Thursday, July 16, 2009

Are They Really Listening?

"This is what the Civil Rights Movement was all about... I WAS IN IT, I WALKED IN IT, I WAS THERE IN THE SOUTH, I KNEW THE LEADERS..." (Mark Duke, House of God cult founder and Freedom Foundation president, 2004 Parker, Colorado)

These words from Mark Duke seem pretty impressive, and in the context of the sermon in which he preached them, makes him sound like an authority on what God has for us if we just rise up and take it.

One big problem though. Mark Duke, born in 1957, would have been 6 to 8-years old during the activities of the Civil Rights Movement about which he is speaking.

With regard to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s, one would hardly think that someone, who was in mid-adolescence, was "in it" and "knew the leaders" as Duke claims about himself. And for someone [Duke] who speaks with such great disdain about African-Americans from behind pulpit of his separatist and exclusivist cult, to seemingly claim this honor, is reprehensible and offensive.

Later in the same sermon Duke speaks about his going to the marches in Alabama and Mississippi and how it broke his heart because they just didn't know better. He then proceeds to talk about Fannie Lou Hamer (actually he called her Fannie Lou Harris and had to ask Gwen Brown, who was in the audience the correct name). Those schooled in the Civil Rights Movement will recognize Ms. Hamer as a pioneer and leader in the Civil Rights Movement, and particularly her work in organizing Freedom Democrats to challenge the Mississippi delegates at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. One wonders if Ms. Hamer was one of the leaders that Duke claimed “to know.”

The people who this writer has communicated with who knew Mark Duke through his teenage and young adult years don’t recall him being engrossed in the Civil Rights Movement. Mark Duke claims to know the leaders, but what one should ask is: did the leaders know him? Anyone who lived in the South during that time knew who the leaders were. What Duke is implying is that he had a relationship with them. This is doubtful; in fact it wasn’t until his life intersected with Bob and Edna Stewart (false teachers and prophets who influenced Mark Duke and other House of God cult leaders) that he seemed to develop a passion for using the verbiage of the Movement in a bizarre effort to recreate the United States Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's from a spiritual perspective.

Are followers of Mark Duke not paying attention to the lies he tells; still believing him to be a true prophet of God? I think so. Many are not listening with a critical ear because they have been told and trained not to.

One of the distinctive things that Mark Duke and his House of God cult (as well as many false and abusive spiritual movements) preach is that one needs to forget about the natural mind, to “get their mind out of it.” At the beginning of the sermon from which the audio clip that accompanies this post was taken, another one of the cult’s leaders, Jason Makaroff, is essentially telling the cult that they shouldn’t trust their own thoughts and minds. Duke carries the theme throughout the sermon.

God has created us with incredible abilities. The human mind is like nothing else in His creation, and He wants us to use it to think critically. When we give up critical thinking, we open ourselves to deception, and that is exactly what a deceiver wants.

If Mark Duke would fabricate his relationships with the leaders of the of the Civil Rights Movement it seems reasonable for one to assume that he would fabricate many other things to further his control of his followers. And he has!

Wake up and question all things!

Click the play button above to hear Mark Duke speak!

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Thanks again, Allan McConnell