Letters on Homestead Heritage: Community or cult?

Full story: Waco Tribune-Herald

For seven years, we've shared fence lines with members of Homestead Heritage on three sides of our land.

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been there done that

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#1
Oct 16, 2007
 

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cult
KickedOut

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#2
Dec 1, 2007
 

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it is a cult sorry to say i know the people and one of the kids was caught with a fifty pound pipe bomb and a gun he was going to blow something or something up. he got caught and is now serving time. this kid wasnt even eighteen. they dont have internet? then who is teaching them how to make pipe bombs?
T R S

Columbia, MO

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#3
Jan 22, 2008
 

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KickedOut wrote:
it is a cult sorry to say i know the people and one of the kids was caught with a fifty pound pipe bomb and a gun he was going to blow something or something up. he got caught and is now serving time. this kid wasnt even eighteen. they dont have internet? then who is teaching them how to make pipe bombs?
/What country boy hasn't made pipe bombs? There are books about it. It isn't rocket science. If boys being boys is criminal then we had better lock up society. I don't know any of these people but I am a minister who happens to believe in the doctrines and standards that these people uphold. I live on a farm and have a garden. I raise horses and cattle. I like old fashioned things. My wife homeschools our children. My boys and I hunt regularly and we tote guns where ever we go. Am I a cultist? No more than you are. A hundred years ago we would have been the majority by practice. Just because some people still have morals and are not afraid to pursue their dreams and beliefs which may differ from yours does not make them a cult. I live near an amish community. Their group is fairly self-governing and the leaders have great authority over practices. Many in the group, especially young people grumble over the rules at times, but the rules make them what they are and eventually they either decide they will submit or join a different group. I also live in the United States. Our government has overstepped its authority. I grumble sometimes but I submit because we still have it better here than elsewhere. Don't believe it? Move to Mexico. Just leave these people alone and let them live like they want to. Some day God will make right all the wrongs and the real cults will be exposed.

Since: Apr 08

Laramie, WY

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#4
Apr 15, 2008
 

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T R S wrote:
<quoted text>/What country boy hasn't made pipe bombs? There are books about it. It isn't rocket science. If boys being boys is criminal then we had better lock up society. I don't know any of these people but I am a minister who happens to believe in the doctrines and standards that these people uphold. I live on a farm and have a garden. I raise horses and cattle. I like old fashioned things. My wife homeschools our children. My boys and I hunt regularly and we tote guns where ever we go. Am I a cultist? No more than you are. A hundred years ago we would have been the majority by practice. Just because some people still have morals and are not afraid to pursue their dreams and beliefs which may differ from yours does not make them a cult. I live near an amish community. Their group is fairly self-governing and the leaders have great authority over practices. Many in the group, especially young people grumble over the rules at times, but the rules make them what they are and eventually they either decide they will submit or join a different group. I also live in the United States. Our government has overstepped its authority. I grumble sometimes but I submit because we still have it better here than elsewhere. Don't believe it? Move to Mexico. Just leave these people alone and let them live like they want to. Some day God will make right all the wrongs and the real cults will be exposed.
Hi TRS,

You seem like a brother who loves the freedom that we have in Christ to raise our kids His way without man's interference... You would not be a happy camper at Waco's HH cult. Other men will rule you, your wife, and your kids... take it from a former member... do not defend them... but please ... do pray for them... lots of great bretheren there whom I deeply love, but need their eyes opened.
linda

Los Angeles, CA

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#5
May 23, 2008
 

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We visited there today. Seems like everything is controlling. Women seem real quiet. Didn't even like how the men acted, very seeky seems. This was my opinion, wouldn't want to be the young girls, the young boys seem real quiet, they seem that they are not allowe to have personality. Didn't like the vibs.

“Just Dutchess”

Since: May 08

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#6
May 29, 2008
 

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I had a sixth grade teacher,I adored ,DIE there in 2000.
I was in sixth grade in 1974 and have been away for a long time , but still , I couldnt figure out this place , and what could have happened to her .
Her whole family was involved .
I didnt understand any of this .
When I knew them ,they were just Baylor students.
kevin

United States

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#7
Sep 3, 2008
 

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Give it up people. If it doesn't fit your view of religion or life it is antiquated, quaint, or cultish.

I've been there many times. I've met many people and never once been preached to, judged, and no attempts to recruit me were ever made. All by the way are standard operating procedures of cults.

They have their own ways, root themselves in tradition, believe in service to the group, and dress alike, behave in an orderly manner, value work and discipline. It reminds me of, well, the Army.

What is all the hubbub about anyway? These people are not a threat to anyone. This is America. Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression can't just be sound bites in speeches or rights that one group want to hold back from another group because of fear or ignorance.

Humbled

Hillsboro, TX

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#8
Oct 1, 2008
 

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Ok here we go..I wouldn't call them a cult.There are many great people there.My husband came out of HH and I have seen many things he struggles.As a kid he was taught that God and leaders were such a dictator. He's family has been broken apart because when ones leave the family members who remain must chose between church(GOD) or family.That shouldn't be.My husband is wonderful and we go to a conservative church but yet we are not equals to them.To them he is a"backslidder". I hope this doesn't come across as being angry but more trying to understand where this fits in to biblical theology.
bobby666

Waco, TX

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#9
Oct 7, 2008
 

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Wow! It would do you guys some good to drop the petty misgivings and work on your spelling and run on sentences.
Just a thought ;)
josh

Killeen, TX

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#10
Oct 7, 2008
 

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Yeah, they're probably a cult. But who cares, they're nice people and just like Kevin said, they have never tried to recruit me (unlike the army). And have you tried their icecream? Do yourself a favor and try the icecream. They are also great at building things and have taught me quite a little about wood-working.
Anonymous

La Grange, TX

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#11
Oct 17, 2008
 

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My sister has gone to church there and lived there for several years. If it weren't for the work God has done in her life through HH, she would probably not be alive today, due to many life struggles and health problems she has faced for decades. They are peaceful people who humble themselves for the work of God and that is their focus (which is why they are generally quiet, dress in a plain way and are not boisterous people - but beleive me, they are plenty joyful). If you were to ever praise any one of them individually, they would immediately tell you that all the glory goes to God. It's actually a shame we are all not more like them - they put Christ first in their lives. America is so lost, we can't even begin to understand their way of life; but if we would open our bibles, we might begin to relate to their way of doing things.
Anonymous

Burlington, IA

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#12
Nov 13, 2008
 

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I am another ex-member. I've seen and done a lot out here in the "real world". Nothing compares to Homestead Heritage. I've wondered far from that lifestyle as well as the peace and joy. Was it hard to live that way? Yes. I thought so when I was there. The real world is whats hard. It's only hard when you are living for yourself.I miss playing music together, the laughter, and even the tears. If only I had paid the price like everyone else. I miss that place and hope to one day soon, find my way back.
missy

Brownsville, TX

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#13
Nov 15, 2008
 

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It is a cult.
Using Christianity in order to have extreme – Power, Control and Influence over everything you do.
Please read and educate yourself and don’t allow them to educate you.
Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups
The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader/s and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
&#8234; Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
&#8234; Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
&#8234; The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
&#8234; the group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).
&#8234; the group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
&#8234; the leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).
&#8234; the group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).
&#8234; The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
&#8234; Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
&#8234; The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
&#8234; The group is preoccupied with making money.
&#8234; Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
&#8234; Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
&#8234; The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.
Kirsten

Pullman, WA

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#14
Feb 7, 2009
 

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I also believe this group is a cult ex member from the groups days in Colorado. This group is incredibly controlling and judgmental.

I have actually been witness to the elders physically picking up an individual in the middle of church service and forceably removing him from the premises. This was their way of ex communicating the individual.

This group absolutely believes in keeping the people, especially woman and children bound. If you do not believe this please take the time to read Building Christian Character by Blair Adams (Founder of Homestead Heritage. I have attached a link to the book on amazon below.

I do not know about you but this is sure not my idea of raising healthy adjusted children.

Note to Bobby666... Please keep in mind prior to criticizing the grammar structure and spelling of us ex members that we were in fact educated by the group you are defending.

http://www.amazon.com/Building-Christian-Char...
Anonymous

Prescott, AZ

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#15
Feb 9, 2009
 

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All I will say is this: when the federal Government shuts them down, and dozens of men and women go to prison, you will no longer defend their evils.

It will happen soon.
IJJ

South Jordan, UT

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#16
Feb 24, 2009
 
and your reason for saying this?
JoshT

San Angelo, TX

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#17
Mar 13, 2009
 

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I am an ex-member of Homestead Heritage, and I would like to be put on record as one who quite strongly disagrees with the negative statements of several posters. I have a fair amount of disagreement with some of their doctrines and practices, but I know that they are a really great bunch of folks. Any group that would provide 24/7 care for an ailing member months on end certainly needs to be commended – something which happened at Homestead several times during the period I was associated with them. Since the members of Homestead admittedly dress and behave in a manner which is different than mainstream society, baseless rumors about them have a rather easy time getting started – just like they did in the Salem Witch Trials, or the alleged “Popish Plot.” As to the feds coming in to shut them down – that’s pretty well nonsense. Members of Homestead built former President Bush’s house – and several of them were frequent visitors to his ranch during the time that he was president. If you don’t think that the Secret Service is pretty thorough about vetting folks who will be around the President, think again. Anyone who is even tangentially connected to a militaristic or dangerous group would be ruled out in the vetting process which everyone who is regular contact with the president must undergo. Furthermore, one thing they teach consistently is that Christians should never use violence – even in self defense. As to the other allegations, such as the rather odd checklist which “missy” provided – just look into the history of the early Methodists, Franciscans, Dominicans, or Mennonites – any one of these groups would fit her checklist at least as well as Homestead. (For example – John Wesley personally owned in his own name every piece of property the early Methodists owned, and he frequently fired and/or excommunicated lay ministers in the movement without consulting anyone else. Yet his movement was one of the best things to ever hit Britain). If the old non - pejorative definition of “cult” is used – meaning a small, highly motivated religious group who are strongly committed to their beliefs, perhaps Homestead is a cult – but then the early Christians would also fit this definition. Today when people hear the word “cult” they think of groups such as Jim Jones, Heaven’s Gate, and David Koresh – groups who are very, very different than Homestead. So I don’t think the word “cult” as it is understood today is at all accurate in describing Homestead Heritage.
Dutchess

Brooklyn, NY

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#18
Mar 13, 2009
 

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Were you there in 2000 when my long ago teacher died there ??( see my post way above) NOT going to throw stones or anything ,, I just want to know she was able to go to the Dr.. I dont know what happened to her ,, but I am fearful they may have prevented her from seeing a Dr.
JoshT

San Angelo, TX

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#19
Mar 13, 2009
 
I think I know who you are talking about, and yes, I can assure you she was able to go to the doctor (if it's who I'm thinking of, my mom was intimately involved in her care, and her son was one of my closest friends) They never forbid members from going to doctors - in fact, they have a couple that are members now. If we're thinking about the same person, I know they went to several specialists, and received hospice care toward the end, as well as 24 hour care by various community members - my mother being one of them.
Dutchess

Brooklyn, NY

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#20
Mar 14, 2009
 
Without naming names or anything,, apparently the whole family was the main part of the music ministry. She was also really into the music part of school at St. Albans when I knew her in the 73-74 school year.

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