I am very impressed with Mr. Wasler’s coverage of the Message on WHAS11. It could easily have been a sensationalist piece, focused on the “horrible exploits of the Branhamite cult.” Instead, it was a balanced and accurate portrayal of a large segment of the Message population. Not all Message believers accept the doctrine of Branham’s resurrection. My church did not, nor did the churches we associated with on the East Coast, although we knew a few couples who did. One couple actually left our church over the relative lack of attention we gave to the prophet as a person.
It was validating to see the actual video clips of Branham talking about women. Two years ago, I wrote “Hello, Miss Dog-Meat” as a response to one of the quotes features in the video. I’m glad that the editors decided to let Branham condemn himself with his opinions on women rather than risking Message censure by paraphrasing them. I’m sure they will still argue that the quotes are “taken out of context” somehow, as if there’s a possible context in which they are not egregiously anti-women. (“Some women” is still “women,” y’all.)
Mike’s experience resonates with me and with the ex-Message friends who watched the video with me. The isolation from “the mark of the beast” (ordinary people), the assertions of Branham’s prophecies being true against all proof, the insistence that Branham is “just a messenger” while collecting and reproducing relics from his life… that’s all completely accurate.
I was astounded to hear that Voice of God Recordings has a net worth of nearly $110 million. One of the most vehement arguments Message believers make against the accusation that Branham was a fraud is that he never made any substantial money from it. (I wonder now, how much money did his “staff” make?) This blows that claim out of the water. When I was in church as a teenager, I was told that Voice of God Recordings took a loss to make the books and tapes and that they only charged for shipping. They claimed to be an absolutely non-profit ministry, mailing materials all over the world while meeting printing costs through the pockets of their own staff and unsolicited donations from believers. Without that cred, there is literally nothing left to separate the Message from organizations like the 700 Club and Benny Hinn except doctrine.
All in all, I’m excited to see the Message subjected to fair, dedicated research and presented in a way that allows Message believers to make their own points while demonstrating exactly what is going on behind the scenes. Well done, WHAS11!