Tag Archives: Campus Cults

Internal Cru Staff Writes: Cru has turned Jesus into a “caricature”

Excerpt from: https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2021/june/cru-divided-over-emphasis-on-race.html

“Titled “Seeking Clarity and Unity,” the document was submitted to Cru president Steve Sellers in November 2020 and spread inside the organization before appearing online in May. Its authors, a grassroots group of Cru staff members, raise concerns that a “victim-oppressor worldview” has become embedded throughout the organization, dividing staff and detracting from the true gospel.

The anti-CRT document says that “at least 1,000 staff” share the group’s concerns and features dozens of staff and donor testimonials, though a majority of them are anonymous. Only 11 contributors are cited by name, and there is no full list of signatories.

Various anonymous testimonials called the organization’s cultural competency training “political” and alleged “anti-white American rhetoric.” One anonymous staff (referenced as Minority Staff #30) said the trend within Cru and the church at large represents “a brand new religion of systemic racism, white privilege, and systems of power” that “labels all of Christian theology a racist oppressive ideology of whiteness.”

Throughout the document, contributors characterize the approach to race they see from leaders as a “false gospel,” “unbiblical,” and a threat to evangelism.”

Gracepoint – “controls EVERY aspect of life… prey on vulnerable and lonely freshmen”

Reddit post from user Successful-Skill-246 regarding his personal experience with Gracepoint at UC Berkeley

“When I attended UC Berkeley I was a part of a Church called Gracepoint ( largely Southern Baptist Roots). They prey on vulnerable and lonely freshmen. They will distribute with attractive flyers for free food. Missionaries will eat at dining halls to recruit people. At first, the groups seemed benign. However, little by little, you realize your only friends are from only that church. You begin to get cut off from the world and become indoctrinated. I noticed it started getting weird when they would monitor your internet through a website called covenant eyes.

They don’t allow you to date during your undergrad .They only court each other once you in your late 20s to mid thirties. When I attended a wedding the couple didn’t even kiss. Sexuality is majorly repressed. Men and women are segregated, you can’t even tell who is a couple. You also couldn’t question the Bible. They seemed to lack theological discourse. If your family was not Christian they ardently proselytize or cut you off.

I am glad I left. Some people may not consider this a cult. However, I grew up Catholic and felt like the Gracepoint Church controls EVERY aspect of life. I began to feel guilty about every little thing. About my secular”music or “internet addiction.” I was damned if I didn’t accepts Jesus as my lord and savior. What was more creep was that everyone’s drove minivans and wore very similar clothing. I love fashion so this threw me off completely.”

Original Post: https://www.reddit.com/r/cults/comments/hsp7ao/college_students_beware_of_christian_cult/

Is Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ) a Personality Cult for Bill Bright?

In her blog, a former Cru member and leader in her campus ministry writes her opinion that Cru has become a personality cult worshipping Bill Bright.

“Cru has Made Bill Bright a Personality Cult in Many Ways”

There was one thing about Cru that I found freaky and almost cult like. It was how the organization treated Bill Bright. Bill Bright almost became a personality cult. It reminded me a little bit of the personality cult of Joseph Stalin and or Kim Il Song of North Korea. That is one of the problems with celebrity pastors is that they often become personality cults. You can read about that in, “The Little Red Book…of John Piper?“ 

Bill Bright became a personality cult inside Campus Crusade, The way he was quoted, pushed, and promoted struck me as off though I never questioned or raised it. Sometimes it also came off odd. Now I was involved in Crusade from 1999 until 2002 but I still helped out off and on until I left Milwaukee for Washington, D.C. in 2005. Bill Bright stepped down from Crusade in 2001 and then died in 2003. He was replaced by Steven Douglass who leads the organization today.

Original Post: https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/an-intern-with-cru-at-the-university-of-illinois-explains-why-he-serves-with-cru/

Is that true? Is it the same with whoever leads the organization today? What makes Cru different from personality cults like Stalin or North Korea then?

“The Pressure to Join Staff at Cru is Strong and Cult Like”

In her blog, a former Cru member and leader at her campus chapter of Cru reflects upon her experiences…

When I was deeply involved in Cru I was taken back by how many people wanted to join staff. It almost became a rallying cry. Sometimes people would say, “I don’t know what I want to do I think about joining staff.” It happened frequently and sometimes it just baffled me.

When I was in graduate school at Marquette I went to a career options conference and there was a strong push there for people to join staff as well.

Within Cru the pressure to join staff is strong. Sometimes that is more respected than doing other jobs. This is a cultural phenomena inside Cru. You see the push for staff at conferences or events, and often you feel guilted.  One thing about Cru is that one would feel guilted about doing things if they did not. Now to be fair guilt also happens outside Cru as well. Its throughout evangelical Christianity.

The author is writing this article as a response to a blog post published on cru.org about why a staff members chooses to serve in Cru, and why he left a corporate job to do so.

Is that true? Does Cru guilt trip members into joining “staff” and sticking with Cru instead of going into a regular job after graduation? Why is there a need to push people into ministry rather than being a light (as they say) in their workplace?

Original post: https://wonderingeagle.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/an-intern-with-cru-at-the-university-of-illinois-explains-why-he-serves-with-cru/

Cru – “only there for the numbers and your money”

On a community forum, user mjgman82 shared his personal experience with Cru, or otherwise known as Campus Crusades for Christ (CCC).

Here are some notable highlights of his experience.

I would have to agree with you. CCC has some (FEW) but some good individuals carrying its label. For the most part, however, and thanks to their “in your face” approach to “evangelizing,” there are more with the same label that taint any hope one may have had to entertain the curiosity surrounding the concepts, freedom, openmindedness and believes relating to Christ.

My experience with CCC was comical at first then tragic at the end. My full realization was not until I had joined the Army, saw life outside the confides of a control environment (what CCC thrives in). CCC nearly cost me my family, my job, my friends (because those in CC were clearly fake) and my life. The following is how…sit back grab a beer, or your favorite drink and something to snack on, this is going to get turbulent….

Wake up CCC, because you are not far from the globally recognized cult the Worldwide Church of God. Here too, I have lost friendships of 14 years, all due to the fact that I no longer attended

Original Post: https://forum.culteducation.com/read.php?14,7233,page=3

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