciples heart" means nothing other than submission without question.

Offices, Services, Disciples

Kip McKean extracts the Hierarchy of Offices from Hebrews 13:17: Evangelists and Elders --> Area Leaders --> Home Church Leaders --> Bible Talk Leaders and Disciplers (Missionaries/ Shepherds of disciples).

Yeakly: "Al Baird told members of the Atlanta Highlands congregation that it would be a sin to refuse to obey the instructions of a discipler - even in matter of opinion with no biblical justification at all because of the claim that God has placed that discipler over that Christian" (p. 18).55

An examination leads to the conclusion that, "members are controlled in such a way that their personalities are changed to conform to the group norm" (Yeakly, p.19).56


It would not be advisable to make an attempt to cooperate ecumenically because of the internal and doctrinal distance between Christian churches and the shepherding organizations. This would certainly be used by the organizations in question as an opportunity to expand and "make disciples."

Leasing of church facilities is also not to be recommended as this could and would be misunderstood as approval of the group including their teaching and practices.

It is recommendable, however, to be informed about shepherding and its religious concepts and ecclesiology before such a group is established in your community.

Especially discussions concerning baptism will become a priority as such groups and movements are on the increase. A large portion of the education of adults as well as youth should be concerned with the teaching of the Holy Baptism. Not only that, it is obvious that the general doctrine of the Church and the influence of the Holy Spirit should also have the highest priority.

The main form of preventative confrontation should be instruction that takes place at the church. Occasional talks delivered by "experts" can place a misleading emphasis on a "special topic for experts" rather than educating [the community] about the spiritual danger. Every local church community should inform itself and prepare for this confrontation.

Reference to and confrontation of these teachings can be done within the context of a sermon when appropriate Bible passages are being studied. Clear, precise wording is needed while doing so, rather than speaking in general terms.

Intensive counseling is necessary when one of the church members is personally affected. Giving the individual an informational booklet (such as this one) can be a preparational step but then the case must be handled individually.

Getting the assistance of a particular organization or parent-initiative group can be helpful (see below) but only as a secondary measure and not as a replacement for personal counseling.

Literature Excerpt (cf. Yeakly p. 158 ff) Explanations, Criticism and Warning, a selection:

  • Adam, James E., "Discipling, Counseling and Church Discipline", The Journal of Pastoral Practice, volume III, no.3. (1984);
  • American Family Foundation, "Cultic Studies Journal", Vol.2 No.2., Weston/MA 1986;
  • Calenberg, Richard D., "The New Testament Doctrine of Discipleship", Dissertation f. Doctor of Theology, Grace Theological Seminary, 1981;
  • Coleman, Steve, "A Christian Look at the Shepherding Movement", Personal Freedom Outreach, vol.3, no.2 April/June 1983;
  • Lattin, Don, "The Shepherding Movement", San Francisco Examiner, February 19, 1984 Section A pp.1ff.;
  • MacDoland, Gordon, "Disciple abuse", Discipleship Journal, A Navigators Publication, vol.5, no.6, Issue 30, Nov. 1,1985;
  • Mahony, Ralph, "The Use and Abuse of Authority", World Map Digest 1983/84;
  • Yeakly, Flavil R. Jr. Editor/Norton, Howard W./Vinzant Don E./ Vinzant, Gene, "The Discipling Dilemma", Nashville/TN 1988;
  • Who can one turn to?

    A service provided by the German regional churches are the so-called "Those Responsible for Questions Concerning Cults and Life Philosophies" (Beauftragte für Sekten- und Weltanschauungsfragen). They are available especially to advise and accompany cases concerning spiritual management or spiritual assistance.

    Protestant Regional Churches

    Baden: Kirchenrat Klaus-Martin Bender, Blumenstr. 3, D-7500 Karlsruhe, Tel.: 0721-147 467.

  • Pfr.Friedrich-W.Haack, Bunzlauerstr.28, D-8000 München 50, Tel.: 089- 141 28 41.
  • Prf. B. Wolf, Neuendettelsauer Str.4, D-8500 Nürnberg 60, Tel.: 0911-678 578.

  • Berlin: Pfarrer Thomas Gandow, Heimat 27, D-1000 Berlin 37, Tel.: 030-815 70 40.
    Braunschweig: Pastor M. Meitzner, Godehardistr.1, D-3303 Vechhelde OT Bodenstadt, Tel.: 05302-10 40.
    Bremen: Landesjugendpfarramt, Franziuseck 3-4, D-2800 Bremen.
    Hamburg: Pastor i.R. Alfred Springfeld, Brockdeich 230b, D-2050 Hamburg 80, Tel.: 040-720 77 88.
    Hannover: Pastor Joachim Biallas, Archivstr.3, D-3000 Hannover 1, Tel.: 0511-1241 452 + 414.
    Hessen und Nassau: Pfr. Bodo Leinberger, Elisabethstr.51, D-6100 Darmstadt, Tel.: 06151-40 53 74 75.
  • Pfr. Uwe Hoos-Vermeil, Kasseler Str.16, D- 3544 Freienhagen;
  • Pfr. Michael Becker, Lichteweg 14, D-3588 Homberg, Tel.: 05681-3450;
  • Pfr. Hans-Dieter Stolze, Mauerstr. 15, 3500 Kassel, Tel.:0561-14916 (Sprengel Kassel);
  • Pfr.J.Wolf, Am Friedhof 3, D-3579 Ottrau 2;
  • Lippe: Lippesches Landeskirchenamt, Leopoldstr.27, D-4930 Detmold 1, Tel.: 05231-740 30.
    Nordelbien: Pastor Detlef Bendrath, Brahmsstr.20f, D-2400 Lübeck, Tel.: 0451-42215.
    Nordwestdeutschland, Evang.-reform.Kirche: Landeskirchenrat, Saarstr.6, D-2950 Leer, Tel.: 0491 80 30.

    Oldenburg: Pfr.Rainer Schumann, Wilhelmstr.27, D-2900 Oldenburg, Tel.: 0441-16 237.
    Pfalz: Pfr. Dr.W.Sonn, Josefstaler Str.7, 6670 St.Ingbert.
    Rheinland: Pastor Joachim Keden, Volksmission.Amt, Rochusstr.44, D-4000 Düsseldorf 30, Tel.: 0211-361 02 46.
    Westfalen: Pastor Dr. Rüdiger Hauth, Röhrchenstr.10, D-5810 Witten/Ruhr, Tel.: 02302-136 11.
    Württemberg: Pfr.Dr.Klaus Bannach, Volksmissionar.Amt, Gymnasiumstr.36, D-7000 Stuttgart, Tel.: 0711-206 80.
    Österreich-Kärnten: Mag.theol. Johannes Spitzer, Adalbert-Stifter-Str.21, A-9500 Villach, Tel.: 0043- 4242-29266.
    Österreich-Wien: Pfr.Mag.Sepp Lagger, Taliastr. 156, A-1160 Wien, Tel.: 0043-222-465297.
    Schweiz: Evang.Orientierungsstelle, Pfr.Dr.Oswald Eggenberger, Auf der Egg 9, CH-8030 Zürich, Tel.: 004141-45 01 29.

    Catholic Diocese:
    Aachen: Dr.Hermann-Josef Beckers, Klosterpl.7, D-5100 Aachen, Tel.: 0241-452-419.
    Augsburg: Dipl.theol.Hubert Kohle, Kappelberg 1, D-8900 Augsburg, Tel.: 0821-31 52-274.
    Bamberg: OstR Matthias Rehrl, Arthur-Landgraf-Str.33, D-8600 Bamberg, Tel.: 0951-544 50.
    Berlin: Pastor Klaus Funke OP, Dominikanerkloster St.Paulus, Oldenburger Str.46, D-1000 Berlin 21, Tel.: 030-395 70 97/8.
    Eichstätt: Dipl.theol.Ludwig Lanzhammer, Obstmarkt 28, D-8500 Nürnberg 1, Tel.:0911-204 339.
    Essen: Ulrike Willing-Spielmann, Postfach 1428, D-4300 Essen, Tel.: 0201-2204-255.
    Freiburg: Dipl.theol.Albert Lampe, Winterstr.1, D-7800 Freiburg/Brsg., Tel.: 0761-311 16.
    Fulda: Rüdiger Schaarschmidt, Paulustor.5, D-6400 Fulda, Tel.: 0661-87-463.
    Hildesheim: Dipl.theol.Hedwig Deipenwisch, Domhof 18-21, D-3200 Hildesheim, Tel.: 05121-30 72 36.
  • Prälat Johannes Hüttenbügel, Marzellenstr.32, D-5000 Köln, 0221-1642-377;
  • Werner Höbsch (Adresse wie zuvor) Tel.:1642-388/9.
  • Prälat Ludwig Schöller (Erzbf.Generalvikariat, Hauptabteilung Seelsorge, Adresse wie zuvor), Tel.: 0221-1642377;
  • Limburg: Ordinariatsrat Rainer Sarholz, Roßmarkt.4, D-6250 Limburg. Tel.: 06431-295-226/7.
    Limburg /Stadt Frankfurt: Referat für Weltanschauungsfragen, Dr.Hans-Joachim Höhn, Eschenheimer Anlage 21, D-6000 Frankfurt/Main 1, Tel.: 069-1501-157.
    München-Freising: Dipl.theol.Hans Liebl, Dachauerstr.5, D-8000 München 2, Tel.: 2137-417/8.
    Münster: Georg Bienemann, Rosenstr.16, D-4400 Münster, Tel.: 0251-495-474.
    Osnabrück: Franz-Josef Schwack, Domhof 12, D-4500 Osnabrück, Tel.: 0541-318-254/221.
    Paderborn: OstR Roland Gottwald, Elternbildungsreferent, Domplatz 3, D-4790 Paderborn, Tel.: 05251-207-419.
    Passau: Dipl.theol.Martin Goth, Innbruckgasse 9, D-8390 Passau, Tel.: 0851-393 366.
    Regensburg: Dipl.theol.Hans Rückerl, Roritzerstr.12, D-8400 Regensburg, Tel.: 0941-565263.
    Rottenburg-Stuttgart: Diakon Godehard König, Postf.9, D-7407 Rottenburg, Tel.: 07472-16 94 19.
    Speyer: Werner Gehrlein, Webergasse 11, D-6720 Speyer, Tel.: 06232-10 23 33. (Bischöfl. Jugendamt).
    Trier: Werner Rössell, Weberbach 70, D-5500 Trier, Tel.: 0651-7105-279. (BDKJ Diözesanstelle).
    Würzburg: AG Das Große Zeichen - Die Frau aller Völker, Franz Graf von Magnis, St.Kilianshaus, Postfach 349, D-8700 Würzburg 11, Tel.: 0931-56610.
    Österreich-Wien: Dr.Friederike Valentin, Stefansplatz 6/46, A-1010 Wien, Tel.: 0043-222-532561- 3676.

    Orthodox Churches:
    Greece: Erzpriester Dr.teol.,Dr.phil. Antonius Alevisopoulos, Iasou 1, GR-11521 Athen, Tel.: 0030-1- 721 91 61.

    A Selection of Parent-initiative Groups and Counselling Centers:
    Aktion Psychokultgefahren (APG)(Operation Dangers of Psycho-cults): Ellerstr.101, D-4000 Düsseldorf 1, Tel.: 0211-72 10 66.
    Arbeitskreis Sekten e.V. Herford (Association Sects Herford): Karin Paetow, Auf der Freiheit 25, D- 4900 Herford, Tel.: 05211-55330.
    Arbeitsstelle für Religions- und Weltanschauungsfragen (Section for Questions Concerning Religion and Philosophies of Life): K.-H. Eimuth, Saalgasse 15, D-6000 Frankfurt 1, Tel.: 069 282892.

    Eltern- und Betroffeneninitiative gegen psychische Abhängigkeit Berlin e.V. (Parent/Victim-Initiative Group Against Mental Addiction, Berlin) : Mommsenstr. 19, D- 1000 Berlin 12, Tel.: 030-324 95 75.
    Elterninitiative in Hamburg und Schleswig-Holstein zur Hilfe gegen seelische Abhängigkeit und Mißbrauch der Religion e.V. (Parent-Initiative Group for Help Against Spiritual Addiction and Abuse in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein) : Pastor D. Bendrath, Brahmestr.20f, D-2400 Lübeck, Tel.: 0421-447 86.
    Elterninitiative zur Hilfe gegen seelische Abhängigkeit und religiösen Extremismus e.V. (Parent- Initiative Group against Spiritual Addiction and Religious Extremism) : Postfach 874, D-8000 München 1, Tel.: 089-141 28 41.
    Niedersächsische Elterninitiative gegen Mißbrauch der Religion (Parent-Initiative Group Against the Misuse of Religion, Lower Saxony) : Pastor J.Biallas, Archivstr.1, D-5000 Hannover 1.
    Österreich: Verein zur Wahrung der geistigen Freiheit (Society for the Preservation of Mental Freedom) : Post. 218, A-1011 Wien/Österreich.


    a Translator's Note: e.V. = eingetragener Verein. . The organization has a written set of precepts to which all agree to upon registering. Each member must register as belonging to the organization and can make use of the right to vote for organization leaders, if this is included in the organization's written precepts. This type of organization can require regular payments from its members.
    1 (Translation of original endnote) The use of the English term capitalized according to German grammar is used here because 1. The phenomenon described here comes from the Anglo-Saxon culture and because 2. The German term "Hirte" is used in a different context (cf "Hirtenamt" = "office of shepherd").
    2 F.-W. Haack, "Guruismus und Gurubewegungen," Guruism and Guru Movements München 1982, p. 21 ff.
    3 Like the Diksha-Guru.
    b Translator's Note:larger portions of Scripture citations were not translated into English but are taken from The Authorized King James Version.
    4 Gerhard Friedrich (publisher), "Theologisches Handwörterbuch zum Neuen Testament," Theological Compact Dictionary by Gerhard Kittel (ThWB), Volume 6, Stuttgart 1957 (unaltered reprint of the 1933 printing), p. 497.
    5 ThWB 6, 497:10-24.
    c Translator's Note: the Greek words above were hand written in the original text and were inserted to the best of the translator's ability.
    6 Augsburg Confession of 1530, "V. Vom Predigtamt," cited according to: "Die Bekenntnisschriften der Evangelish-Lutherischen Kirche" (BekELK), The Declaration of Faith of the Protestant- Lutheran Church, Göttingen 1959, p. 58.
    7 BekELK 839, 10 ff.
    8 Petrus Herbert (about 1330-1571), "Monsenior der Böhmisch-Mährischen Brüderunität," Monsignor of the Bohemian-Moravian Unity of Brothers; EKG 206,2.

    9 V. 5: "God, our refuge, protects her himself / and blesses her ("the Church") for eternity."
    10 David Berg, alias "MO," alias "Father David."
    11 Children of God, Family of Love, Missionaries for the World, Johannes do it Community etc. The movement classified as a youth religion hides itself behind new names and terminology because of criticism against it. The names are sometimes used spontaneously and then discontinued.
    12 According to Children of God.
    13 Children of God Publications, London-Essen-Dallas/Texas.
    14 * 1919, Son of a preacher and a "prophetess," that later played a significant role in the cult of her son as "Grandma Virginia."
    15 The same booklet, although without reference to the publisher, exists with the title, "Revolution für Jesus! Wie man's tut! Grundlegende Unterweisungen von der Familie Jesus," Revolution for Jesus! How to do it! Basic Teachings from the Family of Jesus. It is a copy made by a group influenced by the "Children of God" at Altdorf near Nürnberg. This group also reprinted other MO-letters. The last page was changed using Bible citations instead of news from the Children of God issue. It can be assumed that this method of spreading ideas by incorporating them has been used elsewhere.
    16 Rüdiger Hauth, "Die Kinder Gottes, oder die Familie der Liebe," The Children of God or the Family of Love, Munich 1975, p. 16. Here Hauth cites the MO-letter with the classification, "LTO 336-A" from June 26th, 1975.
    17 Faith Dietrich, née Berg was married to a German when young. In 1988 she was still employed as a supervisor when the author met her in Coloane/Macau.
    18 Revolution p. 46 ff. (Translator's Note: Citation found on p. 51. All excerpts from the Revolution for Jesus booklet were taken directly from the original text and were not retranslated into English.).
    19 Revolution p. 46. Section "God's Family" (Translator's Note: Citation found on p. 51.).
    20 David Berg apparently didn't know that the comparison of the sheep and the goats referred to the male and female animals of the same species or he is guilty of falsely interpreting the passage in order to get the desired result.
    21 Revolution p. 46 f (Translator's Note: citation found on p. 51 and 52.).
    22 Revolution p. 47 (Translator's Note: citation found on p. 52.).
    23 Bold lettering was not used in the original.
    24 This passage is completely misinterpreted by Berg, as the text refers to death and not the success stories of "leaders who spoke the word of God to you."

    25 Revolution p. 48 (Translator's Note: citation found on p. 53 and 54.).
    26 It is worth comparing the Bible passages in context to the meaning that Berg attributes them as proof of his ideas.
    27 MO 650 January 1978.
    28 Taken from: F.-W. Haack, "Jugendreligionen - Ursachen, Trends, Reaktionen," Youthreligions - Causes, Trends, Reactions, Munich 1980, p. 286.
    29 Jugendreligionen, p. 273.
    30 and separations.
    31 "Sexual Mission," the gathering of money and / or new members through sexual promiscuity, the children so conceived are called "Jesus Babies."
    32 i.e. the pimp of the "Flirty Fish."
    33 or Moonies
    34 This extreme version will not be discussed further here as it is certainly an invention of the CoG and its leader who is most likely mentally ill.
    35 As the only group known to the author.
    36 The author was aware of a few striking cases, especially connected with a Religion teacher.
    37 Friedrich-W.Haack, "Apologetisches Lexikon," Apologetic Lexikon, work saved on disc (in progress), of February 1989, The Institute for Religious Studies, Inge Haack WMC, Munich.
    38 Multiplying Ministries Series, A Six-Part Informative Lecture Series, Memorial Church of Christ Houston/Texas, Jan. 10. 1987, by F.H.(Buddy) Martin, p.3.
    39 Taken from F.-W.Haack, WMC-Apologetisches Lexikon.
    40 He was baptized by the former baseball player Albie Pearson.
    41 J. Gordon Melton refers to a former membership of Weiner in the Air Force in the Encyclopedia of American Religions, Second Edition Supplement, Detroit 1987, * 1403.
    42 Where the father of his wife was a pastor of the United Methodist Church (Melton).
    d Translators Note: The above dates were taken as written in the original text. The reader can discern that one of them cannot be correct.
    43 Melton.
    44 Melton p. 940.

    45 Founder of the Freedom Couseling Center in Burlingame.
    46 West, Jan. 6, 1985.
    47 The Advisor, Vol.5, No.3. Article "MCM in Action at Kansas State University."
    48 Magazine, Nutshell, "Hard Sell Religion" Fall issue 1983.
    49 From: Friedrich-W. Haack, "Persönlicher Informationsbrief IV/85 'Evangeliumszentrum Maranatha e.V., München'. " Personal Information Letter IV/85, Evangeliumszentrum Maranatha e.V., Munich.
    50 December 10, 1982.
    51 In Seattle, University of Washington Campus.
    52 Taken from F.-W.Haack, WMC-Apologetisches Lexikon.
    53 cf. bulletin, Boston Church of Christ, August 30, 1987.
    e Translator's Note: to avoid misunderstanding, "State" here does not mean government-controlled but is used in the sense of a regional church whose influence is limited to Bavaria, Saxony or Berlin, for example.
    54 Yeakly p. 12, BCC-Bulletin from November 23, 1986.
    55 German translation of above citation as footnote retained as in the original text. "daß es eine Sünde wäre, den Anweisungen eines Disciplers den Gehorsam zu verweigern, selbst in Meinungs-Angelegenheiten ohne biblische Rechtfertigung allein deshalb, weil Gott den Discipler eben über diesen Christen gesetzt habe".
    56 German translation of above citation as footnote retained as in the original text. "Mitglieder werden derart der Kontrolle unterworfen, daß sich ihre Personalität so verändert, daß sie mit der Gruppennorm übereinstimmen".

    End of Translation
    Translator's Note: The book prices are in the old Deutsche Mark currency that expired at the arrival of the Euro. They were included to do justice to the translation. All addresses were included because they were in the document to be translated and were not rewritten with the new 5-digit zip codes. As the document was written many years ago, the addresses and telephone numbers listed may no longer be correct.

    Copyright by Author, ARW (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Religions- und Weltanschauungsfragen) & WMC (World Media Consulting). All rights reserved, including those concerning reprints, photocopies and translations (Alle Rechte, auch die des auszugsweisen Nachdrucks, der fotomechanischen Wiedergabe und der Übersetzung, vorbehalten).

    All references to this text must refer to the original German text. If the reference is on the internet a reference to the ARW site at must be included as well (Alle Hinweise auf diese Übersetzung müssen einen bibliographischen Hinweis auf die deutsche Erstausgabe beinhalten. Bei Netz-Veröffentlichung muss dazu ein Hinweis auf beigefügt werden).

    For this and other literature from Rev. Friedrich Wilhelm Haack (deceased) please go to Everything should be in the German language. As far as I know this booklet that was translated by myself is the only work of his translated into English thus far. He did extensive research on various sects and conducted many interviews. I can highly recommend his work. The man was a prolific writer that had much wisdom and knowledge to convey that is still relevant for today. (--Carmen Brill)

    All websites, even though publicly available are not public domain. This according to The Digital Millenium Copyright Act of 1998. Go to for a summary or to for a full version. You may make one copy or reference this English document for your own use containing the Copyright information above and the copy or references must also include the name of the translator, Carmen Brill and a reference to the website,