Not Quoting Quiverfull: What is a Cult? Church of Wells Edition

Not Quoting Quiverfull: What is a Cult? Church of Wells Edition April 9, 2014

According to the Wartburg Watch and Ronald Enroth’s book “Church That Abuse” the hallmarks of a cult are –

1.   Control-oriented style of leadership

2.   Spiritual elitism

3.   Manipulation of members

4.   Perceived persecution

5.   Lifestyle rigidity

6.   Suppression of dissent

7.   Harsh discipline of members

8.   Denunciation of other churches

9.   Painful exit process

This list came from a posting done about the Church of Wells, in Wells, Texas. There’s been some interesting cultish doings at the Church of Wells over the years, disappearance of people into the church community with no further contact with families, the death of babies born at home without any medical care and indications that the church exerts total control over every aspect of it’s members.

Here’s what the Church of Wells issued as a statement last year when it came under public scrutiny –

We (the church of Wells) have been called “ugly, aggressive, confrontational, hateful, arrogant, legalistic, reckless, belligerent, prejudiced, infanticidal, isolationistic, hoop jumping, satanic, scripture twisting, family destroying, brainwashing, evil predators; used by the devil as a cultic trap and stronghold of deception and lies; who speak CRAP and GARBAGE.

Once there were many videos at You Tube of Church of Wells but they have since been removed. Plus it looks like the community at large is unhappy with their presence in that community. That community is even less happy with the Church of Wells after this weekend’s brawl during a Wells celebratory parade involving church members using offensive measures to witness to small children in the crowd.

Last week ABC’s show “Nightline” went into Wells and did a special on the church.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part of recovery is being able to identify places with abusive theology so they can be avoided. Church of Wells seems to be one of those places. What do you think?

Comments open below

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


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  • Stephanie

    I have spent a lot of time since the Nightline special aired reading the testimonies and rebuttals on the CoW website. The way each person uses the exact same language is sort of creepy and red flaggy to me. They all talk about how their families confronted them about CoW and every single one of them said the families “refused to go through the Scriptures.” Additionally, it seems like they all refuse to have conversations with their families about anything that is not overtly spiritual: the weather, food, daily life, small talk is nearly verboten. They also have a huge problem with Times Square Church in particular – not sure what that’s all about.

  • Astrin Ymris

    “…church elder Sean Morris says… “We don’t focus upon young children. Now those older than four or five you know into the years of the knowledge of good and
    evil, if they have that knowledge. I’ll preach to anyone.”…”

    Jesus wept.

  • Sounds like a description of purity culture.

  • How, in the name of Zeus’ flying left ass-cheek, is four or five NOT a young child?

  • Nea

    When you want to beat them and don’t want to be called a baby-beater, I guess.

    No, I’m wrong. In this context, it’s when you want to make a little kid cry without the risk of getting your teeth knocked out.