JEFF ALGE’S STORY
Here is a little more of my story . Use it on your site if you like.
I became convinced that C.O.B.U. was a cult in 96. In fact the then members themselves had been calling it a cult as did Stewart (very shrewd) .
Before then I believed it was the only place I could be truly faithful . I had lived in “Fellowship ” from 76 to about 84 and had been on my own without any contact with C.O.B.U. for 12 years .
During those 12 years I worked with my two brothers as a recording engineer in New York and LA making records in the music business. I worked with a lot of big stars and made Grammy Awarded and Platinum Records .
I always thought one day I would return to C.O.B.U and the Church would be flourishing and members would welcome me back. I had an idealized idea of how things would be if I returned . I finally got enough courage to call. No one seemed to care .
I sent faxes everyday for a month or so begging a brother to call me or write or anything. I was expecting them to be happy to hear from me and to reach out . Finally Stewart got a hold of a fax I had written and told Kevin Brown to call me . I went to NY from LA to visit my family .
While I was there I spent a couple weeks working with Kevin Brown at Olde Good Things while it was in its infancy. I had hoped that ” maybe I could help rebuild the Church and get it back on track.
Kevin had me set up a website for Olde Good Things and Stewart seemed interested in having me work with him in a Nagra rental business because after I left I became a very well known recording engineer in NY and LA ( Nagras are a special tape recorded used in film production that Stewart collects). After a couple of weeks I was asked to attend a meeting with Stewart and a group of brothers at the first ” Christian Fellowship Meeting” about rebuilding the Church and escaping the cult.
After I spoke to Stewart on the phone about some things that went on between myself and Kevin Brown . Kevin had said he didnt trust me . I told him ” what was there not to trust “?. I came on my own ticket and worked for nothing . I used my own money to pay for my needs and drove a truck for the business for about 2 weeks . I also did a ton of manual labor ( about 16 hours a day for 2 weeks ) . All the usual C.O.B.U. stuff. It was a gift to him and the rest .
I viewed Kevin as being ungrateful and manipulative . He never acted kindly toward me . The rest of the members were like zombies. Painfully unkind to one another . After that I returned home to LA. I had had enough .
I received what seemed like a hundred phone calls from the brothers who had been chosen to be in “The Christian Fellowship” badgering me to move in or return to Jesus once I got home. I just stopped answering them. I had been talking to my family the whole time.
My mom is a believer and she knew I needed to go through this . I just couldnt handle the unkindness and unrealness anymore. I did suffer a lot of guilt about not “Helping rebuild the Church” as Stewart had put it .
I began drinking and using drugs and fell into a deep depression which lasted a couple of years during which I gave up my career and moved to Jackson Hole Wyoming to live with my sister. I began to be a hopeless alchoholic and one morning decided I didnt want to continue living. I got a phone call from my sister and told her I was going to kill myself. She introduced me to a friend who got me into A.A.
I have been clean and sober for seven and a half years now . During that time I have studied Stewart and C.O.B.U. looking for answers to what happen to me. I found out about Stewart and his half wife relationships . I found I.R.S. statements that contradicted what I know to be fact .
I found a very troubling court document about an auto accident Gayle had in the islands and some insurance scam . I found a lot of solicitations for donations of aircraft mechanics time and services. I found the stories of Jim Enright who I lived with for a while , and much of the other info available on the web.
It all has lead me to believe what I already knew but didn’t want to except. The group is a naively deluded bunch of followers of a sick and deluded man .
Living in the Jackson Hole area I have a unique insight into this type of group. I live in an area that until recently was almost entirely Mormon.
While investigating C.O.B.U. I found a lot out about this group . Many of my neighbors are members. It is the largest cult in america . It is scary how they naively follow the “prophet Joseph Smith ” without even a shred of evidence to support his claims of having been delivered another testament to Jesus . I understand though. They believe they are the only true Church with a restored gospel . It all is strangely familiiar to me .
All of this said , I have found it very helpful to speak openly about my experience with C. O.B.U. If you think it would be helpful please use this e-mail on your website or forward it to others who you think might find it usefull.
You can also use and distribute my e-mail address .
I only hope you and I can get past all our anger at what has happened to us as a result of C.O.B.U. and invest our God given talents wisely and fruitfully. As for Stewart , He is going to get exactly what he deserves very soon
I do not think much can be done for current members until each member gets sick and tired of being sick and tired and used by Stewart . But once they leave having some resources available like a site with the stories of ex members is very valuable .
My hope for all ex and current COBUs is that we can find true peace and be free of the oppressive and unnecessary guilt and shame .
I believe Jesus is quoted as having said something like ” I did not come to condemn the world , but to save it ”
Love to all , Jeff Alge