A Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal is a person that believes in speaking in tongues – glossolalia – as proof that a person has received the Holy Ghost. Oneness Apostolic Pentecostals are people who believe in dramatic demonstrations of the Gifts of the Spirit, such as prophecy or the interpretation of tongues. Pentecostal Oneness believers reject the concept of the Trinity and are convinced salvation relies upon the literal form of baptism; dunking rather than sprinkling and repentance of one’s sins. People who are not familiar with Oneness Apostolic Pentecostalism may think that the following descriptions are exaggerated and shocking, however the things depicted in this article are indeed accurate as I have witnessed it firsthand. I spent a part of my childhood as a member of this religion because my parents were, and still are, heavily involved in their local Apostolic Pentecostal church. This is my perspective of the methods used in brainwashing new members into the Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal religion and their indoctrination.
Before I go any further I feel it is important to explain that this article was originally published on Associated Content now known as !Yahoo Voices. The article received over 100k reads and was retired by !Yahoo. The topic is still hot so I decided I’d repost it here. It is open for discussion and I’m not the least bit hurt by any comment you can post. This article had over 5,000 comments during its duration on the internet and I’d say the consensus as to whether or not I’m bat shit crazy or absolutely correct in this article was split right up the middle. Just as many people agree with me as disagree with me so join right in and tell me what you think about this article.
The other thing I feel important to explain is that this article is only referring to one particular group of Pentecostal people and that is the Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal group. If you believe in the Holy Trinity, come from a Baptist Pentecostal church or some other affiliation of either Pentecostal or Apostolic then I am not specifically talking about you although I will say that there are parts of those religions that also meet some of the upcoming topics I cover in this article.
For purposes of simplicity from here on I will be referring to this particular group of people as either Apostolics, Pentecostals, Apostolic Pentecostal, their, they’re, it, its, cult, organization or some other moniker that clearly identifies I’m not talking about every single solitary Pentecostal person on the planet.
Without further ado, the remainder of the article…
Social Bonds Must Be Severed
One of the things involved in being submerged into the Pentecostal religion is breaking bonds with friends and family. When a new member of the congregation is first converted they are bombed with love, compassion and new friends that tend to leave them estranged from friends and family and oftentimes are unsure as to why.
The reason for the separation is simple; family and friends think the convert is acting weird. The new convert begins to take on religious jargon and the mentality of the church and in their enthusiasm overuse it. The convert is being taught to represent God in everything they do by using phrases like “Praise God” and “The Holy Ghost checked me.” Most people find this to be a bizarre way of talking outside of church.
Pretty soon the convert begins to push this new found religion on others. Typically the family reacts and tries to pull them back into the family fold and to turn the convert away from their new church and in turn the convert believes the family simply can not “see the truth.” At this point the convert will discuss this problem with other church members and may even testify in church about the resistance they have encountered. Church Elders will advise the convert to preach and teach and continue to behave the way they have been in an effort to convert those that have resisted.
The cycle continues until the convert becomes a pest, totally convinced that the devil has a hold on the minds of anyone that does not see the truth. Church friends will instruct the convert that their family and friends have rejected the truth and separation is best because the Bible cautions us against socializing with the sinner. From that moment on the bonds that keep families together will be broken because there will no longer be any commonality between them.
The new Pentecostal convert may become lonely, but never fear the congregation is near. This babe in Christ, as they are often called, will jump promiscuously into friendships in the church without taking the time to find out about the members of the congregation and many of these people have led lives of crime and drugs or worse. In the Pentecostal religion the bigger the reason you were saved, the better. They brag about how bad their life was before they were converted.
The convert is taught not to worry about a Church member’s past because all their sins were previously washed away which makes them immediately trustworthy. Of course that is not how they explain it but that is exactly what happens. They put so much emphasis on how good someone becomes once they are saved that any entertaining any negative ideas about the church congregation is simply not going to happen. Thus the convert will endeavor to build a new safety net of friends and claim the other church members as family which then makes it near impossible for the convert to just walk away.
To leave the church is to be cut off from this “brothers and sisters in Christ” idea. Separation from the church can be devastating to a member who no longer has other family or friends as a support group.
Proper Church Procedure; What Every Good Pentecostal Knows
Oneness Apostolic Pentecostals can be more easily spotted than their Trinitarian counterparts. They purposely have a precise way of being viewed by the outside world. They endeavor to separate themselves physically from the rest of the world in order to be seen for the church they represent. All Apostolics are trained right from the start to alter the way they dress. Women are warned away from wearing pants, jewelry of any kind, including watches and wedding bands, sleeves must reach half way between the elbow and wrist, make up is a no no and skin is off limits. Men are not allowed to wear shorts, jewelry or have long hair; their sleeves must be the same lengths as the women’s. These rules also apply to children.
Rock and Roll music (this constitutes any music not played on the local Christian radio station and even some of that is off limits if it has too fast of a beat) is of the devil. It is not allowed in any form in the home, car or church. Any music that makes the body want to move in wantonness is considered soul threatening. Church music, choir music, music performed in church and music performed by Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal churches is acceptable so long as it does not have a “beat.”
Sitting on the front pews as close to the pulpit is a requirement that is never stated or said but merely understood. The closer to the front of the church a member sits, the Godlier they are considered. Pentecostals will leave items on the pews or in chairs to mark their seat; this is done throughout the week. Sitting in the back of the church is a clear indication of being a backslider and heavy prayer is ignited instantly.
If one is to survive in his or her local Apostolic church, emulating the Pastor and his family is a must. This is also considered to be another sign of holiness. The more recognized by the Pastor the holier the church goer is.
Sensory Overload – It’s all about Hypnosis
There are two things that All Pentecostal churches use to manipulate and influence people with; sensory overload and expected response. When a person is blindsided by something that they have no time to prepare for, their instincts takes over and they react.
For example, when a sales person rapidly spews facts about a product at you, they are overloading you with information using things like the pitch of their voice and hand gestures. They are attacking your sense of hearing and seeing. Normally a person can not process all this information at a high speed; the one thing that can is the emotional response mechanism. Music is how they use this technique to create sensory overload.
Loud music with the right chord progressions causes the rational part of the brain to shut down. Pentecostal musicians are masters at manipulating the energy of the congregations. They play to the crowd just the same way any musician performing does; to help lower normal rational functioning long enough to stimulate a person to high levels of emotion. Simply put they are provoking emotion. Let’s face it, it’s easier for people to accept religious persuasion when accompanied by emotional music. The resonance of the music makes it feel tangible, real, and powerful.
Another technique of sensory overload is shouting. Apostolic Pentecostal Preachers are known for shouting their messages. This makes it unavoidable to a person’s consciousness. As the person shouts over the loudspeaker, the high state of sensory focus and overload imprints the message in one’s mind. During emotional releases in this kind of environment, it is easy to truly feel changed. This change is nothing other than a state of hypnosis.
The rational faculty shuts down for a moment, emotions soar to the highest levels and the person is left feeling liberated. The rational faculty is part of our brain that is designed to protect us from being emotionally controlled and that gets stopped from happening. Losing the ability to use rational, Pentecostals often lose control, run around, shouting and speaking in tongues as they climax in a state of ecstasy.
Once someone accepts this emotional state as evidence of Religious Truth, they are open to emotional manipulation and control. A person can eventually become a slave to this kind of emotional manipulation.
All of this is learned through the process of feedback. Positive and negative feedback are not rational instructions, but emotional responses to one’s actions. Sometimes there is childish glee, shouting, hugs, big smiles, and back patting for positive feedback received from the congregation and more importantly the preachers and pastors, and frowns, strange stares, and social estrangement for negative feedback from these same people. The particulars of feedback can vary from place to place, but the power of such conditioning is enormous in Oneness Apostolic Pentecostal churches. Churches manipulate people using emotional feedback because most people seeking religion are seeking feedback that they are okay.
Many Preachers like to say that they used to dance with the Devil, but now they dance with the Lord. This statement is a little revealing. Church has become their dope. In traditional Christian churches emotional restraint and self-control are a regularly taught lesson but in an Apostolic Pentecostal church acts of wild behavior are condoned, emotional ejaculation is encouraged.
The term “authority” suggests an author, as in, what did he write? Most religious organizations require serious study before granting a minister his license – sometimes from four to eight years in seminary. Many Pentecostal sects do not require anything in the way of qualifications. Full institutional credentials are not necessary for pastoral duties, only the skill of verbal communication and a working knowledge of how to make the books look legal.
The idea that a church should be ran like the military with a commander at the top, lieutenants and generals guiding the ranks is a dangerous concept. In such a system, it doesn’t take long to realize that questioning the chain of command isn’t taken lightly. In a Pentecostal church questioning the chain of command is considered rebellion. It says it right in The Bible, they will argue.
If a board member asks a pastor to quit teaching on certain things this would be rebellion against someone higher than him in the “established leadership” of the church. Whatever the Pastor says goes because he has been marked as an official “man of God.”
The entire Apostolic Pentecostal movement is a fraud that drains the life out of people. Children go to bed at night crying because they are not allowed to live life like other children. Kids are labeled rebellious and are beaten because they don’t live up to the churches standard of holiness. Women are taken from their natural inclinations to make themselves up to being a plain person that becomes void of will and spirit. Men become emotionally manipulative because they are taught their wives are beneath them. Some will go on, read this, and still refuse to accept the Truth about the Apostolic Pentecostal way of life because it does not compute – it cannot be – not according to their Pastor.