To all the victims of cults…

Date: Tue, 17 Apr 2001 03:39:51 -0000

Although this is directed to the cult I belonged to , it is to victims of all abusive churches and cults out there now , sifting men’s souls!

Good evening everybody!
This is lengthy but I trust the topic will be helpful.

We all come to this list at different levels and places and from
different times and positions in the FF/Cobu. Not all of us had
the same experiences, but certainly each of us did not have totally
unique experiences. Each of us may represent a certain part of the
75,000 victims involved and we each have things to share.

Some of us have established a certain under the counter level of
communications that is fine for where those are. But where I
am coming from is our responsibility in feeding the Cobu line
of the people we led into joining that may even be there still, like
Joy Irey and Mike Horan…both Jim’s lambs! a long time ago.

Everything we say to each other we see, affects all. Just as in the
bible, if one part of the body suffers, all feel it. What we try
to accomplish is healing of this body and address different issues
as they present themselves or come to mind. Some issues pertain to
certain categories more than others. In my case I never had anything
to do with the Christian Brothers business as I left in 1976.

Since that time however, my life in Christ has gone through a
metamorphosis of sorts as I grew into the person Jesus has me
today, and God’s not finished with me yet! I have grown a world
away from Cobu and although I can trace many issues I still face
back to my Cobu days, I have been blessed in many other ways by
the mercies of God . The Lord has blessed us with new sight and
new visions in his service and new direction, as he leads us
including leading us to this sight. We have been involved in
much spiritual warfare and remain at His service in this area.

Long ago, Jim and I started studying about Angels, demons, deliverance
interpretation, and  from the Holy Spirit and visited
different churches known for different gifts and applications of those

We have found
that this spiritual warfare is very involved and many factors
present themselves, yet there are patterns and signals that the
spirits present to give themselves away in their perverted pride.
We have had encounters that have been under the anointing of the
Holy Spirit leading to deliverance from demons for some individuals.
We have learned that, for example there are spirits controlling
certain regions. A good book to get a picture of this was written
by Frank Peretti- ” This Present Darkness” – a novel but gives a
picture of spiritual warfare. Another great book that deals with
cultic controls is by Eric Hoffer called “The True Believer”written
in 1951  available by order from Barnes & Noble. Jim just ordered a
copy again..He has given dozens away over the years…
We recommend these books. Both are quick reading and very

Some people in church settings as well as Cobu
have been treated as slaves and others have not.
Jim mostly addresses the ones that apply to. We aren’t saying
it is everyone. We aren’t saying there wasn’t a church within the

Like in nature we can learn allot-
Just look however, for example, on the discovery channel
sometimes, and look at how a herd or flock of animals act together
and how when they are in danger how they respond. I watched
how wilder beasts will surround their young and try to protect them
from a hyena or lion attack. I have seen some animals leave their
young, while others die for their young. I have seen some animals
drive away their young at a certain stage of development and so on.
We can take many lessons from nature….

Different predators{like the devil and demons]
use different methods to kill. Some may cause a
stampede, others ‘corner’ some look for the weak, young or injured,
or the old & tired. Some hunt in packs, some hunt alone. And so it is
with demonic hunting culling out the weak, infirm and unlucky.
The very creation cries out that there is a God…our adversary the
devil prowls about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour…
has many predatorial descriptions – a serpent, a leviathan, a
behemoth, a lion, dogs, bears, vultures etc., and each hunts in
different manners. Their goal is the same.

Familiar spirits come in various shapes and sizes, different
personalities and seldom come alone. If they can’t outright attack
and get you, they do it through various channels and circumstances
set up through out your life and surroundings. Many of you already
know this, I am addressing those who may not.

The Familiar spirits I would like to talk about now, are the ones
who like to speak to us in our own language – in our heads-…….

biblically, like the “fearsome ones” that tried to make the Jews
surrender, out of their stronghold-   Do you remember in the OT in
Kings, when Sennacharib and his envoys yelled up to the people on the wall
to surrender?

Hezekiah went and prayed to God and they were turned away.
If you look at the story, the Jewish reps asked them to speak in
Aramaic so the people on the wall would not understand the
negotiations and therefore fear.
The bad guys knew this and spoke all
the louder in their[Jewish] language to make the people get off the
wall [a figure of their salvation]and not listen to Hezekiah, their
king{for us a figure of the Holy Spirit as he was inquiring of God
for us} but to surrender and go to a land like their own…You can’t
make a deal with the devil and live-for ever-/Meant to whoof  them

Well God TOLD Hezekiah to make the people stand firm and God caused
the *evil ones* to turn and turn on each other and the Jews were

That scenario, if we apply it to ourselves is very similar.

The familiar spirits will whisper in our heads thoughts,
that are meant to steal our salvation and take us captive,
leading to our destruction.
If we resist the devil and stand firm on the wall of our
salvation, the devil will flee and we will be saved..

Likewise, look further into the story of Hezekiah and see where
the *out front attack* of these *demons/enemy* did not work the
envoys from *Babylon/SPIRIT of false religion* did work.
Hezekiah showed them all that he had, the bible says, so the prophet
told Hezekiah that they would therefore
be taken into captivity!
Guile is another trick of the *devil*, if force don’t work *he* will
use any deceptive way including what *appears to be religious* in
motive to lure us away from a fruitful relationship with God.

I realize these ‘dynamics’ are rather elementary, yet I have met
many a Christian, not only from the cobu who didn’t quite grasp this
before. I myself, didn’t grasp it well until 1989 and as a result was
freed from the influence of familiar spirits that whispered into my
own mind, short-term future events that scared me! I feared I was
becoming like Jean Dixon! When I would question before, many times
I assumed it to be the Holy Spirit directing me and forewarning me of
things to come.

When I became enlightened to these devilish
techniques, I prayed for right discernment of spirits and was granted
this request to know the difference! With firm rebuke and constant
prayer I was set free to learn the mind of Christ concerning me. If
you have been there you will understand this. Before, every time I
wanted a new way to serve God, the devil would flood my mind with
evil thoughts, sometimes while praying, or dumb ideas, or tangents,
or confusion or plans leading to disaster which would make me ask
God, why did this happen to me! and so on. There is a way that seems
right to a man, but….way to death. Do you see what I am saying?

Once I realized that my mind was the primary battleground for my
faith, I realized that all those foul thoughts[especially when trying
to pray at times] that would cause me endless guilt, were like fish
swimming in the sea of my mind looking for me to catch them and eat
them into my being![lured and enticed by my own desire] the devil
would really lay a number on me at times including telling me to go
commit suicide!or act out of revenge or spite etc.whatever it would
take to just ‘give up’!for 5 years after the Cobu I lived under ‘self
condemnation’ and acceptance of my fate to go to hell…another lying
voice manipulating me to destroy me. Praise God I am free of that now!

It is very important that if you are troubled in your mind, that is,
to be set free from whatever *demonic whisperer* is filling your head
with junk to upset you. When I was first delivered of this, there
were times  when *it/they* tried to come back just like the parable
of the  house swept clean and *7 others* worse than the first tried
to re-enter. Praise God, when you see, and then know what time the
thief is coming, you watch the house! The thief comes when you least
expect it and in the dark. I always keep my lamp ‘trim’ and light
burning and house swept clean through the word. Applying scripture to
your life daily, will protect you from harm. Study and learn to
rightly divide the word of truth has become my shield & sword of
protection. The process is daily and on going till our savior returns.

I hope this helps someone, out there and it is in no way meant to
insult or infer anything negative to any reader.

God bless you all !
Love in Christ,
Ave Cosgriff


2 thoughts on “To all the victims of cults…

  1. About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff were very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th Sep 1994, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages [England & Australia]. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17].
    Peace Be With You

  2. I am a former member of the same cult you were in,Ave,the COBU.Even now,I struggle to overcome the false and frightening teachings that they taught me so many years ago.I have been in a few different churches since COBU,first a Baptist church,then an Assembly of God,then a revival “signs and wonders”type church…I dont even know WHAT I believe now,beyond the basic Gospel of Christ and Him crucified. I have to daily battle fears that are triggered by anything that reminds me of the heretical teachings of Stewart Traill.There is a preacher on TV,here in Cleveland,who really frightens me.He teaches that we must work to keep our salvation..and achieve a 100% sinless state.This reminds me of the COBU and their “saved by grace,kept by works,Jesus will cut you off at any minute”doctrines.I have suffered for decades from spiritual insecurity,feelings of condemnation,fears about the “unpardonable sin”,fears of being cut off from God….I really think alot of it came from the cult involvement.I had no counseling when I left…in fact,my mother tried everything in her power to get me to go back to COBU!What really hurt,was that she called me a backslider,and said “God doesn’t make mistakes.Jesus sent us the COBU to tell us about it is obviously His will for us to be in it!” I felt so lost,after I left.Other churches felt so impersonal and detached to me.I no longer belonged with my old non-Christian friends,either.No one understood what I was going through,my own personal Hell.I kept everyone at arms length,formed no friendships.I missed the closeness of the cult,the sense of being part of a “family”I missed the people I had really loved and cared about in the COBU.I missed the excitement of going out witnessing,Big Meetings,hearing “Bible mysteries “revealed.I missed the guy that I had a huge crush on,in the COBU. At the Baptist church I felt isolated,alone,confused.It didn’t feel exciting,like the COBU had.The pastor,and 3 young women my age,tried to reach out to me.I pushed them all away,I didn’t trust them.They tried ,but I knew they could not begin to fathom what I had gone through.I felt like my soul had been put through a blender,shredded…I had no friends,till I met my future husband 3 years later.He won my trust by being so gentle,kind and sensitive.I was so withdrawn,but he was so patient with me,and I slowly emerged from behind the wall that I had put up around my heart for protection from further hurt and pain.I read that COBU is one of the top 5 cults,in terms of emotional damage inflicted.I believe it. Alease Brink Davis

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