• Lisa

Letter Detailing Abuse in the Move of God

This is the first installment of an important document exposing horrific abuse in Sam Fife's Move of God and proving top leaders were aware of the abuse and failed to act. Many former members, today in 2020, insist leadership had no idea that a large number of children experienced sexual assaults, physical abuse, medical neglect, exploitation, and emotional and psychological abuse.

"Dear Ministry of the Move: This letter is being written to you by a group of individuals who have been communicating regularly on the Sam Fife/Move Yahoo Website. The Sam Fife/Move Yahoo group was established in October 2005 with this statement of purpose: "This Yahoo group is dedicated to bringing together people associated (past or present) with ‘The Move’". "The Move", as it later came to be called, was started in the late 1960's by Sam Fife. The purpose of this group is to connect with other people and respectfully discuss issues related to The Move." The website currently has 317 members who have collectively written more than seven thousand messages since its inception. These messages describe both positive and negative experiences in the Move and with its ministers. The messages have been primarily written by individuals who were once members of the rank and file and rarely by those who held leadership positions. Very few individuals who are currently participating in the Move post messages but there have been a few who do so quite regularly and we have appreciated their input. We welcome more participation from current members of the Move. While we understand each individual body group, farm or community has been careful to maintain its own separate name and/or or legal identity (as a non-profit organization), the term "Move" is used in this letter as it has been used by the members of the Move over the years—that is, to refer to all affiliated body groups, farms and communities, as a whole. Please understand that the authors of this letter do not profess to speak for all the members of the web site, as the site is made up of a diverse group of believers and non-believers. However all of the authors of this letter have participated, at some time in our lives, in the Move. We have all left the Move and have since reflected on our experiences. The Yahoo website has provided a open forum in which we could share our life stories and our own unique conclusions about the Move and its message.

We have learned much from each other. As mature adults we have gained a deeper appreciation for our walk, our beliefs and our history. Many stories told by past members of the Move shed light on what daily life was like for the average person on an end time farm but others tell of experiences in the Move that are troubling to read. It is because of the troubling nature of these posts that the authors of this letter determined to write to the leadership of the Move. It is the purpose of this letter to invite you, as a leader of the Move, to join us in a thoughtful dialogue about a number of issues. It is our great hope that our words will awaken in you a tender receptivity to hearing the voices of those who have left your fellowship and that, after listening, you will understand why many felt compelled to leave. We hope our words will quicken in you a renewed sense of your self as a seeker of the truth and, that as such, you thoughtfully re-examine your vision. We ask that you consecrate your self to the open examination the issues that are the foundation of a Christian life and ministry. We ask you as Christians to come and reason together with us in love. This letter will serve as a summary of the issues we would like to discuss with you. We are concerned that the foundational teachings of the Move led to a decision making process in which options that were expedient carried more weight than options that would have been more loving or just. By this we mean that the leadership of the Move in some cases chose to act in ways that fit the urgency of the end time message with little regard for the long term impact of their decisions on the lives of specific individuals. However imminent the end of the age appeared forty some years ago it has been made abundantly clear that the events of the world have not transpired as the leadership of the Move foretold. Similarly, the wilderness message is with out visible fulfillment.

You taught that the work of the ministry was to bring forth a generation who would walk as Christ on the earth yet what is the fruit of your ministry? Where are the ‘Manifested Sons’ so many have given their lives to bring forth? We believe it is time for you to look at the long term results of your teachings and consider whether these teachings are grounded in the Christian faith. Attached to this letter are two statements which discuss the doctrinal foundations of the Move in comparison to the doctrines of traditional historical Christianity. We ask that you read these statements and consider the possibility that instead of leading the people of God in the Move into a deeper spirituality, the leadership of the Move have in fact led the people progressively away from the message of the New Testament. Consider all that has come about as a result of your work and your message as you contemplate this possibility. The Fruit of your Ministry can be seen in the lives of those who have left the move as much as it is in the lives those who have stayed faithful to you. While we do not doubt that the intent of those in leadership was to make decisions which were for the good of the group and for the preservation of the Move, the website reveals that many individual lives were damaged rather than healed as a result of their time in the Move. From our perspective, the First Fruit of the Move is a generation whose faith has been fractured and whose hearts need healing. We believe that one step in that healing is for the ministry of the Move to openly consider these individual claims of abuse and to acknowledge that their emotional and spiritual injury has gone untreated and unabated all these years. It is our view that the gifts of ministry were given to edify the church and that an open review of past mistakes would help heal lives and so strengthen the church.

We appeal to you to listen respectfully to the claims made in these stories and to respond as the ministry of a loving God. Some of the stories contain serious accusations. We are concerned because of the intensity of pain these individuals experienced in the past and, for some, continue to experience. We are concerned because most reports indicate that the Ministry or at least some of the Father Ministry were aware of these incidents and participated in what appears to be a systematic cover up of these events. We are concerned because this cover up seems to have been put in place in order to conceal from the overall body of the Move the nature of these events and to shield those involved from the moral and legal consequences of their behavior. For this sort of concealment to take place in a Christian organization, let alone one that claims to be perfecting saints and bringing forth the manifested sons of God to rule the earth, is shocking and deeply grieving. Our Lord said that it would be better for a millstone to be hung around an individual's neck than for them to harm one of God's little ones. If we remain silent regarding these stories of pain and despair, we too participate in the cover up. Thus a spiritual and moral obligation rests on us to question you regarding these stories. Individuals writing on the Yahoo website have claimed that, both on end time farms and in city bodies, specific individuals in leadership positions in the Move have engaged in sexual misconduct and other men in the Move have perpetrated sexual assault. Rather than condemning and reporting this deviant behavior and criminal conduct, it appears it was covered up by the ministry."

To be continued...

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