My son wanted to kill himself after leaving Xenos. He was a member for 2 years. He lived in a ministry house the second year. Xenos installed surveillance software on his laptop and phone that tracked every keystroke and website visited. His leader would him to justify websites he'd visited. His leader also encouraged him to drop out of college so he'd have more time for ministry activities. He did drop out and spent all day every day doing Xenos activities. When he started to catch on to how controlling Xenos is, his leader told him that If he left Xenos then god would hate him. It took him months to make the decision to finally move out of the ministry house and quit Xenos. When he did, he was completely shunned. All of his Xenos 'friends' refused to talk to him. They went from lovebombing to completely shunning him. It really messed up his mind and ruined his confidence. It's been almost 3 years, he's back in college and has new friends, but he's still very distrustful of people. He thinks friends are only nice to him because they want something and that they'll shun him if he doesn't make them happy. His depression when he left Xenos was devastating.
I was shunned out of xenos because I was hospitalized for being suicidal, & I asked for help about my sexual assault and they called me an attention whore and they said that I was psycho so they all pushed me out and they were terrible to me & made up lies about me
I was deep in xenos, at a homechurch called [ . . . .] . When you go, they will bomb you with love and they will make you accept Christ your first time out. They forced me to accept Christ my first time out and the next thing I knew I was studying with a leader. They had this secret group me for “Christ followers” and the leaders, then one group chat for everyone. The one for Christ followers they would talk shit about the non believers for their past or what they talk about. If you’re not committed to Christ the way they want you to be then you’re shunned. It’s insane.
This used to be a community that I loved bringing my friends too. But I stopped reaching out because I'm scared for those friends and don't want them to experience the things I've gone through in the past years. This church used to be awesome. 2014 was like a prime year, but shits gone downhill. And they need to be called out. Glad we can take a stand. Holy shit. this used to be an awesome church....or maybe i was just blind. who knows. Cause you don't get threatened until you do something wrong that jeopardizes their "pure reputation" or creates a bad image for your group. And MOST of these things are small like sleeping in for too long, or working on homework too much because it rejects time with your roommates, or hanging out with friends from other groups too much because they arent your "main people". like wtf. its gotten to me so much that I find myself gossiping and talking about people the same way they do to me, I'm like conforming without realizing it and i hate it. I feel gross talking about the new guy and how he's sleeping with his gf and what we can do to break them up so they can either both live in the house or so we can "win" one of them. THATS NOT LOVING.
An excuse to exercise control, manipulation, and gossip that were practiced under the guise of accountability, love, and concern. Any human can be guilty of these things, but it became a part of the church culture and they developed a blind spot to these problems. Beyond that, they justified it and taught it.
While single, I was questioned many times about sex with my boyfriend and it was like an obsession with them. When engaged, it was the same. We never answered them. The church was known to kick people out for having sex before marriage but yet would not address the drunkeness at homechurch or the gossiping. Everyone knew your business which is why I would never allow myself to be "vulnerable" and disclose all of my personal life. The home church leaders report up to their sphere leaders and share everyone's business. Love bombing is real and It is creepy. This was my experience and very similar to other people I know. This church does do good, the Central Teachings are stellar, especially if you get Gary Delashmutt and I do hear that there are some good home churches there despite the senior leadership. Just beware.
At Xenos prayer=church-sanctioned gossip. Above all: do not share anything you would not be willing to tell to the whole church. I have known, and known of, too many people, especially young people, who have been deeply hurt by what occurred after a "private" conversation.
Anyways. Leaving xenos was a lot like leaving an abusive relationship, and I know because I’ve done that too. They reel you in with love, isolate you from the outside world, and become your identity. They convince you that you need them and that everything outside of the church is dangerous and evil. There’s a lot of gaslighting involved. They take up all your time and that separates you from reality further and further, making you easier to control and manipulate.
I feel like i'm brainwashed into staying because XENOS is where "God has placed me" and by leaving, that would infer that I'm disobeying God or "walking away".
I could share countless stories. I was in the church for many years. Most of what these people are saying I have witnessed personally. What I want to say is there is no real accountability. Years after I left I tried to go to them and address some of this. I was asked who my former leaders were and they asked my name. They would ask them if what I said was true. This would require my former leaders to be honest about their behavior. Otherwise it was my word (despite leaving on my own accord, I was demeaned and trashed as not following God anymore) vs the word of people still loyal to Xenos. That’s it. That’s their accountability. They have none. Despite countless similar stories about behavior, we are all dismissed.
told people my experience about what happened to me and I told them not to go and I told them that they're not friendly and that they are a cult. It took a year-and-a- half of lies and grooming to realize that. They got mad at me AGAIN and my friend hated me for not going anymore and I was mad at her because she shunned me and we were fighting until they showed up to my school AGAIN looking for me because I was "harassing" her and I was "harassing" the other members. They were harassing me in reality. They just made me feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
As everyone else has said, they shun the hell out of you when you leave.
I was told I couldn’t talk to the girls I mentored anymore or explain to them why I wasn’t talking to them anymore. I was forced to share personal intimate details about my sex life in front of a group- only some of whom I was close with. And then when I left I was shunned. After leaving it took 1.5 years to get out of the guilt and fear from the mind control. Mine is not a unique story at all- people are being hurt my xenos
they have "counselors" within the church that people recommend that you go to because they are the only ones that will "understand" and its for your "spiritual health". they make you go to a counselor specifically in xenos and shun you if you choose an outside source because they want to keep you under the ropes within the church and know all of your problems. not only that but they do this so they can brainwash you even more to stay in the church and explain to you why you're messed up. they go behind your back and tell your group leaders, who then tell your roommates. before you know it, everyone is involved and knows your personal problems and are coming up with the same ways on how to get you back on track as if you need to be reprogrammed to be able to function "properly". they also get mad that you arent being vulnerable with your rommates, and tell you that you are complacent because of a "sin issue" that you are unwilling to resolve. so now, this personal issue that you thought your roommates wanted to help you out on by sending you to church counseling has turned into a rebuke session and if you don't fix your depression or anxiety, you will eventually be asked to pack your things and leave. this is a slow process because they want to make sure that you know this is "your" problem and will brainwash you to make you think that these are your decisions by moving out, leaving the group etc. when really they were behind the decision process the whole time. emotional manipulation. literally everyone has been saying this and i cant agree more. once you leave, they never talk to you again.
I finally reached the point where I couldn’t take it anymore. I packed up my things and moved out, fleeing this group that had tried to consume me. I came back to say goodbye the day I left, and I was told that I was never truly one of them. I apparently had never actually been following God, or been a Christian. Once again, the blame is placed on the one leaving, not on the church. And to top it off, my brother, one of my best friends, cut me off after that. We saw each other at family events, but after I left, it was over a year and a half before he said a thing to me. No matter how friendly, or welcoming I was, he would ignore me, shun me. I had a couple friends who stayed in the home church for a bit longer after I had left. I heard from them that he was spreading malicious rumors about how cruel and hateful I was. That I viciously mocked and berated him. My own brother. It’s been years since I left, and even after I have cleared the air with him, he treats me like a stranger. I guess that whole "Love one another" thing doesn’t count if you’re not in their "Church".
I could say so much more about the people I know who have been hurt and wounded by Xenos, but I hope they become brave enough to share their own story. It is possible to maintain your faith without giving your entire life to a man made, power hungry, hypocritical, and cruel church. There are some truly wonderful people that attend Xenos, and I sincerely hope they can find the courage to question what they are being taught, and see if it really is what God wants. Something tells me that God wouldn’t want his sons and daughters to manipulate, falsely accuse, judge, or shun others.
I’m not fully sure when this happened but around a year into xenos we had a trial to kick a fellow high school student out for inappropriate contact with some of the females. Before the student showed up to the meeting we had a pre gathering to pray and talk. Within 5 minutes everyone had already determined to kick the student out. They brought the student in sat him in front of the church and instead of ripping the band aid off humiliated him and then made us do an “official” vote to kick him out. I remember that the only “inappropriate” contact that happened was the student face timed a girl from the cult with his shirt off and empty bottles of alcohol in the background other than that harmless flirting. He was humiliated and shunned with out being able to defend him self.
They are my life and I love them both more than anything. It has been nerve wracking as a parent. I am so scared for my child. I want them to have a happy and normal life and achieve all that they deserve to achieve in life. There is no normality in their life right now and as a parent I am so worried about them. I cry every day with worry about my child and pray every day that they will leave this place and get their life on the right track. Following God and wanting religion and/or spirituality in your life does not mean you have to shun your family and friends who are not a part of this brainwashing Cult that destroys who you really are as a person inside and out.
I never had a really terrible experience with XENOS, but I never had a good feeling about them, either. Pyro meetings were madhouses of peer pressure and judgement. I’ve heard too many bad stories from others to ignore your page. Nothing that isolates it’s members the way xenos does is healthy.
I was ignored for the rest of the night... but long story short I was treated like a piece of meat and after the love bombing didn’t work I was completely shut out and called a skank and whore. Fast forward senior year.. my “best friend” (the one that got me to attend Xenos) completely shut me out, she wouldn’t even make eye contact with me in the hall. One minute her and I were inseparable and then after the incident at college connections night it was like I was nothing. Everything was a lie and a bribe. A lot more happened but I never reported any of it because I was brain washed into thinking what happened was normal.. my senior year was the hardest and I felt so alone and shut out. But now that I’ve graduated I want to speak out and warn everyone Xenos is not your everyday church.. it’s a cult and they will lead you to think it’s a church but it’s not and the parents who force their kids to Go there are just as guilty as the leaders at Xenos. Parents need to listen to their kids because sometimes we aren’t over reacting. Xenos made Me Suicidal and I was put on several medications..I will never forget what it felt like to be sexually harassed... I will never forget what it feels like to be back stabbed and used.. I will never forget what Xenos did to me.
“Members who are dating are never allowed to spend the night with each other because of the risk of anything sexual happening. We all know if it does then church discipline (shunning) will be a likely possibility.”