Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Recommended Reading - "The Gathering Place" by Becca Anderson

I highly recommend Becca Anderson's The Gathering Place, especially for those involved with Mark Duke, and in particular those who are members of The House of God cult and its ancillary organizations (Parker Community Church, Selma Community Church, The Freedom Foundation).

A review copy of this book was sent to me a couple of years ago and it sat on one of my library shelves without much notice until recently. I was rearranging some books and came across it and took a brief look at the back cover and moved it to my “need to read” shelf - I’m glad I did; this book was a page-turner for me.

Having researched Mark Duke’s teaching and preaching and his extreme cultic practices for more than a year and seeing the subtle manipulation of people and the destruction of families that he has left in his wake, it was interesting to see how eerily similar The Gathering Place was to reality.

Of course, The Gathering Place is a novel, but there is much similarity to Mark Duke’s and the House of God’s (and many other false spiritual groups) methodology.

For those who are familiar with Duke’s teachings; here is a very telling excerpt from the book. The speaker is a person that realizes that she has made some mistakes in getting involved with a cult:

“…The mistake of putting more stock in the words of people than in the Word of GodThe error of giving up the mind God gave me in exchange for security, uniformity, and not having to think – and most of all the mistake of drawing others into the same errorsI thought I’d get closer to God when in reality I only became more acceptable to a select group of people. For that I sold my integrity.”

These are very similar to the words and feelings that have been shared with me by those who have left the House of God cult.

I want everyone to read this book, and here’s why:

For those who have not fallen prey to Mark Duke and his cult leadership (or other false and abusive spiritual groups); I want you to see the subtle enticement and how easily someone could become involved with a cultic leader or group. We need to be ever vigilant to protect ourselves, our families and the Church.

For those who have run from Mark Duke and his cult leadership, I pray that you will remember how it felt to be duped and to get a renewed passion to help others escape too.

For those with family members still involved with Mark Duke and his cult leadership, I want you to remember what you have lost and renew the battle for your loved ones, even though it hurts. Please let me know how I can help you.

And most importantly, I pray that those who are involved with Mark Duke and his cult leadership in any way would read this book and understand that it is never okay to give up the mind God gave you in exchange for security, uniformity, and not having to think. There are those who love you in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ and are willing to help – I am one of those and I am available to help you in any way.

Special thanks to Becca Anderson for allowing God to use her writing talents to tell this story. For those interested, Ms. Anderson offers an autographed copy of her book on her website:

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1 comment:

  1. I read this book from cover to cover in a couple of days, it was hard to digest and brought up a lot of feelings and emotions and memories that i was unprepared for, but I finished and life goes on.

    It helped me to process a lot of undone things and understand a bit more clearly even if it was fictional, it was more truth to my world than fiction.


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Thanks again, Allan McConnell