Alive and Unwell: William Branham’s Cult

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The Roman Catholic Church’s sexual abuse scandal continues apace and reflects a common trend in churches around the world. There are many facets of this to consider, including cults and fringe religious movements or groups, as this happens in and out of the communities of worship and the cults while the communities of worship and the cults provide a formalized structure for this.

Individuals who may not hear about the abuse in the church can be as upstanding citizens, and as moral individuals within some universal conceptualization of morality, as possible; however, other facets remain important for consideration in the context of the abuse of individuals within the church, whether physical abuse or psychological abuse, or sexual abuse. As we can note with some church members, they may state, “But I never heard about it.” One reason is the abuse did not happen at all. Another is some have not seen it because of the high costs to the victim, the culture of denial, and the complicity of the community in protecting the prominent men. This has happened in religious and secular communities. However, we see this more in the religious communities with an assumed divine mandate in support of the higher authority endowed upon the men. It can create some questions around theology.

If trends exist in theology, and if outcomes exist in people coming out of the theology in several churches and around the world independently, then some scrutiny is deserved, rather than necessarily confirming as a diagnosis. However, there appear to be confirmed cases in some churches around the world regarding The Message theology. From Canada to the rest of the world with over 2,000,000 adherents to this day, people after the Western world collapsed due to a second world war wanted answers. Preachers came in to fill the void. The theology of the late purported Prophet William Branham (1909-1965) was one response. A man who arose in the midst of the post-WWII Healing Revival Movement with several prominent figures proclaiming, by themselves, ‘faith healer’ status within a movement continuing to this day with televangelism and the Charismatic movement. Anything in association with Branham should be taken with suspicion and scrutiny, especially with historical cases of abuse in churches, including Cloverdale, Phoenix, Colonia Dignidad, Zimbabwe, or the cult compound in Prescott (click name for hyperlink).

There can be a man considered near to or equal to Jesus Christ as a messenger of the Lord of Lords through The Message, i.e., the late Mr. William Branham providing theological – his own – buttresses for the abuse in the churches. To quote Mr. Branham, “Let her daughter stay out all night and come in the next morning with her make-up all over her face and her hair twisted sideways, out drunk somewhere. You know what she would do? She would teach her a lesson with a barrel slat. That’s right.” Another time, “And I’ve see them laying out on the beaches half naked before man stretching themselves out there, say they get a sun-tanning. Brother, I — I may not live. But if God lets me live and keep my right mind, if one of mine does it, she’ll get a son-tanning. It’ll be Mr. Branham’s son with a barrel slat behind her. She’ll be tanned all right. She’ll know where it come from too. Yes, sir.” In this, individual churches of The Message may operate independently. However, the main point is an overarching theology called The Message. In this theology, this may influence some of the men in the private of the home or church, where the victims, if in a particular home or church, stay quiet. The Casting Pearls Project, devoted to abuse survivors coming out of The Message, run by Jennifer Hamilton gathers stories and quotes. From the Casting Pearls Project, we have a statement from Careyann Z.:

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