Lately I have been reading the blog Bell Out of Order. If you enjoy reading about cults, it is a must read. The author recently posted a partial transcript of the 1996 retreat that was the first big meeting that Jack conducted after he came out of hiding.
I read the transcript and it reminded me just how easily Jack would slip in lies and spin yarns without anyone challenging him.
Jack stated that, “In Salt Lake City, records are kept by the Mormons for their own purposes – to prove descendancy from Israelites.” If you have ever studied the beliefs of the LDS Church, you know that what Jack casually attempted to pass off as fact was a complete fabrication.
Here is an excellent explanation from PBS as to why the LDS Church is so interested in genealogy:
“One of the core tenets of Mormon faith is that the dead can be baptized into the faith after their passing. Baptism of the dead evolved from the beliefs that baptism is necessary for salvation and that the family unit can continue to exist together beyond mortal life if all members are baptized.
Mormons trace their family trees to find the names of ancestors who died without learning about the restored Mormon Gospel so that these relatives from past generations can be baptized by proxy in the temple. For Latter-day Saints, genealogy is a way to save more souls and strengthen the eternal family unit.”
Before I left the cult, I would hear Jack’s teachings quoted or the teachings of other high-ranking cult members and notice that much of what they said was completely contrary to readily available facts. It bothered me at the time, but I would rationalize their moronic statements in ways that only cult members or other brainwashed groups can do. It wasn’t until I found out about the abuses that Jack and other members had been involved in that had been hidden from us that I was able to see that all of these statements were created to hold us in a prison of belief.
Hello Rabbi, I have written you in the past. I admire your writting. I was in Jack Hickmans Cult, along with a thousand other wonderful faith seeking intelligent people. This is how I came to study the Torah and finally after leaving I converted but today I am still haunted by much of the teachings of all religions and lean toward Buddist thought and Yoga. Your thoughts and comments please? I was in the group for about 10 years from the beginning when it was a Lutheran Church all the way to Shiresh Yushai and the inner circle carrying rifles and Jack passed his Seed!
I am very happy to know that you were able to make it out of Shoresh. Sadly there still people trapped in this insidious cult that are not aware of what occurred in the past.
I think your interest in Buddhist thought and Yoga is fine, just make sure not to follow gurus.
I’m writing a book about it called you gotta be kidding me jack. my story of the cult. if anyone wants to talk or explain themselves before it’s done contact me soon. firstname.lastname@example.org
I was a follower of Hickman for over 8 years. Thank you for sharing and all of your hard work and dedication to everyone. I left with my then husband and my one year old baby just days after the intelligent people found out about Hickmans passing of the seed had become revealed, after two meetings took place in his Islip residence we were part of a huge Exodus.