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  • Title:

    “The Experts Speak”—Contents

    Summary:

    An index to the testimony in The Experts Speak with links to relevant portions on specific topics.

    “The Experts Speak”—Contents

    1. The Testimony of John Gordon Melton, Ph.D.
      1. Dr. Melton’s Qualifications
      2. His Knowledge of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project
      3. His Initial Categorization of the “Local Church”: With the Plymouth Brethren
      4. A Brief History of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project
      5. A Brief History of Watchman Nee and the “Local Church”
      6. Research Requested and Done
      7. Conclusion: the “Local Church” Being an Orthodox Evangelical Group
      8. Conclusion: SCP Completely Misrepresenting the “Local Church”
      9. Conclusion: SCP’s Work Creating the Cult Image
      10. Definition of a Cult
      11. Libelous Accusation #1: Prayer Practice Being Pagan, not Christian
      12. Further Definition of Cults
      13. Libelous Accusation #2: Psychological Manipulation
      14. A Warning against Reliance upon Hostile Ex-members
      15. Libelous Accusation #3: The Authoritarian Rule of Witness Lee
      16. Misrepresentation Too Great to Be a Mistake
      17. The God-Men Causing Christians to Shun the “Local Church”
      18. Libelous Accusation #4: Scripture’s Authority Downgraded
      19. Libelous Accusation #5: Immorality Encouraged
      20. Accusation “Proven” by Altering Lee’s Writings
      21. Libelous Accusation #6: Members Oblivious to Morality
      22. Accusation “Proven” by Misuse of Others’ Writings
      23. Libelous Accusation #7: “Sensuous Theology” Resulting in Tragedy
      24. Libelous Accusation #8: Psychological Damage to Members
      25. Dr. Melton’s Investigation Procedure
      26. Libelous Accusation #9: Financial Mismanagement
      27. The God-Men Becoming a Source for Other Writers
      28. Conclusion: the Damaging Effect on Witness Lee and the “Local Church”
      29. Bookstores Not Carrying Challenging Responses Written by the “Local Church”
      30. The God-Men Discourages New People from Coming to the “Local Church”

    2. The Testimony of John Albert Saliba, Ph.D.
      1. Father Saliba’s Qualifications
      2. Studied SCP Since Early 1970s
      3. Conclusion about SCP’s Principle: “Attack and Destroy Any Group We Don’t Agree With”
      4. SCP’s Research Methods Are Deficient
      5. Definition of a Cult
      6. Research Requested and Done
      7. Opinion of “Local Church”: More Lively than Sunday Mass but Nothing Strange
      8. Conclusion: SCP Misrepresenting the “Local Church,” Taking Witness Lee out of His Christian Context
      9. No Concern with Witness Lee’s Use of the Term: “Christ vs. Religion”
      10. Libelous Accusation #1: Lack of Morality
      11. Libelous Accusation #2: Isolation from Society
      12. Libelous Accusation #3: Witness Lee’s Teachings Result In Tragedy
      13. Opinion: False Charges Resulting in Cult Label
      14. Libelous Accusation #4: No Sense of Right and Wrong
      15. Conclusion: Accusations Supported by Twisted Quotes
      16. Libelous Accusation #5: Authoritarian Rule in the Church
      17. SCP’s “Research”: Unverified Ex-member Testimony
      18. Libelous Accusation #6: Mental Manipulation
      19. Conclusion: Destructive Effect on Witness Lee and the “Local Church”
      20. Calling the Catholic Church Babylon Being Common among Fundamentalists
      21. “Witness Lee May Interpret Revelation against My Church, but He Doesn’t Hate Me”
      22. Consistently Taking Witness Lee’s Quotes out of Context and Distorting Them

    3. The Testimony of Eugene Van Ness Goetchius, Ph.D., Th.D.
      1. Dr. Goetchius’s Qualifications
      2. Introduction to the “Local Church” through Greek Students
      3. Research Requested and Done
      4. The God-Men Being a Deliberate Misrepresentation of the Teachings of Witness Lee
      5. Deliberate Misrepresentation #1: Witness Lee Downgrading the Bible
      6. Deliberate Misrepresentation #2: “Local Church” Members Being Immoral
      7. Effect on Witness Lee and the “Local Church” Being to Frighten Parents of Children Involved
      8. Witness Lee’s Orthodox Use of the Term “God-Men” and SCP’s Misapplication of It
      9. Unsubstantiated Charges of Financial Impropriety Being Devastating
      10. Falsely Associating Witness Lee with Destructive Cult Leaders
      11. The “Local Church” Being an Extremely Family-oriented Group
      12. Pray-Reading Being not a Mantra but Digestion of the Word of God
      13. Witness Lee Teaching the Right Kind of Relationship between Parents and Children
      14. A Personal Testimony Written and Signed by Eugene Van Ness Goetchius

    4. The Testimony of Rodney Stark, Ph.D.
      1. Dr. Stark’s Qualifications
      2. Research Requested and Done
      3. Conclusion: A Paper on Conversion like Duddy’s Being Worthy of a Failing Grade
      4. The God-Men Purporting to be a Sociological Study But Having No Merit as Such
      5. Not Social Science to Rely upon the Testimony of Hostile Ex-members
      6. The Sociological Trappings of The God-Men Proving to Be Misleading
      7. Duddy Missing the Entire Point of the Lofland-Stark Model of Conversion
      8. If Duddy Read Lofland-Stark Model, Then His Altering of It Being Malicious
      9. Duddy’s Invention, “The Seduction Syndrome,” Being the Reverse of the Model
      10. Image Portrayed by Duddy: “Standing at the Alley with the Net”
      11. Duddy’s Tragic Case Study Only Using the Lofland-Stark Model as a “Front End”
      12. Melton’s Classifying the “Local Church” as an Evangelical Protestant Denomination Being Correct
      13. The God-Men Written Backwards, Starting with the Conclusion
      14. The “Local Church” Being on a Hit List and Getting Hit
      15. Motive Being to Damage the “Local Church” and “Guard our Children”
      16. Devastating Effect on Witness Lee and the “Local Church” as Seen in Christianity Today’s Misinformed Story

    5. The Testimony of H. Newton Malony, Ph.D.
      1. Dr. Malony’s Qualifications
      2. Research Requested
      3. Opinion of SCP’s Work: Creates the Cult Image
      4. Definition of a Cult
      5. Research Done
      6. Basic Opinion: Charges concerning Practices Being False
      7. The False Accusation concerning Recruiting: “The Seduction Syndrome”
      8. Concerning Sanctification, Sports, and TV
      9. Further Definition of a Cult
      10. Dr. Malony’s Survey of Current and Former “Local Church” Members
      11. Methodology of the Survey
        1. Question #1: Arranged Marriages?
        2. Question #2: Told Where to Live?
        3. Question #3: Leaders Control Your Finances?
        4. Question #4: Told Where to Work?
        5. Question #5: Newspapers, TV, and Radio Discouraged?
        6. Question #6: Told When and Where to Go to School?
        7. Question #7: Counseled about Your Behavior?
        8. Question #8: Pressured to Take Advice?
        9. Question #9: Publicly Chastised?
        10. Question #10: Unethical Behavior Encouraged?
        11. Question #11: Was the Church Misrepresented?
        12. Question #12: Did Your Worship Alter Your Mind?
        13. Question #13: Was Unthinking Obedience Expected?
        14. Question #14: Did You Study the Bible on Your Own?
        15. Question #15: Did You Feel Brainwashed?
        16. Question #16: The Role of Witness Lee in Your Faith
        17. Question #17: Is the “Local Church” the Only Church?
        18. Question #18: Length of Membership
        19. Question #19: When and How Did You Become a Christian?
        20. Question #20: Who Is Jesus Christ?
      12. The Validity of the Survey
      13. Conclusions
        1. Conclusion regarding Teachings: the Orthodox Christian Faith
        2. Conclusion regarding Mental Manipulation: Teaching Not Brainwashing
        3. Conclusion regarding Threats or Coercion: Only Encouragement Found
        4. Conclusion regarding Psychological Damage: No Evidence Found
        5. Conclusion regarding Immorality: Strong Evidence the Other Way
        6. Conclusion regarding the Loss of Mental Acuity: No Evidence Found
        7. Conclusion regarding Survey: Not Perfect, but Better than The God-Men’s Basis
        8. Conclusion regarding Negative Impact on Witness Lee and the “Local Church”: Guilt by Association
        9. Conclusion regarding Impact of Cult Label: Rumor Very Hard to Counteract
      14. The Use of the Judicial Process
      15. The Trial Results Needing to Be Publicized and Believed

    6. The Testimony of Edwin S. Gaustad, Ph.D.
      1. Dr. Gaustad’s Qualifications
      2. The Excess Exercise of Freedom of the Press Destroying Freedom of Religion
      3. Self-appointed Vigilante Groups Denouncing Non-Traditional Religious Movements as “Cults”
      4. The Opinion Aroused by Unfair Published Attacks Rendering a Powerful and Damaging Verdict
      5. To Persecute the “Local Church’s” Zeal Being to Rob Christianity of Its Reforming Impetus
      6. The “Local Church” Standing in the Tradition of Evangelical Christianity