Experiences in Seventh-day Adventism
What Happened To Us
There's nothing like telling a personal experience to drive home that a group is a destructive cult. So in this essay, I talk about our personal experience with Seventh-day Adventism.
Before our experience really started, I will tell you that I had very little knowledge of SDA. I knew it existed. I was so ignorant, I didn't even know who Ellen G. White was, only that she wrote The Great Controversy. I tried to read that book, but I was only able to get about halfway into it before I just plain had to quit. It was SO dark, it made me feel like Joe Btsflk, the guy in Lil Abner who always went around with a rain cloud over his head. It was just a spiritual oppression that was unreal! The reason was partly all of EGW's references to satan. She truly had a fixation on him. A Christian doesn't fixate on satan, because we know he has been defeated at the cross, and he can't do more than create a nuisance for us (and I have had such experiences). I was interested in the historical information in The Great Controversy, but I had no idea White had taken this from other writings! I would have found it more profitable to read the originals! The only other thing I knew was that there was a cult in town called The Sealing Ministry. I actually talked to a member for awhile, and it was blatantly obvious it was a cult. What I didn't know was that it was an outgrowth of SDA. I found this out later.
This essay is about our son, and about the experiences of various family members with Seventh-day Adventism. Before I start talking about the experiences, I need to tell you that our son is one of the most loving and generous, compassionate, and self-sacrificing people I have ever known. Even as a tiny baby he was. And Adventism totally destroyed this wonderful quality for awhile, and he still has bouts with being really nasty and ugly at times. So if you know anything about destructive cults, one of the first things to look out for is a drastic change in the personality, for the worse. That's what we saw! I only wish my church had warned us about this ugly cult, and that Christendom in general was aware. But this is one of the most insidious counterfeits I have ever found, and it fools a lot of people! Another thing to keep in mind if your family member gets involved in a group like this. Usually you can't talk to them about the problems, because they won't listen. The only reason it worked in our case is because he and I had been so close to begin with. So at least he was willing to listen to me, and pay attention, even if it took him awhile before he realized I was right. For more information about destructive cults, go here: Freedom of Mind. We found Steven Hassan's books very, very helpful. Even if you cannot discuss issues with your loved one, you can create cognitive dissonance. Just make sure that whatever you say is done in a spirit of total, unconditional love. If you have a good relationship, it's much, much easier, and if you don't, it could well be impossible!
One day several years ago, I walked into a restaurant. As luck would have it, our son was there with his girlfriend. I hadn't met her yet. I think she was wearing a cross, which is surprising, but that's my recollection. Anyway, because of this, I asked where she went to church. Our son told me she was a Seventh-day Adventist. My response to that was to tell him later that maybe it was a cult, and he needed to bring her out of it. Since I was so ignorant, I really didn't know. But I made it a point to learn everything I could, and the more I learned, the more appalled I got!
What I also didn't know was that by the time I found out about her and her religion, our son was already smitten, and was already starting to become involved in SDA. Also, his girlfriend was actually in the process of weaning herself from SDA, and he actually dragged her back into it! He was looking for something, and didn't have the discernment to know what he was looking for.
As I studied about SDA, I read EGW's writings, and I read her critics. And I passed that information on to our son. He would listen carefully, but he never said much. I learned that SDA concentrates on White as the "Spirit of Prophecy", which to my mind was a way of fudging so that she didn't have to meet the biblical standard of always being correct in all her prophecies. I learned about her health message; I read several of her health books. I was really appalled by those in particular, because I have made it a point to become very knowledgeable about diet and natural foods and supplements. I learned that Adventists believe that when she wrote that food should be well cooked, that she meant that it had to be cooked a lot, and I think that's a fair interpretation. What she didn't know, and what they either don't know or refuse to acknowlege, is that overcooked food has virtually no nutrition! I learned that her diet was deficient in about six vital nutrients, and that Adventists don't supplement to replace these with anything. Among those are Vitamin B-12 (which you CANNOT get from a vegetarian source in an absorbable form, not even from spirulina, something EGW didn't know about anyway). Vitamin B-12 is essential to the continued health of the brain, and a deficiency of it doesn't show up for a long time, but when it does, it is largely irreversible. Someone who was very much involved in SDA before she got out told me that dementia is a VERY common problem among Adventists. And in fact, our son's girlfriend's father, who ate strictly by EGW's recommendations, developed Alzheimer's. For more information, read here: You Can't Get All the Vitamin B12 You Need From Plant Sources. Also, there is no vegetarian source for Omega-3 fatty acids. These occur in certain deepwater fish only. Although some Adventists take flax seed oil to get Omega 3's, guess what! These have to be supplied from fish! So they're getting fish whether they acknowledge it or not. And another problem is that flax seed oil is rich in arachidonic acid. Arachidonic acid is an Omega-6 fatty acid. While arachidonic acid is a nutrient we need, an excess of it can cause serious problems, such as depression. For more information, see here: Arachidonic acid and depression. Also, there is no source of L-carnitine, an amino acid that occurs only in red meat. The constituents also only occur in red meat. L-carnitine is very important for weight normalization. Furthermore, Acetyl-L-carnitine is important to regenerate brain cells and reverse the effects of brain aging (William Campbell Douglass, II, MD). So already, you have a double whammy that will lead to dementia. And ever notice how elderly vegetarians are either very badly overweight or very badly underweight? Our son's girlfriend's dad is almost skin and bones. How he manages to work in the garden is a total mystery to me! And there are other deficiencies, but I'll get into that more in another essay.
Oh and by the way, there is more evidence that White was totally clueless in her health message. What did she tell her followers about eating pork? Not that it causes trichinosis. Oh no! She said it causes LEPROSY. Well, that's really strange, since leprosy was so common in Israel (mentioned several times in the Bible) and the Jews didn't eat pork! She couldn't even get her diseases right!
Let me say more about how deadly the Adventist diet is. In addition to the dad's health problems, other family members had problems. Our son's girlfriend's sister had suffered from anorexia (apparently also a common problem among Adventists) and it had reached a point of being life-threatening, so she gave up the diet, and now is overweight. Just by way of explanation, let me tell you that when a person is put on a starvation diet, the tendency is to store fat. It resets the metabolic level to a point that is very low, to conserve the little food a person gets. This means that a person who lives for awhile in a concentration camp, for instance, will have a serious problem with obesity once he gets back to a decent diet. It is very difficult to overcome this problem. I also know a woman who grew up in the Ukraine, and who was taken by the Nazis and put in one of their camps, and she also has a problem with obesity (fairly serious) and now with diabetes. In contrast, our son's girlfriend was very thin, so much so that she had menstrual disturbances. This highlights another problem with the vegetarian diet: insufficient cholesterol. Cholesterol in excess can cause problems, though Dr. Campbell says that it isn't the cause of atherosclerosis or heart problems, homocysteine is! Some cholesterol in the diet is absolutely essential! Cholesterol is the source from which the various bodily hormones are made, and if you don't get enough of it, your hormones will be all whacked up! That's the reason for menstrual disturbances. Our son's girlfriend also had anorexia, and several other problems.
I personally must eat meat for medical reasons. This is because I cannot digest soy, and all other sources of complete protein are either high in carbohydrates or fats or both, and I need to eat less of each. Furthermore, I have a heredity of being hypoglycemic, and the best treatment for this is a high protein diet. I cannot even afford to eat that much protein from a vegetable source such as nuts. I was a vegetarian for a short time when I had kidney failure. As a treatment for a disease, it can be effective (provided it's the right one). But long term, I couldn't begin to sustain such a diet.
Another thing I am mindful of is that after Noah's flood, God actually COMMANDED Noah to eat meat. And the command was in the Hebrew verb form qal, which means "It SHALL be done." It is the same verb form in the account in Genesis of the creation of the world when God said, "Let there be" and there was. In other words, you are GOING to eat meat. And if we disobey God's clear command, we will suffer! Prior to the flood, there were undoubtedly abundant sources of vegetable protein, highly nutritious sources. But with the loss of the subtropical climate around the world, this was no longer possible. Consider, anyway, how the Maasai and the Eskimos would survive if they couldn't eat meat! The case of the Eskimos is well known. Their land is frozen through much of the year, and they either eat meat or starve. The Maasai live in the African grasslands. The only vegetables available are grasses, and we human beings cannot eat grass! We can't digest it. But cattle can. So they keep cattle, and they live off the blood and milk of their cattle. So can an Eskimo or a Maasai be an Adventist or be saved? I guess not! For more information about what it does to agriculture to refuse to raise food animals, see this article: Vegetarianism is Not as Healthy as You Think It Might Be. One other thing I found out recently is that vegetarians don't live as long.
Once our son got involved enough so that he started trying to eat the EGW diet, he began to show some serious effects. He had been highly muscular and healthy, but we saw him turn into a scarecrow. All the muscle he had worked so hard to build was eaten away. When you experience a protein deficiency, your body eats your muscles to supply the necessary basic levels of protein, and that's what happened to him! What about the issue of protein? Here is another place where the EGW diet is woefully inadequate. She never taught food combining, and I doubt seriously if Adventists even know about it. But let's assume arguendo that they do. Here's the problem. Most people try to use soy along with grains to produce a complete protein. But soy is actually bad for you! Very bad. It can also have a very adverse effect on hormone balances, and it can cause cancer. And a lot of people can't digest soy. I'm one of them. The only way you can safely use soy in the diet is to prepare it as the Asians do: soy sauce and tofu. The only problem with soy sauce is that it is rich in monosodium glutimate (MSG), which is a deadly neurotoxin. In fact, it is an excitotoxin, and now the facts, about how deadly those are, are coming out. For more information on this, read the book Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by Russell Blaylock, MD. You can get a copy at Amazon.com. This book is vitally important. Read it! But I'm not done with the MSG problem yet. The Adventists have a canning company called Worthington Foods, a division of Kellogg. Also notice the name Loma Linda on their site, another well-known name among Adventists. For those of you who are unaware, the Kellogg company was founded by a man named Kellogg, who was an Adventist. I'm talking about the cereal company. In fact, he invented corn flakes, which are just about as devoid of nutrition as anything can get! And Worthington Foods makes fake meat. I used to eat it when I was younger because I liked the way it tastes. But guess what! One of the things it's loaded with is MSG! At the time, they mentioned it on the ingredients label, but now it is disguised as textured vegetable (soy) protein and hydrolized soy protein, both of which are RICH in MSG, but that keeps you from knowing what you are getting. And to make matters worse, according to Dr. Blaylock, hydrolized soy protein contains another substance that actually seems to potentiate MSG, making it MUCH more deadly! Now let me tell you a little more specifically about MSG. Something that is not commonly known is that MSG causes the destruction of the adrenal glands. I found this out the hard way; it destroyed mine. This means that, among other things, you have no stamina, and your adrenal glands no longer make an essential fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid (GLA). And GLA is essential for the functioning of female hormones, and I personally found that a deficiency leads to panic attacks! I learned that I can supplement with evening primrose oil or borage oil, and that if I am experiencing a panic attack, I can take a pearl of evening primrose oil, and within the length of time it takes the pearl to dissolve, the panic attack ends abruptly. I wonder how many women are suffering from depression and panic attacks because they eat Worthington Foods! If you have been poisoned by MSG, there is hope. I found out that if I accidentally get MSG, I can immediately detoxify by taking ten capsules of Detox by Solaray (and this product is not always easy to get, by the way). How can I tell? Well, I get diarrhea with MSG, and NOTHING ELSE will stop it, so when I get that, I know what the problem is and I can bring it to a screeching halt with Detox. But as far as I can tell, the adrenals will NOT heal quickly from the damage, if they do at all. I am also suffering from a skin problem that I think is related. So now we have a TRIPLE whammy from the Adventist diet: two causes of dementia, and one cause of depression and panic attacks. And even if a person doesn't eat Worthington Foods, just eating soybeans is enough, because they are rich in MSG! And so are onions, I am told, and I react the same way to them. Worthington Foods uses them, and so do a slew of other food MANUFACTURERS. Hey, folks! God made food the way He did for a reason! Eat it in the form He made it! For more information on MSG use by Worthington Foods, take a look at their information for FriChik. That was one food I really loved! And why do Adventists want fake meat in the first place? Is it because their bodies are crying out for MEAT, and they are trying to satisfy it with plastic meat? Ask yourself that question!
Well, I'm not done with the dietary problems yet. And I WILL write a much more extensive essay when I have time. Eventually, our son married his girlfriend (in the Adventist church, and I'll tell you more about that later). And after awhile, they went to live in an Adventist lifestyle center in Georgia. And while they were there, our daughter-in-law developed severe anorexia. It scared our son, so he went and found a refrigerator, and started keeping dairy products for her. And one day he got so out of control he put his fist through the sliding glass door (requiring stitches in his thumb) and threw the dairy products all over the room! That was shortly before he renounced SDA. And she became so depressed she became suicidal! Well, more about that experience a little later. But before I leave this topic entirely, I'll just tell you that a book you should read is the one by D.M. Canright. Canright was an Adventist who renounced it and wrote a book about it: Seventh Day Adventism Renounced. He said that the farmers who were keeping the Adventist diet were dropping dead! There simply wasn't enough nutrition for them to be able to do the hard physical labor required of a farmer. Did you ever ask yourself why the only exercise an Adventist gets is a walk at some ridiculous hour of the morning? Is it because they don't have the energy to do anything else? For more information on Canright, read here: The Case of D.M. Canright. One final problem with the diet. It is known that a protein-deficient diet is a major cult mind control technique. When a person is suffering from malnutrition, he can't think clearly, so he can't think about doctrinal and religious issues clearly, so it's easy to brainwash him. I don't think that Adventists deliberately do this. I think it's simply an outcome from following a woman who according to Ronald Numbers, had had a head injury as a child, and was prone to medical problems that caused her to have "visions". Oh, that reminds me. I agree with Adventists on one thing: the earth was created in six literal days. However, I really wish the creationists would try to show the Adventists the Gospel instead of just working with them uncritically. Sometimes I get a letter from an Adventist, and usually, before long that person gets very personally abusive. It happened again just a few weeks ago, and that's one reason I'm finally writing this story. Before we were finished emailing, he got REALLY ugly with me, telling me the devil was speaking out of my mouth, and so forth. How very much LIKE EGW he sounds! She used to denounce the members of her husband's congregation in the exact same ugly way. I have read some of these denunciations. The woman had such a MEAN spirt! I say, REALLY mean, nasty, ugly, defamatory, you name it! I wonder if this guy is suffering from dementia, too, or whether he is just wallowing in EGW so much he just sounds like her! I hope he will have his eyes opened, but I have turned him over to God. It's not my job to persuade him. I can't. Only God can do that. So if you, the gentle reader, think you can flummox me, please know that I know from PERSONAL EXPIERNCE AND STUDY, going STRAIGHT BACK to the writings of Ellen G. White herself, why this group is such an UGLY destructive cult! So don't try telling me I got my information second hand, and I'm just believing lies. I LIVED it. I KNOW how ugly EGW truly was, because I read many of her books. From cover to cover. And I saw what SDA did to people I love. For more information about EGW's "health message". read here: Beware This Cult.
Anyway, even though I told our son about the problems with Adventism, he decided to join the church anyway, and was rebaptized. He invited us to the baptism, but we refused to go. But we did go to their wedding. In the meantime, I had found out about some other problems. It seems that Ellen G. White had STOLEN much of the material in her writings. In other words, she was a plagiarist. And if that wasn't bad enough, she LIED about where it came from. She told people her material came directly from God. I got ahold of Walter Rea's book The White Lie and not only did I read it, but I got the books he documents in his huge appendix, through interlibrary loan, and I duplicated his research on 75% of the quotes in the appendix, and guess what! They're word for word, except I think I saw in two places that he inadvertently left out the word "the". In other words, what he said is 100% accurate! And I examined both originals and White's books. I also talked to Mr. Rea several times on the phone. And I learned that when this information came out, 100,000 people left SDA. Of the ones who remained, I have heard the most INCRIDIBLE rationalizations of this that you can possibly imagine! Maybe you are even familiar with some of them! So one of the things I told our son was that here was a woman who was preaching heavily about keeping the Ten Commandments when she personally made a lifestyle of systematically disobeying three of them: Thou shalt not covet (she coveted the writings of others), Thou shalt not steal, and Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor! You see, she coveted, and then she stole, and then she LIED about where the writings came from. Our son didn't have a lot to say about it. However, before I leave this topic, I'll mention one other thing. Our daughter-in-law's father systematically stole other people's computer software instead of buying copies of his own. So apparently the object lesson of EGW hasn't been lost on the likes of him! Please keep in mind that when God gives people talent, and the drive to write, and they devote their lives to writing books, it is God's intention that those books are to provide income for a person's family, and when someone else plagiarizes his writing, that person is STEALING income from that family! And did EGW do this innocently? SHE DID NOT! In fact, her husband wrote a STERN warning in one of the Adventist publications, warning Adventist not to steal HER writings!
Oh, let me tell you what else I saw. Our son was staying with his grandmother, and one day I went over there and saw some of the educational material he had gotten after he was baptized. And it was FULL of highly abusive messages about how important tithing was! Our son was a student and couldn't even earn enough money to support himself, and he was supposed to give the Adventist church a bunch of money? It left a very bad taste in HER mouth! His pastor, although he was a gentle soul, drove around in a Mercedes and wore an expensive watch, and was able to afford to send all six of his children to the Adventist academy, while almost none of his parishioners could afford to send their children. And I doubt seriously if he had any idea what he was doing! He was obviously living off their tithes, and that's fine, but when he can live like a king while they struggle and can't even provide an Adventist education for their children, there's something wrong!
After a few months of our son being involved in Adventism, something else really interesting happened. One night, I got an urgent call from our son's future bride. She wanted me to come over. Our son was sitting outside in the nasty weather and refusing to come in, and she was worried about him. So I dropped everything and went over there. He was indeed outside, wrapped in a blanket, and he was refusing to talk to anybody. I did manage to persuade him to come into the house. Once he was sitting down, he said, you two are saying two very different things about the Christian faith, so I need to know who is right. I want to find out which of you is a Christian. So I told him about salvation in Jesus Christ, that Jesus paid ALL the penalty for our sin on the cross, and that we can do NOTHING to save ourselves! We cannot save ourselves by keeping the Sabbath, or by any other means. I also told him at some point that Jesus is our Sabbath rest, and that the New Testament tells us not to judge people in their observance of days (or lack thereof), and that Jesus nailed all those ordinances to the tree! I told him that I am a Christian because Jesus saved me, and because I have accepted Him as my Saviour! All we have to do is repent, ask God for forgiveness for our sins, accept Jesus as our Saviour, and tell people about Him! In fact, the Bible tells us salvation is by grace, not works, lest any man should boast! For a clear explanation of the Gospel message in 140 languages, in the words of the book of Romans, and other verses, go here: Languages. Read the Gospel in the words of the Bible, in your language, for youself! Close the extra window when you are done. So then our son asked his fiancée to tell why she was a Christian, and she talked about how she gets up in the morning to pray and a whole bunch of other things she does. All WORKS! Not one word about Jesus' salvation! Is she saved? Not if that is what she believes! My heart grieves for her! So our son decided we were both Christians, and he was just as confused as ever!
Please remember: just before Jesus died, He said, "It is finished!" WHAT is finished? Our salvation! It is complete! There is absolutely NOTHING you can add to it. And if you try, you are calling God a liar! Does Jesus have to investigate the record books to see who is saved because of how many times they have observed the Sabbath? He does not! He is God. He KNOWS who is saved! The very doctrine of Investigative Judgment is blasphemous, because it tells you that Jesus doesn't know something, when JESUS IS GOD AND KNOWS EVERYTHING! You don't have the right to tell Jesus what He "doesn't know". Nobody does. So what is the doctrine of Investigative Judgment all about anyway? Well it's about the fact that William Miller predicted Jesus' return three times, and three times he was wrong, so the Adventists had to come up with an explanation. So what did they do? They claimed that Jesus wasn't supposed to return HERE. He was supposed to move from one apartment of heaven [sic] to the other so He could investigate! William Miller repented. Too bad nobody else did. The Bible says nobody knows the day and hour of Jesus' return, only the Father does. So setting dates is unbiblical, and Miller repented. I expect to see him in heaven, but not EGW.
Eventually, our kids did get married. Before the wedding, her family served a feast. Well, sort of. The food was sort of good, but not very tasty. In spite of the fact they are Chinese, and the meal should have been absolutely scrumptious, they did something that is a no-no in Chinese cooking: they overcooked EVERYTHING. Here I was, thinking at least we'd get a wonderful Chinese cook in the family, and all of a sudden, I realized that nothing could be further from the truth! I was SO disappointed! The Adventists have taken one of the healthiest and tastiest diets on the planet and turned it into mush! Oh, let me tell you something else. Cayenne pepper is one of the most universal and excellent herbs in the world, but White forbid spicy food, so they can't use it. Not even in spicy Chinese cooking!
One more thing: we have noticed that it is often especially difficult to teach a Chinese person the Christian faith. Why? Because they have no concept of forgiveness! They think that loss of honor (or face) is one of the most terrible things that can happen to a person. They will NOT forgive someone for this! But that's also why the Chinese are so vulnerable to Adventism, too. Because Adventism has no concept of forgiveness, either!
So the kids were married for awhile, but the trouble started soon thereafter. I'll tell you more about that as I go along. Eventually, our son decided to drop all of his plans to become a professional musician. Please understand that he is an exceptionally talented musician, and I think it was a gift from God that He intended our son to use for His glory, and to give pleasure and enlightenment to the world. Suddenly, our son dropped all of those plans. Please keep in mind that one of the characteristics of a cult is that people often experience drastic career changes (almost always for the worst). Our son now wanted to spread EGW's health message. He decided that they would go to Georgia and live in the Wildwood Lifestyle Center. One night, they came over and told us they were going to do this. Our daughter-in-law did NOT want to go, but he forced her to go because he wanted to go. After we talked for awhile, and they got ready to leave, he said, I guess you are going to forbid me to go, and I said, No, on the contrary, I think you should go because God is going to show you something. And just before they drove off, I told him that the biggest single abortionist in the world, Edward Allred of California, had donated a million dollars to Loma Linda University, and although Adventists had protested, the denomination didn't do a thing about it. Loma Linda accepted BLOOD MONEY, I told him. I said that abortion is murder, and by supporting the Adventist church, he was an accessory to mass murder! He had tears in his eyes as he left. I finally reached him! You see, he is adopted, and he KNOWS his life was spared! He has always been strongly pro-life. But obviously, that didn't stop him, not yet. They went. My husband and I decided he would last between three and six months. And he was there for three and a half months. While he was there, I was scared to talk to him at all because I didn't know what would happen. But for Christmas, I sent him the Poem of Ecstasy by Scriabin. I did that on purpose, because I knew that Scriabin was involved in the occult. And sure enough, our son called and wanted to know why I had sent THAT to him, and I explained that although Scriabin was involved in the occult, the music still belonged to God, and it was beautiful music. This was just a little way I wanted to capture our son's attention. But there were things going on there that I didn't learn about until later. For one thing, our son saw that they don't observe the Adventist diet very well. And he would complain that they weren't following EGW, and they needed to follow her! Needless to say, that didn't go over very well. He actually went into a rage twice. But his in-laws were living RIGHT NEXT DOOR (his father-in-law was a retired Adventist pastor, so that gives you an idea of how deeply involved they were), and they stood up for him. But that didn't stop them from coming over and saying ugly things about him to his wife in Chinese, which she felt obligated to tell him after they left. And like I said, the second time he went into a rage, he put his fist through the sliding glass door. After he had calmed down, he realized that it could have been his WIFE he had thrown around. He could have hurt her! About this time, I got a phone call from him. We talked a long time, and I don't remember most of what we talked about, but I did talk a little about one doctrinal issue and then said that Adventism creates confusion on this point, and he agreed, that Adventism causes confusion. He also asked, If I need to come home, would you pay my way? And I said, if we could afford it, we certainly would. And he said, And my wife, too? And I said, of course. Well, after that we hung up, and about a week later he called again, and he said, I am coming home. Please pick me up at the bus station. So I did. And we put together some furniture in a bedroom to give him a place to stay, and prepared a huge feast for him, with meat, and the whole family came. When I picked him up, we went out and walked in the desert, and he talked nonstop about how bad it had been in the lifestyle center. That's when I learned a lot of the details I told you above. He also told me that at one point a member of the Branch Davidians came to the lifestyle center, and everyone was leery of him, and he of everyone else. But you know, having studied the Branch Davidians, I can honestly say that there is nothing about their theology and lifestyle that is not a logical outgrowth of Adventism! And the only differences I saw between Wildwood and the cult compound in Waco were: in Wildwood, they had no guns, and they didn't have a charismatic leader. In every other respect, the similarity was uncanny, and I mean the two were totally similar!
And as our son and I were walking, we came across a larkspur. I pointed it out to our son and I told him, The larkspur is a gorgeous flower, but it's deadly poisonous. Sometimes there are religious just like that! That evening we had the feast, and our son gorged himself, especially on the meat! And from that moment on, he was never a vegetarian again! And eventually he did regain his health. Thank God there was no permanent damage! Well, at least that we KNOW about, though there are some things he still has problems with that worry me. After everyone left, we were sitting around talking, and he called his wife, and she told him, I am having a hard time loving you while you are not here. So he said he was really worried about her, and that's when he told us she was suicidal. So then we asked him if he wanted to go get her, so he said, Yes, so the next day we bought him a plane ticket and he flew back. And he walked right into the lifestyle center and got her out! They went to stay with my sister. And while they were there, about a week, her parents called constantly and badgered her. It was awful! So after a week, she wanted to go back and tell her folks good-bye, so they arranged to meet with them. They met halfway in between my sister's and the lifestyle center. Our son made some rules: no talking in Chinese, and I stay with her at all times. They went back to Wildwood, and she spent a little time with her family, and then they both left again, but before they did, her father gave them his car!
After they left, they stayed with my mother for awhile, too. And then they came back here. They were here a few months, putting their lives back together, and then they decided to take off for Colorado. To do a little flashback here, our son at one time had the opportunity to go to Connecticut to study music, but she refused to let him. So he had missed an opportunity he has never made back up. But they went to Colorado because he hoped to be able to study music there. But once they got there, he got derailed again. This time it was her family who talked him into getting involved with a business cult: Equinox. Information on this group is readily available through a Google search. If you are curious, go give some of that material a read. Equinox has since been put out of business by the government for fraud. Our son borrowed $5000 from his in-laws to buy inventory. And he never got a real job. So they were living off who knows what, and he couldn't make any sales. Hardly surprising. At one point, our daughter-in-law called us and told us he had left the house, saying he was suicidal. She was scared to death! While I was talking to her, he came back, and I talked to him. I tried to tell him to stay away from Equinox, but he wouldn't listen! He was incredibly ugly to me and my husband! So nothing was accomplished. Not long after, he had to sell his beautiful car (they kept her dad's) just to buy food. So essentially he lost his shirt. And he had all this inventory he didn't know what to do with. I think he gave most of it away. After that, they came back here, and AGAIN tried to put their lives back together.
While all of this was going on, we went to talk to their Adventist pastor, and we asked him a lot of questions. He is a very gentle man, and was very kind to us. But he couldn't answer our questions. Shortly after that, I sent him a long letter asking more questions, but I never heard from him. Mysteriously, although he had been at that church for years, he was moved out of town by SDA. Did they think we were going to bring him out of Adventism? I wonder. And I also wonder for another reason: our kids decided to join an evangelical congregation, so I went to talk to that pastor several times. And suddenly HE was also pulled from town! While I was talking to him, he told me he was worried about his mother-in-law because she had such extreme views. And he had a teenage son who seemed to be pretty messed up. One time he was crawling around on the floor making noise like an animal. A teenager! Was he mentally retarded, or was that dementia? I have no idea. And if he WAS mentally retarded, was it malnutrition in the womb? Again, I have no idea. EGW says, "Flesh food has the tendency to animalize the nature." Hey, maybe he was sneaking meat on the sly!
After our son renounced Adventism, her family started to work on tearing the marriage apart. Our kids went to visit them over Thanksgiving, and while they were gone, something happened. I haven't found out what yet. But I was told that her family felt it would be better for their daughter if she were a divorced woman than that she should remain married to someone who had renounced Adventism. Not long after that, our son left his wife, moved out of their home. He couldn't take it anymore. He later told me that she couldn't practice the piano unless she was angry. She was an excellent pianist, could play piano concertos and performed with orchestras and the like. He hated the negativity of that. And I guess the last straw was when she asked him, Do you think you could ever get back into the Adventist church? So he left. And not long after, her mother came to visit her. I knew what she was up to, so one day I went over there. Her mother was there by herself. So I asked her mother, Did Jesus have a sin nature? If you are not already aware, you need to know that EGW contradicted herself on this point. In some writings, she said He did, and in other writings, she said He didn't. So I asked her mother, if Jesus had a sin nature, and she said, Yes, and I told her that Jesus is the spotless Lamb of God, without sin, and that this is the only way He could save us. And I said saying that He had a sin nature is blasphemy. At that point, she drew her fingers across her lips like she was zipping a zipper, and said, I am not going to discuss this anymore; I'm going to the bathroom. And she left the room. When she came back, I said, I want you to leave and let these two young people work out their own differences. It's up to them. Stay out of it. So she said, I am going to call my daughter and have her order you to leave. And she tried to call, but she couldn't get ahold of her daughter. So I stayed a little while longer, and then I said, "I am leaving, I have other things to do," and I left.
A couple of days later, she did leave. But after that, she started working on her daughter another way. She told her, that our son would never be able to provide for her like she could. Our son was ten years younger than his wife, and he was still in school, so it was true his wife was bringing in most of the money. So her mother continued, if you will get a divorce, I will buy you a house. And that's exactly what she did, and our son filed for divorce, and they were divorced. And do you know what? In spite of the ugliness, the violation of the marriage covenant she induced her kids to engage in, and the blasphemy, this woman had the audacity to tell me she no longer sins!
Since that experience, our son has been UNABLE to read the Bible at all. I am told this is a common problem with ex-Adventists. It's like every time they try to read it, the teachings of SDA crowd into their heads, all the things White said, and so forth. I like to compare it to an experiment with dogs. Dogs obviously need to drink water. So in the experiment, every time the dog would approach the water to take a drink, the experimenter would shock him with a cattle prod. After awhile, the dog will actually lie down and die rather than take a drink of water! And that is, SPIRITUALLY, what Adventism does to people with the Bible. The Water of Life is there in its pages, but they cannot take a drink! So our son cannot read the Bible, and he has gone off in a strange direction and no longer embraces Christianity. This cuts to my very soul, because right after he got out of Adventism, his head was so clear for a short time. He understood clearly about Christianity and the Gospel, just like Luther did.
Since all of that happened, our son has gotten involved in more business cults. Each and every time, he has had to give it up because it doesn't work! I was never aware of these until afterward. The last time, I got a package in the mail from someone I never heard of, and it contained all kinds of literature about Herbalife. And it contained a letter saying that our son was responsible for the package being sent. Here these materials were trying to recruit me. He knew better! But he told us that his sponsor said he should give me a chance, so that was what he was doing. A few days later, he wanted to take me out to lunch. And all he could talk about was Herbalife. And he asked me to find out something about it and get back to him. So I said I would, and at that point, we left. When I asked for the usual hug, he said, "I'm working on it," and walked out. So the next day, I emailed him a bunch of links which explained why Herbalife was so bad, and at that point, he called me on the phone and ripped me up one side and down the other, I mean he was REALLY ugly! And then he ripped his dad up and down. And then he refused to have anything to do with us for a year! If anybody tries to tell you that multi-level marketing is a place where you can make a good living, don't listen! The business model is fundamentally flawed. The ONLY way you can make money is to cheat your downline, bigtime! They won't even make minimum wage. In fact, in some of the most "reputable" companies, people make on average, $1.50 an hour! Do I think that Adventism has something to do with how vulnerable our son is to religious and business cults? Absolutely! Do I think Adventism has anything to do with his inability to enjoy a relationship with Jesus? Adventism has EVERYTHING to do with it. And according to the videotapes Keepers of the Flame, which I watched, Adventists claim to respect Martin Luther. Yeah, right! Like they twist what he said about the Bible's teachings totally backwards, and then claim they still respect him! Are they part of the heritage of the Reformation? THEY ARE NOT!
As of this writing, we are back on good terms, and he seems to have put his life back together, after having suffered from mental illness (shades of his Adventist diet? Who knows?) It's wonderful having our son back, but he is still really messed up about religion, and I am heartsick with worry for him!
The bottom line is that Adventism is a destructive cult, deadly poisonous to your relationship with God, and your salvation! I urge you: leave it alone! Don't go through what our son did. Please! I pray that God will keep you from this. Amen.