Tag Archives: Campus Cults

Navigators: They scope out people to recruit and groom you to ask for money

“Notice about halfway through the video where the man in the uniform refers to his “recruitment” into the Navigators. That’s how they operated. They would literally go scope out people in public and recruit more and more… eventually asking for money once you became more involved. It was a definite grooming process.

Those two couples are considered the highest-ranked in the group, essentially. The man in normal clothing is the leader of the group who claims to live a moderate life, but we never really knew where our money went. We just “obeyed” God in our tithing and went about our lives.

By the way, I’d never met anyone as delusional as the man sharing his “testimony”. I still get angry thinking about all the arguments he would start and trump people because he was a higher-ranked disciple. It’s sick.”

Excerpt from: https://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/8d1y4f/any_previous_navigators_out_there/dxkzut0/

Navigators: Pervasive Negativity and Pyramid Scheme Concerns

… Even as a fundamentalist Christian, I thought they were pretty creepy and I had stopped going to meetings before they left. It was not any one specific thing that bothered me; they just had a pervasive negativity, even by Calvinist standards.

The tithe was given fully to the leader over all the groups.

This is interesting. I know for a fact that some other para-church groups were pyramid schemes, because they tried to recruit me as staff. Each staff member had to raise their own salary, plus a hefty extra amount, which was taken off the top for “headquarters expenses”. Actually, though, a big chunk of the “headquarters expense” went to their boss, and another big chunk went to the bosses’ boss, etc. By the time you were 2-3 levels up, you were personally getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars every year (in 1970’s dollars).

I never found out very much about how Navs was funded or paid their staffs. …”

Excerpt from: https://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/8d1y4f/any_previous_navigators_out_there/

Navigators: Facade, Ranking Systems, Oppression of Women, Taking Advantage of Military Couples

The Navigators operates out of the facade of being extremely welcoming and inviting. 

 A few things this group did were:

Ranking systems (disciples/discipleship)

Oppression of women. We were not to speak up, teach, or challenge our husbands decisions. Our modesty was a fundamental aspect of our acceptance in the group… Most of the wives stayed home and if a few did work or were single they were essentially treated as outsiders. I remember one time a particular young lady began to question the group on their theology – and my husband at the time was encouraged to have me, his wife, never talk to her again because she was a bad example to me. Because of her questioning, she was suddenly considered an enemy.

-Generous tithing was expected and pushed heavily. The tithe was given [edited] to the leader over all the groups, from what I believe. We were never given an exact answer as to where our money was going. We had about 5-10 sects, if you will. They were spread out by location, although most of us lived in the same neighborhood. So you could imagine, a lot of money was being poured in. I remember the first time the leader sat my husband down and drew a childish illustration showing “why” he should give money. Of course, he agreed and gave a monthly set amount that came out of our bank account automatically.

-Legalism was HUGE but they would preach grace. There were unspoken rules, and even spoken ones. They were experts at guilt trips. We were expected to memorize scripture every week and were quizzed then shamed if you did not remember. To these people, knowledge was everything to combat the outside world and gain recruit$.

-You were discouraged from visiting local churches. The Navigators believed themselves to be the real image of how a church should be. The only church you could attend on Sunday was the chapel that supported them.

The hierarchy was the biggest way in which they took advantage of young military men and their wives, and I believe now looking back the motivator was money and power.”

Excerpts from: https://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/8d1y4f/any_previous_navigators_out_there/

Navigators: Costly Programs, Social Hierarchy, Dating Restrictions

A first-hand experience account of Navigators:

Navigators: Stay or be screwed.

“Bible study was of the utmost importance. Incoming freshmen joined a Bible Study that they were expected to stay with until the end of their college career. If you transferred colleges your sophomore year and didn’t know anyone in the group, you were screwed.”

Navigators: Never Daters

“Not dating was stressed. The alternative was something akin to “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” in which God will drop your spouse into your lap if you’re only patient enough, and pray really hard. “Navigators, never daters; when they date, they date Crusaders,” was a common mantra on campus.”

-Every summer, Navs hosted STPs (Summer Training Programs.) Students go all over the country, and usually work in a venue already set up by Navigators. Depending on where you went, it could be anywhere from YMCA of the Rockies to the local McDonald’s. During this time, students are mentored/discipled by their leaders, and expected to “be a light” to their co-workers. Generally speaking, it costs almost as much to go on most of these programs as you would make at the job. Students are encouraged to “fundraise” by sending out support letters to everyone you know. If no one sends you money, then God doesn’t want you to go, but you still need to pay your deposit.

-Hierarchy. The only people who could have an audience, that lasted longer than 10 minutes, with the leaders were the students who were heavily involved: ran Bible studies, lead worship, organized social activities, etc. Below them were their friends. Below them were the peons who ran the sound system, greeted at the door, and did other trivial tasks. Below them were the students in an established Bible study. Below them were the newcomers, occasional drop-ins, and transfer students (see first.)

I suppose it could look a little intense and in-grown (one of my friends called the Christian organizations on campus “incestuous” which seems apt,) but I don’t think it was anything like the excessively controlling, don’t-hang-out-with-your-friends-outside-of-Navs-and-Satan-lives-in-your-Cheerios, emotional breakdown that is a true cult. The hierarchy, distant leaders, and lack of interest in new students who weren’t freshmen annoyed me more than anything else.

Navigators: “Brainwashing Cult”, “the same kind of round [about] answers”

I live very close to Glen Eyrie which is on beautiful lands with a breath taking castle. I would so love to just walk around the grounds and see the entire house but you have to stay ob the guided tour if you are not a Navigator. I don’t know much about them even though they are right here but they always give me the heebie jeebies when they talk to me. I feel like they are some kind of brainwashing cult but I can’t find anything to back up gut feelings….

Source: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/freejinger/are-the-navigators-a-cult-t2153.html

They seem very secret here and never gave me round about answers to questions years ago, but they left me feeling like they had something to hide. I have friends also in Navigators but I get the same kind of round around answers and never got full answer. I just wondered why they act this way?

Source: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/freejinger/are-the-navigators-a-cult-t2153.html

Who are the 7 Thunders?

“7 Thunders is the name used by some campus clubs connected to the World Mission Society Church of God, a religious movement that began in South Korea in the 1960s.”

“7 Thunders have several tenets that separate them from other Christianity-based campus organizations. These include the belief that a man named Ahn Sahng-hong was the second coming of Christ. Sahng-hong was a Korean minister who founded Witnesses of Jesus Church of God, a group that split after his death. One half became the World Mission Society Church of God, the church associated with 7 Thunders.”

“Anderson said students should research to determine if a group has beliefs that align with their own. In regards to 7 Thunder’s beliefs, Anderson said that while he respected the organization’s right to a differing opinion, many of their beliefs do not align with traditional Christianity.

“Christianity would disagree; the Bible does not teach that there’s ‘God the mother,’ it does not teach that you are saved by taking covenant Passover. It would disagree that Christ Ahn Sahng-hong is the new savior,” Anderson said. “What has Christianity taught about the same sorts of issues? Just be able to hold those two things up and be able to evaluate, ‘What do I think is actually true? What does the Bible actually teach?’”

According to Anderson, while 7 Thunders might use actual bible verses, the source material could be misinterpreted.

“What I’ve witnessed is, oftentimes, the 7 Thunders Club will take a particular verse and they won’t exactly show how it fits into the whole passage,” Anderson said. “I would just say, read the Bible for yourself and read everything in its full context.” 

Source: https://www.thegriffonnews.com/featured/who-is-the-campus-cult/article_570b2e51-0c6c-580d-9590-e4bc196b65c5.html