January 02, 2006

More on the R.L. Hymers Cult

Wow. I'm getting a lot of responses to my post on R.L. Hymers—some in the comments section, and some via e-mail.

If what I'm hearing is correct, Dr. Hymers' efforts to control the lives of young people has changed a little in its focus, but not at all in its intensity.

Apparently, these days Bob Hymers' church, the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles, is using different techniques to indoctrinate people into his brand of Christianity. As I've said before, my argument with his approach is not a doctrinal/theological one; I will leave those types of arguments to people who are qualified. My concerns have to do with the methods he and his wife, Ileana Hymers, use to gain followers: methods which mirror those of cults so closely as to be indistinguishable, as a practical matter.

Posted by Attila Girl at January 2, 2006 06:29 PM | TrackBack
Comments

Well, it was a good post. I was in the Open Door Community Churches from 1978 - 1982 and left at the age of 18 - so I speak from experience. I think your description of Hymers and his tactics are pretty much right on. I also think your experiece there has given you some good insight. Thanks for letting us in on some of it :)

Posted by: Michael at January 3, 2006 12:46 AM


Hi Atilagirl...i was at the then Open Door Community Church from 1977 through 1981. In fact I pastored one of the local churches in Hollywood. I've enjoyed reading your Hymerian Blog entries! What years did you attend? You must know Jeff Koenig right? I was introduced to the ODCC by him - Jeff "evangelized" Chris Cagan (who is Hymer's right hand man and co-author of many of his books.) Chris then invited Jeff over one fatelul day to convince me to go to their house church in Santa Monica.
Anyway...sigh...that was a lifetime ago.

I will never forget many things about my involvement at ODCC - but most prominent in my mind is the last meeting I attended. It was at the Bronson High School auditoreum. I had spoken with Hymers by phone during the week at had told him that I would not return to the ODCC unless he repented from his uncontrolled anger and raging. So on Sunday, August 9, 1981 he decided to answer my ultimatum by railing at me from the pulpit before a crowd of about 1300. Yes...that was how large the group had grown by mid-81. This was also, I believe the high point as far as attendance is concerned.

Anyway, as Hymers railed, I carefully planned my exit, I waited for the offering to be taken and proceeded past a phalanx of ushers to take my wife by the hand (she was up front playing piano) and exit from the auditoreum

I will never forget the feeling of, in the words of Crowded House singer Neil Finn "liberation and release." As we literally ran from the the Bronson auditoreum...it was like an escape from a concentration camp!

When were you there? I probably knew you.

Posted by: Rafael at January 9, 2006 06:19 AM




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