Twenty-One New Stories (11/30/2018)
Story One: “I don't know where else it is acceptable for someone in a position of authority to dictate how someone should live their life and who they should date. Especially to vulnerable people, many of whom are from a different country or state, or are living away from home for the first time.”
Back in 2000-1 my girlfriend moved from out of state to Columbus to attend OSU. She started attending Xenos, I went to a few meetings with her, most of my experience was not direct with them, but what I saw change in my girlfriend at the time. I was not religious and the relationship probably would not have lasted anyway, but I feel Xenos had a big role in our breakup.
Some of the changes... we were not having sex but we were fooling around, this changed because it was a "sin". One of the meetings that was one of the topics, the speaker said when she and an ex got together they always ended up having sex. That is a sin so the solution is to remove the person from your life. Along those lines she told me she was removing anyone from her life that wasn't a Christian. The friends she cut out of her life were not a bad influence in any way, it's not like they were telling her religion is bad and to go lie/cheat/steal/murder/kill/do drugs etc. They were good people, but you can't have gay and non-religious people in your life.
The relationship ends, I "ended" it, but I was all but forced to. Keep this in mind, she moved from out of state in order to live where I live, before we were together we had not dated anyone else, for me at the time it was a pretty devastating event. I also know she was doing things outside of the normal church meetings with some of the leaders, going to their homes, etc so I am sure she was telling them what was going on in her life, getting advice, etc. I'm trying to give some background information, because two days after we break up, probably not even 48 hours later, someone from the church asks her out on a date and she agrees to it.
To her, this was God answering her prayers of having a Christian boyfriend. When I told my friends about it their thoughts were that she had to have been cheating on me (she wasn't) because of how soon she started dating someone. Before this nobody had ever asked her out on a date. I can't prove it, but I absolutely believe she was being pressured to end the relationship, and when it ended they arranged for someone to ask her out. She went on to marry the person she started dating right after we broke up.
To me it is not normal to start dating right after a serious breakup, it wasn't rebound dating, she wasn't terrified of being alone, and I had been her only relationship, so it wasn't like she was serial dater. I also believe it was too much of a "coincidence" she was asked out right after we broke up. The usual advise after a serious breakup is to spend some time not in a relationship.
I said before I think the relationship would have ended on it's own, so I'm not writing this out of bitterness for Xenos causing the break up. What I find disturbing is people in the church pressuring members to end relationships with friends and to breakup with people. It's also disturbing that they then arrange for member to date each other. With members sharing every impure thought and detail about their life, you can be sure they share any problems they have in their relationship. The opposite now becomes the norm, instead of encouraging a break-up, because you are both church members, now you should pray to God to solve your relationship problems.
I don't know where else it is acceptable for someone in a position of authority to dictate how someone should live their life (sinner!) and who they should date. Especially to vulnerable people, many of whom are from a different country or state, or are living away from home for the first time. Somehow because you say this is what God wants it makes all of this acceptable. Unless you have been someone an Xenos member was dating or a friend of one, it's difficult to explain the changes you see in someone that the church has it's claws in. Everything they say is accepted and followed without question.
Story Two: “I was taken advantage of because I was a young, lonely college student and they thought I would be easy to mold to their will. This is the one true goal of the college ministry of Xenos. Find and convert as many college students as possible all while notching your discipleship belt and moving up in the corrupt enterprise that is organized religion. Control them because if you lose control, the individual finds itself and moves on from the manipulation.”
It began in my senior year of high school. "The recruitment" as I would later come to find out. A innocuous invitation to "hang out" by someone I regarded as a friend. Someone well known and well-liked throughout my school. At this point I did not realize he was involved with Xenos, I did not even know what Xenos was. The hang out, which conveniently occurred right before a home church meeting took place, eventually lead to questions about my spirituality and relationship with "God." When the time came, I was invited to stay for a bible study, and I did (albeit mostly out of respect for my friend). Afterwards, the probing began of "what did you think about the teaching?" I personally knew a handful of people already at the home church, being ignorant to what was happening went back a couple more times (mostly to see friends). I was not raised in a religious household. We went to a church for Christmas and sometimes Easter, but that was about it. So all of this was fairly new to me. I had no knowledge or understanding of the bible. I was intrigued, but my family and other friends in high school kept me out of arms reach of the Xenos group.
Fast forward to my freshman year of college at The Ohio State University. I had just moved into my dorm room, perhaps my first or second night on campus. I'll bet you can all guess who texted me and asked to hangout, my friend from high school who was now living in one of the "ministry houses" off Indianola. Freshman were not permitted to live off-campus, however, with a letter stating he was living at home (which his parents graciously signed, as they were in the church as well) he circumvented that university rule. Now, being away from home, not having many friends around me, it was time for the big push. The first hangout was simply that, one of the older members of the church stopped by with a case of beer which was handed out to everyone including my friend and I (who were both underage). You see drinking was okay, getting drunk was not. Smoking cigarettes was okay, smoking marijuana was not. Getting drunk and smoking weed impaired your ability to "talk to god." After a couple more hangouts, spending a night or two on their couch, I was becoming entrenched. I still hung out with people I met in my dorm, went to some parties, but before long the Xenos jaws were closing in around me. I was asked to hang out more and more. Fun activities such as parties, kickball, and movies. Spirituality started being brought up more and more along with invitations to their campus home church. I relented. The first bible study came and the "love bombing" began. Everyone within the church wanted to talk to me, get my story, recruit me. I felt loved. I felt like I had friends. Pretty soon, my dorm mate hardly ever saw me. I was attending the CT (central teaching) each Monday and home church every Thursday. I stayed up too late on weeknights, hanging out after the bible studies, answering questions about my thoughts on "god" and the teaching. I began missing classes and pretty soon my 3.8 GPA turned into a 3.2 and then into a 2.6. It was church over everything. If I said I was going to miss a meeting because I needed to do school work, I was admonished and told that missing meetings was a big deal and I did not want to make it a regular occurrence. By the end of my freshman year, I was completely indoctrinated. I was invited to the cell-group meetings on Fridays as well. Then as I prepared to move home for the summer, I was asked to live in the ministry house. I wanted to live at home that summer. I missed my family. I missed my own bed. Yet, I was pressured into moving in early because this house was not just a "college house" and other members lived there year round. In my first big act of defiance I moved home that summer. I was farther away now, but still went to the meetings as it was expected of me. My parents began to see how much time I was dedicating to Xenos and grew concerned that this was the cause of my lackluster performance in school. I played it off as a problem that came from living in the dorms.
The next school year came around and I moved into the ministry house. I was completely involved with every meeting and it drew even more dire reprimands if I had to miss a meeting. Missing CT was okay for the most part. Missing home church or cell group, however, was not. The house was cramped. Ten guys living in a two bedroom house. Four in each room and two slept in the attic. One bathroom upstairs and one bathroom downstairs. House chores were assigned each week to the tenants. If you did not do your chores that week (amidst school work, bible studies, and hang outs termed "fellowship") the person who drew your chore the next week got to slap you as hard as they could across your bare back. Needless to say, my grades continued to suffer. I was barely getting by. Failing classes here and there. My parents threatened multiple times to take me out of school, but I always found a reason or excuse other than the church. It was required I install "Covenant Eyes" on my laptop. A form of spyware to track what websites I visited. If I browsed through anything too risque, I was reprimanded by my discipler, which was now my friend who recruited me. While masturbation was heavily frowned upon (the door was taken off the upstairs bathroom to remove the "temptation"), sex was outright banned. No women were allowed upstairs. If you did not come home at night you were heavily questioned as to your whereabouts. It was severely frowned upon to "talk to" or date someone from outside the church. If you did, it was required of you to recruit that person into the church so you could be "equally yoked." I can think of three relationships that I gave up on after a couple weeks of hitting it off with someone because of Xenos. I pushed them away when the burden became too much. Finally, towards the end of my sophomore year, this controlling nature became too much and I started acting out. I viewed pornography without any guilt, partied, got drunk, smoked marijuana, and ended up meeting a girl and spending multiple nights at her house. I wanted out. Finally, after the leaders of the home church had a pow wow, the elder and my discipler sat me down and gave me an ultimatum. Either repent my sins, break it off with this girl, and agree to stop partying or move out of the house. I moved out and moved home.
I wish my story ended there, but the tentacles that are Xenos are not that easy to break away from. After leaving the house, my "friends" stopped talking to me. Everyone except my discipler. He was someone I considered my best friend. I could never tell if he felt similarly about me, or if I was a relentless pursuit. Was I just his trophy buck that he'd been stalking for years and determined not to let me walk away? I figured this separation of myself from the house and church would reveal the truth. He continued to talk to me, hang out with me on occasion, and after a few months of being removed from the house he told me that I was welcome to come back and be apart of the home church meetings. I was distanced from campus and felt alone, I longed for the friendships and closeness I felt as a part of the home church. So I began attending home church meetings again. I was slowly welcomed back by the leaders and elders of the group. This time around, I began really diving into the study of the bible. I was more active at meetings, asking questions and theorizing what various passages meant. My interest caught the attention of the leaders and they invited me to come back to cell group meetings. My discipler talked to me and tried to get me to go to their "leadership training" classes. I was even "baptized" in a swimming pool. I went on a fun Spring break trip to Holden beach, which was dampened with even more spiritual talks and religion than I had back home. I was pressured more and more to reach out to "non-believers" and recruit them to be my disciples. I should note that members believe that they are providing "salvation" to those who do not follow "god" and thus are justified because they are doing "good." Moving up in the church is not just about taking the classes, it is also about who can get the most disciples underneath them. I was never really comfortable proselytizing. I have always had the moral that a person should be able to believe what they want to without having the beliefs of others shoved in their face. I did invite a few people out to home church, but never gained a discipler. Meanwhile, I also was learning a lot about the bible. A book as I said before, I had no real knowledge of. As a history buff, I began seeing it as more a window to the past and not a "holy book." I grew up with a tremendous interest in the natural world and sciences. I am not saying that a scientist cannot believe in "god"; however, as a free-thinking individual I began questioning some of the things I was hearing and reading. I saw time and time again, "cherry picking" of the bible. If this book is supposed to be the word of "god" and all truthful, why are there parts that you choose not to believe? Women are servants to their husbands? Slavery is okay and homosexuality is not? I began having "spirited discussions" with my discipler and other members of the church about these things, evolution, natural law, and other things that science and logical thinking brings into question. I was told that I could believe in evolution and the bible, I would just have to rationalize it in my own way. It was at this point that I began moving away from religion all together. It did not make sense to me that people could pick and choose parts to believe and not. It was all or nothing to me because if its only parts then that negates all validity the bible has in the first place, rendering it completely powerless.
I was on the rise in the church, but that did not matter. Not only did I feel very uncomfortable trying to befriend people with the sole purpose of bring them to the church, but I began to not even believe what I was talking about. Before my senior year, I got a new job and made some very good friends there. I began dating a girl outside of the church and before long I had left the church... again. This time around, everyone stopped talking to me. Most removed me from social media. This time around, I had finally broke free. Unsurprisingly, my grades rose and I felt better about myself as I had the freedom to pursue the hobbies and activities that I enjoy. It took most of three years and really studying and reading the bible for me to see the tremendous fallacy that religion is. After taking a history class on religion my senior year, it was clear to me that religious beliefs are a product of where you were born, who raised you, and what life events have happened to you. I digress from the overall topic of the controlling and manipulative nature of Xenos church. I was taken advantage of because I was a young, lonely college student and they thought I would be easy to mold to their will. This is the one true goal of the college ministry of Xenos. Find and convert as many college students as possible all while notching your discipleship belt and moving up in the corrupt enterprise that is organized religion. Control them because if you lose control, the individual finds itself and moves on from the manipulation.
On occasion, I ran into some members of the church at a local campus bar. At one time one was trying to recruit a couple of my friends there, until I walked up and entered the conversation. Immediately the would-be recruiter slunk away and went back on the prowl for an easier meal. Seven years have now passed since I was a member of Xenos. I have heard from my former discipler two maybe three times. No one else. All those great "friends" who made me feel so loved, gone in a wisp of smoke. Inevitably out looking to shroud the vision of some other hapless young adult. I write this not because I hate the people in Xenos. I had many fun times as a member of the church. However, I look back on my time as a young college student, some would say the best years of one's life, and I cannot help but think with sadness and a tinge of regret the opportunities, relationships, and experiences I missed out on because of Xenos. I write this, in the hopes that some other person perhaps in a similar pair of shoes may read it and understand it. Not see it as hatred, but caring and a desire to not have young adults looking back on their college years with the regret of opportunities lost. It is okay to believe and follow "god", but it is not okay to manipulate and control others, force your beliefs on people, and be disingenuous. It is also okay to focus on being a college student and not a prophet. There is enough for a young adult to worry about these days without feeling that they need to take on the weight of the world as well.
Story Three: “God is love, and xenos is not this. Confide in someone who can help you get out today. Your relationship with your family IS worth saving . . . This home church leader is teaching my sister from curriculum that DeLashmutt and McCallum have formulated themselves. If this doesn't sound cultish to you, I don't know what does.”
If you're reading this and you're currently involved in xenos, know that God loves you, and that you CAN get out. Just because you leave xenos, that doesn't mean you're leaving your faith. There are plenty of other mainstream non-denominational Christian churches that hold actual Bible studies where you'll feel just at home. You can get out. If you're worried that your xenos friends won't be your friend anymore if you leave, then they're not really your friend to begin with. Jesus suffer on the cross for you to have conflict with your non-xenos friends and family about your involvement in this organization. God is love, and xenos is not this. Confide in someone who can help you get out today. Your relationship with your family IS worth saving.
My sister has been involved with Xenos for 1.5 - 2 years now. At first, I thought it was okay since she was reconnecting with her faith after a series of events in her life caused her to fall away from Catholicism. I thought she was just meeting up with a new group of friends to re-connect to her Christian faith through a weekly Bible study. Seems harmless, right? Well, now it's escalated to a point where she spends almost every day with Xenos. Between home church meetings, her women's group, Central teaching on Sundays, and a one-on-one session with another 24 year old who's classified as a home group leader, her time has been overtaken by this organization.
My family believes the group of girls who started the "meetup to meet new friends" was just means of recruitment for new members. She attended a meetup, set up by one of the Xenos members because it was centered around meeting other young 20 somethings in the Columbus area. After they all went out to dinner, the members asked my sister if she wanted to attend their Bible study. She said yes because they called it a Bible study, they didn't mention that their "Bible study" was actually their "church". It's no surprise that this same group of Xenos girls who set up the meetup haven't been involved in any other meet ups. That was just a ploy to recruit new members.
Additionally, I've attended one of her home church co-ed meetings. It was weird because it wasn't like an older, more experienced pastor or elder who went to seminary school was leading the teaching. It was a younger xenos member who was roughly 26 years old who was teaching everyone else. He created an entire PowerPoint to teach the rest of the Millennials. That was a little off to me. My question is: what qualifications does he have to teach the Bible?
Lastly, my sister is involved in a one-on-one Bible study/ teaching from a girl, who's around 24 years old, once a week. She's a home church leader who has paid xenos for teachings that the 2 founders put together. This home church leader is teaching my sister from curriculum that DeLashmutt and McCallum have formulated themselves. If this doesn't sound cultish to you, I don't know what does.
Story Five: “For years, I wondered, "why is this happening to our family." But after recent events, I realize it's happening to a lot of families -- and the ONLY way we can fight this is with education and awareness. Please TALK. Spread the word. Ask friends to talk to ANYONE about these stories. If you save one kid and one family -- it's worth it.”
Our family has ALWAYS been very tight knit. As a sports family, we went everywhere together as my children were growing up. We attended Catholic mass weekly. We taught life lessons through the Bible. And then my family hit a rough patch.
We had problems with one of my daughters as a result of mental illness. For nearly a year, I didn't know if she was dead or alive. As you can imagine, this was very difficult on our family, and especially on me, as the mom. This rough patch happened just about the time that my daughter attended a "MEET UP" of 20 something women. (Reading about Xenos, this is the 2nd and most common way to recruit ... at a point of despair and vulnerability). It seemed innocent enough, and of course I encouraged her to throw herself out there. From there, they went bowling ... the next day to a bible study. Before I knew it, she was deeply entrenched in the "church". She began lying, breaking promises, and changing our relationship. Our very tight friendship quickly turned into "I'm embarrassed to be seen with you." Next, there were church-organized weekend retreats, then vacation retreats, 2 then 3, then 5 or 6 nights a week at the "church". It became all consuming VERY quickly
We were open, talked and pleaded with her to bring balance to her life. But the more we pleaded, the more time she spent with them. She is now dating a member of the church, and her connection with this cult is thicker than ever. Last weekend, I went to a "fellowship center" on campus. Where is the crucifix? Where is Jesus? When I researched, I read from the "elders" own writing that it's because they worship in the home churches, not in the fellowship centers. What alarms me about this is that a year ago, my daughter invited me to a special event at the home church. I accidentally showed up an hour early. I was escorted to the door, and asked to come back in another hour, as they were about to pray. I told them, "I don't mind staying." But, in response to that I was told, "you'll just be praying for a bunch of people that you don't know. That'd probably make you uncomfortable." Really? Uncomfortable? Isn't praying for other people publicly what EVERY church does? Why does theirs need to be closed, then?
For years, I wondered, "why is this happening to our family." But after recent events, I realize it's happening to a lot of families -- and the ONLY way we can fight this is with education and awareness. Please TALK. Spread the word. Ask friends to talk to ANYONE about these stories. If you save one kid and one family -- it's worth it. And to my beautiful, smart and intellectual daughter and to so many other daughters out there ... you are LOVED -- by your family and by HIM, more than that entire "church" could possibly love you. Your are bright, beautiful, intelligent -- and now YOU have a story to tell. Please, if you're considering leaving DO SO. Use your courage. The world will greet you with open arms. I know because I'm waiting for my daughter to return.
Story Six: “Once they realized that I wasn't planning to come back, everyone - including people I considered to be some of my best friends - completely cut me off. No communication, unfriending/unfollowing me on social media, everything. That in itself I found very concerning; ending close friendships simply because I left the church.”
My experience with Xenos was not as horrific as many others who have shared their stories, but I do believe it is worth sharing if it can help someone see why this organization is problematic. I began attending Xenos meetings/teachings a couple of years ago as a freshman in college with my then boyfriend who was a member. His friends in the church kept asking him to bring me out, and trusting his judgement, I eventually agreed. I'm a pretty shy person with bad social anxiety, specifically when it comes to being around large groups of people that I'm meeting for the first time.
After the first home church meeting I went to, a pretty big group of girls came up and introduced themselves to me - which seemed kind and normal. However, they all kept talking to me, asking pretty personal questions (for someone they had just met), and made me the absolute center of attention for at least an hour after the teaching. For some people, this "love bombing" wouldn't be that bad of a thing, but for me it was awful and they didn't seem to notice or care that I was clearly uncomfortable and anxious. I had a panic attack on the way home, but my boyfriend convinced me to give it another shot the following week and I agreed.
Flash forward a few months, I had gotten used to the bigger group and everything seemed to be fairly normal. I wasn't overly involved with the church yet and still had steady relationships with my friends and family outside of Xenos. Things started to change when the core group of girls (who mostly lived in the ministry house) invited me to their cell group that met every Friday night. I was already going to the large CT and smaller home church meetings, and committing another night each week, especially on a Friday, didn't sound very appealing. Again, my boyfriend and many other members repeatedly pressured me into going to the cell group meetings until I eventually agreed.
This was definitely the turning point in my experience with Xenos - when I became completely sucked in by this organization. With three nights of the week devoted to church activities, I saw my other friends and family less and less, and they noticed. Some close friends openly expressed their concerns with my involvement, but I wrote them off as overreacting.
The real problem started with my family, whom I have always been extremely close with. The cell group girls wanted me to move in to the ministry house for the upcoming school year, so I decided to talk to my parents about it and get their opinion. They had researched Xenos, found the same extremely concerning information that you all have seen, and were rightfully, for lack of a better term, freaked out. They wanted me to leave the church, but I was so far in at this point that I refused. We had pretty much always agreed on things, and they supported all other decisions I had made, but there was constant fighting and tension over me being in Xenos. This was very damaging to our relationship, but the Xenos girls kept pressuring me to continue talking to them both about my involvement in the church and their lack of a "relationship with God."
Not long after this, my boyfriend and I ended things (after almost 2 years), but everyone still encouraged me to attend church meetings. It was obviously very difficult to be in the same room with someone I had dated very seriously for so long, so I used that as my excuse to slowly stop going to meetings. At first, many members form my home church group reached out to me, asking where I was, etc. very often. Once they realized that I wasn't planning to come back, everyone - including people I considered to be some of my best friends - completely cut me off. No communication, unfriending/unfollowing me on social media, everything. That in itself I found very concerning; ending close friendships simply because I left the church.
So, long story short, even if you aren't having extreme experiences with Xenos, I truly believe this group is severely problematic and concerning in many ways. Finally, my boyfriend at the time recently left the church as well for some truly awful experiences that are not mine to share.
Story Six: “Several months after my diagnosis, I began self harming. My parents and therapist were immediately aware of this, but I initially kept it private from my friends at church. I eventually told my discipler, and soon everyone in our home group knew. I was looked down on and viewed as unstable and emotional.”
Reflecting on my experience at Xenos is incredibly challenging for me. On one hand, I had never felt more loved and cared for than I did by the Xenos community. On the other hand, the two years I spent at Xenos were the darkest of my life. I left the church during the summer of 2015, along with five other girls in my home group.
During the fall semester of my sophomore year of high school, I was invited by a senior at my school to attend a casual bible study at her house on Sunday night. I had never been exposed to religion and didn’t have much of an opinion on it. But, I was attracted to the friendly people and genuine conversation, so I came back. I quickly accepted Christ and began being discipled.
After a few months, I fell into a depressive state that was extremely out of character for me. My parents connected me with a therapist who I began seeing regularly, and I was diagnosed with depression. This is when my time at Xenos began to slowly turn dark.
I was encouraged by the leaders of my home group to see the church’s therapist instead of the one who my family’s physician recommended to my parents. When my treatment conflicted with meetings or hangouts, I was made to feel guilty. My discipler privately reached out to my parents several times to inquire about my treatment, medication, and diagnosis.
All the while, I continued to be an active member of the church. I became obsessed with bringing others out to my home group and attended meetings 3-4 times per week. As my mental health continued to deteriorate, my friends at church comforted me with bible verses that reminded me of my strength.
Several months after my diagnosis, I began self harming. My parents and therapist were immediately aware of this, but I initially kept it private from my friends at church. I eventually told my discipler, and soon everyone in our home group knew. I was looked down on and viewed as unstable and emotional. In an attempt to juggle my mental health while remaining an energized member of the church, I found myself lying to my friends and leaders constantly. My group members and I regularly gossiped and judged each other in the name of “spiritual growth.” I am deeply ashamed of the person I became during my time at Xenos. But, I’m thankful that I had the courage to leave the church. I’m so, so much happier.
An absurd highlight:
During Epic, the male leaders held a meeting with the female members of our home group, and vice versa. During this meeting, we were given advice from our male leaders about boys and dating. We were advised against wearing leggings, so as to not “stumble a brother with temptation.” We were also told a bizarre analogy about our virginity. “Women are born with a bag of diamonds. Every time you have sex, you lose a diamond, and therefor lose worth.”
Story Seven: “ I often wondered if the parents of his students knew that their child's teacher/administrator belonged to a cult that specializes in brainwashing teenagers”
I was originally very nice to the boy who enticed my daughter into Xenos when he came to our house. He grew up to be a teacher and administrator in one of Columbus's wealthy suburbs. I often wondered if the parents of his students knew that their child's teacher/administrator belonged to a cult that specializes in brainwashing teenagers. I know his name....
Story Eight: “As she realized I was not going to join, she slowly stopped talking to me. I haven't spoken to her in four years now. She chose this cult over a deep, decade long friendship.”
I was best friends with a girl for 12 years until a little while after she joined Xenos. She was raised by a single mother who worked so damn hard to provide for her, she wasn't rich. She joined in high school and would always try to get me to come with her to bible studies or meetings or whatever. I never did, telling her that I was happy with my religion, and then she would start belittling my religion and telling me that me and my family were going to hell for not being Christians.
During senior year of high school she moved into one of the ministry houses and shared a small attic room with at least 5 other girls. The house was in shambles and there was a step missing that was so dangerous. I hung out there a few times but all anyone did there was smoke and try to recruit me. SO MUCH SMOKING. I noticed that they all smoked cigarettes all the time. My friend then started dating a boy she met through Xenos and went on sanctioned "date-nights" with him and other Xenos couples.
I remember mentioning the movie 'The Sacrament' to her, just saying like "isn't that scary? Isn't Jonestown scary? Cults are so awful, I feel so bad for those who got sucked into them," hoping that she would get the hint and realize that she was in a cult just like that. But she said "haha yeah I love that movie" and missed the point completely. As she realized I was not going to join, she slowly stopped talking to me. I haven't spoken to her in four years now. She chose this cult over a deep, decade long friendship.
Story Nine: “I can’t decide if it was lust that made my guy friends want me to join, knowing that it would make me “available” for them to date or have a relationship with, or if the flirtation and prospect of dating was merely a ruse to get me to join the church.”
I have had numerous guy friends attempt to lure me into Xenos. It was most prevalent in late high school and early college. Interestingly enough, my parents had known some older adult folks in Xenos, and I was raised knowing to avoid it, though I was taught to respect my family friends as my elders. In high school, my lifelong friend, whom I had always admired, started showing me attention and telling me about campus parties, encouraging me to go with him (what felt like date-style). My teenage, hormonal, self wanted to go, but my Father reminded me to stay clear because he knew a lot about the organization. As sad as it made me, I resisted, and did not go with him. In college, I saw him a lot, and he constantly asked me to go to parties with him. I really liked him, and wanted to go, but I continued to keep my wall up, and maintained my busy schedule, not making time to see him despite his attractive looks and charming personality (sigh...).
Also in college, I made several other friends who were extremely active in Xenos. Living on the Ohio State campus at the time, I would frequent the ministry houses to visit with friends, but always left before bible study would start. I had several invitations to join, but I always stayed strong in my convictions to remain faithful to my own church and life. I found that the easiest way to repel interest was to surround myself with friends from the outside world, and show that I was very active and strong in my personal life and activities. One guy friend invited me to a house party, where I ran into my parent’s friends. They seemed so thrilled to see me at a Xenos event, and tried to fix me up on a date with their son. A co-worker and friend who lived near me used to ask me to go on walks with him, where we spoke about religion, our lives, our feelings. He would leave gifts and flowers on my doorstep. I grew to have very deep feelings for him. I now feel that he was really just trying to get me to move into one of the women’s ministry houses.
I can’t decide if it was lust that made my guy friends want me to join, knowing that it would make me “available” for them to date or have a relationship with, or if the flirtation and prospect of dating was merely a ruse to get me to join the church. Love-bombing. Either way, I’m glad I resisted. All of those guy friends are now married to girls they met through the church. Their beliefs and thinking are definitely more in line than mine would have been.
Story Ten: ". . . one of my best friends had a mental breakdown after they bullied her to the point of mental instability and then excommunicated her.”
I have witnessed Xenos and it’s cult-like habits for almost 20 years. They have always tried to force me to join, even going so far as to assign a ‘handler’ to me. Ex.: someone in the church that is my ‘friend’ and always tries to push their agenda.
Let’s see what else...one of my best friends had a mental breakdown after they bullied her to the point of mental instability and then excommunicated her.
People I thought were friends...WERE my friends until they joined told me they could no longer be friends with me and I quote ‘if you don’t accept Jesus you’re going to hell and I don’t want to waste my time with someone who won’t be there eternally for me.
Their ministry houses are run down. You are forced to share bedrooms. Every day of the week you have some group meeting or rather. If you miss one, it’s almost like being interrogated by the CIA.
They DO flaunt the ‘we are so cool because we drink and smoke’ but it’s just a lure. I’ve seen members go ‘courting’ which is pretty much being paired up with someone else in the church. They have chaperoned dates since they don’t trust you to behave yourselves.
They out LBGTQ kids who are looking for a safe place. Xenos is exactly the opposite. But that’s what they do- they prey on the weak and lost.
Story Eleven: “(Dennis) had us on the edge of our seats, and compared himself to Jesus multiple times. The entirety of the beach trip, if you don't know, is to entice, no, beyond entice highschoolers and those not fully convinced, to reside in a ministry house. They throw everything they have at you on these trips, including the mystical Den moments.”
I joined xenos through my childhood online friend because I grew up my whole life moving around constantly in different states (army parents). So I was super excited to finally meet my friend, and his group of new friends that completely changed him for the worse and convinced him to stop skyping me and playing video games with me. I bypassed this initial warning sign becuase I was so happy smoking black and milds and drinking beer after a routine homechurch at 18 years of age with him.
I grew up in church. Can't say that I am a Christian, but I am really good at faking it. Good enough to be invited to live in a homechurch within 2 weeks coming out. Good enough for noone to ever question my gender or sexuality or mental health or my actual beliefs. Xenos encouraged this behavior. They totally nailed groupthink. If you started saying something positive about LGBT anything or brought up any controversial topic, they would write that down, keep tabs on this, and sic their most homophobic or anti-whatever member after you and hound your beliefs.
I am intersex and mtf trans. I am...not straight, idk what sexuality I am. I have two ldr's with other trans women. I am a huge furry, a stoner, I draw porn, watch porn, make porn, play tons of video games, watch tv and smoke weed by myself all day, have sex, go to school, am a lesbian, polyam, wiccan with messianic tendencies, I am a person, an individual, with identity. All of these things, Xenos actively discourages.
I know more about the (NASB, gotta be NASB) bible than anyone at a homechurch I could randomly walk into. I know all of their rhetoric, I was taught it. My roommate, another ex-xenoid, went to LTC and paid his dues. We know all of their bullshit. We encouraged it and reinforced it for the longest time.
Xenos casts a large enough 'sin-net' to make sure that all of its members are constantly 'suffering' through something. Porn, sexuality, self-image, not-focussing-on-homechurch-enough, too much tv use, too much video games, everything but the cleanliness of the house, being hospitipal to guests, or your walk with God was labeled sin. You encourage or discipline people out of sin, with more group activities.
I'll leave with two of my worst xenos stories, and I have so many more from the two years I was in this cult, but I have mentally blocked them out probably or they are just as worse, or just plain evil. Keep in mind, I was a very inactive Xenos member. I was depressed as FUCK most of the time living in the ministry houses, and always found ways to avoid going to the 5 meetings/trunkball games a week.
My one solace in the first ministry house I was quickly forced into (they convinced me to do it without telling my parents and blamed it on my current OSU dormmates), was my desktop computer, for obvious reasons lol. I grew up online, I study human computer interaction (at the time, physics engineering and computer science, but xenos made me fail out of that, another story), I play video games, and I need alone time.
The ministry house leader at the time (my best friend's discipler) decided that, because he was also super into video games and computers, but if he played them as well, it would set a bad example for the rest of the house. So he made me place my desktop and monitor and shit (as well as another friend's gaming equipment) into a storage unit so that noone in the house could game or get excited about video games. We all decided that it was for the best (God's Calling) and it wasn't until half a year later that that house leader got engaged and "got out" of our ministry house, so that we could take our stuff out of storage.
During one beachtrip (yes, they kept doing them, even after multiple deaths, you are taught to grow jaded to death unfortunately) Dennis was making his rounds through all of the homechurch's ministry houses. He was pretty boozed up (and I THINK he was smoking weed secretly, he would be way cooler if he did) and he was 'initiating discussion' while chainvaping in the back of our cabana. I found out he was there, because our house leader ran into the house, banged pots and pans, and announced 'HEY YALL MY MAN DEN IS HERE' and people excitedly scurried around whispering and muttering his name, searching for their smokes and a few beers to try and grab the best spot to soak up his eternal wisdom.
He mainly just talk about how good his vape was (it HAD to be at least a CBD vape) and started on some bullshit tangent about God and spirituality and not falling into sin or whatever. But at the end, he made sure to address all the 'youngins' or, highschoolers, that had not fully decided on moving into a ministry house yet. That scene is etched into my mind. If you have seen Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master, it felt perfectly like a scene that L Ron Hubbard or some other extremely influential cult leader would cultivate. He had us on the edge of our seats, and compared himself to Jesus multiple times. The entirety of the beach trip, if you don't know, is to entice, no, beyond entice highschoolers and those not fully convinced, to reside in a ministry house. They throw everything they have at you on these trips, including the mystical Den moments.
OH also I am very, very sorry, but if you have been involved with Xenos, or around Xenoids, and heard the phrase 'Dude, nice!', I coined that. I wish it didn't take off as much as it did because every once in a while walking through campus I will hear a residual 'Dude, nice!' but I do find solace in the fact that a key Xenos phrase was created by a gay polyam trans woman.
Story Twelve: “This is the most devastating reason that people do not leave xenos, and the most challenging. Xenos does such a fantastic job of convincing people that life outside of the church is so bad that even living a mediocre to below mediocre life inside the church is more desirable. ”
Why it is so challenging to leave the xenos college ministry.
Current members of xenos will say that those who leave have sinned and decided to leave god behind and just want to waste their life. They will make a mockery and unfriend those who leave and claim that they are examples of people who have really veered off the path god had for them. Well Id like to point out why none of that is true and give some reasons why people actually find it so hard to leave xenos in the first place. After years of being deeply entrenched in the college ministry myself and leaving I can now say that those challenges are a plenty and an uphill battle for anyone who decides to leave, and this is why anyone who does leave is truly courageous and I applaud you. Most people who are heavily involved in the college ministry have had at least a few passing thoughts of leaving and others think about it daily. The reason they do not entertain these thoughts and act on them is based simply in fear. Fear of what you may ask? Well here are some of the things that people fear most about leaving xenos and why it is so hard to leave this CULT.
Loss of friendships
People that leave xenos will unanimously agree that most if not all the friends they had in xenos were not there when they left. Once a person leaves xenos the “friends” they have in the group will become people they used to know almost instantly. The person leaving will go from spending daily time with ministry house roommates and at least 3-4 days a week with homechurch members to not seeing these people at all. The person leaving knows that they will be gossiped about, slandered and viewed as a lost sinner who is broken almost beyond repair by everyone in the group. They know that losing their friends and being gossiped about will 100% take place because they have seen it happen to other former members who have left. I have seen it first hand with members who have left being viewed and treated exactly this way. Why is this so easy to fall into treating people this way while being an active member in xenos? It is so because it is part of the xenos culture and creed to view and treat members who leave with utter disdain, it is the ego and power that xenos has to brainwash and indoctrinate people into this sick and twisted pattern of thinking. People who leave know their friends will leave them in the dust, gossip endlessly about them, and basically stab them in the back upon leaving. This is something that is heartbreaking to think about I know because I've been there.
Many people in the xenos college ministry do not leave because they were raised in the church and them leaving would mean ridicule, scorn, and tension from family members. Xenos is all they have ever known and even though they can see the light at the end of the tunnel they are terrified of what it will look like to utterly disappoint family who are involved in the church. Xenos members are terrified of leaving because they know their family will view them completely differently and in a negative light after leaving. They know that they will become a shame in their family and dread what living that way will mean. I know this from personal experience, the dread of hurting family ties is terrifying. When I came out and told family members I was leaving xenos those were the most challenging conversations of my life. I was terrified because I knew what it meant to leave xenos. If a person has family members in xenos and leaves it is very similar to leaving the Jedi and going to the dark side in star wars. Family members will think that you have turned your back on all that is good and that you are wasting all your potential. That is not a picturesque family life to be living and why many people are so terrified to leave xenos....rightfully so. But there is hope I have experienced it first hand, all of those thoughts are pre-programmed into you with xenos's propaganda, they are not true in the slightest. Leave if its best for you and yes your family may scorn you, gossip about you, and think you're wasting your potential but do what is best for YOU, you can find happiness outside the cult.
The words “god” and “xenos” become interchangeable
Xenos and god become interchangeable and the lines become blurred. Xenos members start to believe that if they were to leave xenos they are leaving “god” and abandoning the faith. They think this because xenos teaches them this many times from a very young age. Xenos has pre K-8th grade schools teaching children that they need the church. VBS programs that indoctrinate children that they need the church. They have blowout camp and epic, trips for middle school and highschool students to experience more of the xenos brainwashing. They have college connection where high school students are told that they shouldn't leave Columbus because god has placed them here to be in xenos in college, and that if they do they are turning there back on “gods plan” for them. They have college group leaders who make decisions about where members will move when groups split up on campus. A homechurch will split when enough new recruits join, and a new homechurch will be formed. The college leaders will tell people they are moving in this house with these people and the non-leaders will not have a say. But this is supposed to be “gods will” when in reality its xenos leaders will disguised as being from “god”. Xenos leaders will coerce members into breaking up with significant others and claim it is “gods will” but once again this is xeons's will disguised as gods will. Xenos leaders will bash other Christian churches and denominations saying that what they have at xenos is far superior, and that xenos is really where god is working most. You can see how xenos's will and god's will become interchangeable in the college ministry and people really begin to believe that what xenos says god says. This is why they are so powerful in manipulating people they claim their will is gods when in reality the word of many xenos members is their own calculated thoughts that come from years of brainwashing and indoctrination.
Loss of hope that life outside of xenos can be fulfilling
This is the most devastating reason that people do not leave xenos, and the most challenging. Xenos does such a fantastic job of convincing people that life outside of the church is so bad that even living a mediocre to below mediocre life inside the church is more desirable. The so called “world system” is something that xenos has a focus on in nearly every teaching at every meeting whether it be homechurch, central teaching, cell group, or prayer group. It is constantly beat into the heads of xenos members that the way in which the rest of the world lives outside of xenos is pure evil and gluttony aka the “world system” People in xenos talk constantly about how dangerous it is to live outside of serious christian fellowship, and how miserable it is. They discuss coworkers who go home and watch TV after work and are bored, people who have sex before marriage, and those who cant find happiness and how if those people seriously committed to xenos everything would change, their lives would be amazing. This is the lie that xenos sells people: life inside our church and fellowship is so much better than anything else out there, why would you want anything else, You don't need anything else besides us. This is blatantly false and as many of us have opened our eyes and realized how this “xenos truth” is all smoke, mirrors, and deception. It is based in the teaching of FEAR. Xenos uses fear to keep its members around, fear that life without xenos is terrible, that I should stay because I wont truly find happiness outside the cult. Well me and many others have found that happiness can be found outside of xenos. It may take time to adjust to the real world once leaving xenos but it is all part of the growing process in removing the chains that xenos has put around you. Once you are able to break free from those chains it is so satisfying and exciting, you will look back with great delight that you are no longer a part of this all encompassing cult.
Story Thirteen: “Every recruit was told that they came from the most horrible family. All of their families were "the most horrible". But actually, the family is "more horrible" after Xenos interferes with it.”
The "Devil Mom" Syndrome
If you are the mother of a Xenos member, then you are probably a "Devil Mom" and there are a lot of them out there. If you are the member of the family who protested the most about your child's entrance into Xenos, then you must be Satanized. This must be done to minimize your influence on your own child and maximize the influence of Xenos, and it must be done repeatedly, because your child is an asset to the cult. Your child recruits many members and thus increase the riches and power of Xenos.
Every cult turns the kids against the family. The family is the #1 Enemy.
Therefore, you will be told various things such as "You're not a Christian", "You're materialistic", "You don't support me in my efforts to raise my children in Xenos", etc. This is an ongoing thing, with a constant effort to look for, judge, and point out your flaws. It's also profoundly hurtful.
A cult exit counselor told me, when I was assuming the blame for everything that was said to me: "It doesn't matter what your family was like, when this group gets a hold of them. Even if you had been the Cleavers, the group would have found something wrong with that. They would have said that you were lacking the mission of God, leading a self-centered life, or whatever."
Every recruit was told that they came from the most horrible family. All of their families were "the most horrible". But actually, the family is "more horrible" after Xenos interferes with it.
From an article about the harmful effects of being raised in a predatory cult:
Harmful Effects Continue as an Adult
People cannot form their own identity when being told what to believe all the time, especially when this starts at a young age before their brain is fully developed. Their ability to trust is affected and this continues into adulthood, even if they leave the cult. They have trouble forming intimate, lasting romantic relationships and friendships. For others, they trust too much, possibly joining another high-control group.
The trauma of being raised in a destructive group is real and causes lasting harm. “Mind control can cause an unnatural state in a human being and cause them to form a new identity or use defense mechanisms to protect themselves. The cult experience can turn into a traumatic event leading the member to become traumatized and develop symptoms of posttraumatic stress (PTSD)…PTSD symptoms most commonly observed in ex-cult members are anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, sleeplessness, violent outbursts, memory loss, vivid flashbacks, and somatoform disorder.” (Ilona C. Cuddy)
Children are precious and need our help so they are not harmed. As I said last week, “This is an issue that needs immediate attention from everyone! Let us all speak out against these harmful practices demanding change and protection for children, inside and outside, any and all religious groups. This is not religious freedom but child abuse. Enough is enough. We need to come together to better protect children from the damaging effects of cults!”
Hassan, Steve. Freedom of Mind Resource Center. "Children Are Harmed by Destructive Cults: Part Two".
If your child is the victim of a mind control cult, the good memories of their childhood can be destroyed. They can possibly see their parents forever as less than they were:
"... the member's past is rewritten. He tends to look back at his previous life with a distorted memory that colors everything dark. Even very positive memories are skewed toward the bad."
Hassan, Steven. Combatting Cult Mind Control. Vermont: Park Street Press, 1990, p. 83.
"Former members of many different cults are beginning to initiate civil law suits. They charge fraud, negligence, involuntary servitude, and harassment. The also sue for lost wages, for money and property turned over to the cult, and for psychological damages caused by the group's programs."
Hassan, Steven. Combatting Cult Mind Control. Vermont: Park Street Press, 1990, p. 194.
Story Fourteen: “Later I found out that the leaders in my group were pressuring my best friend to get us to break up. I also discovered a close family member (who was a leader) was emailing my leaders and trashing me, my fiancé, and our impending marriage. They had decided we were going to fail and shouldn’t get married. Over a decade later we are still married, quite happily.”
There are dozens of stories I could share about myself and other people. However, this is the one that impacted me the most and really started the end of my tome in that church. I had been dating this guy, who was also in the church, for years and we got engaged. Now, in the college group it was RARE to get engaged and married if you weren’t in leadership, which we weren’t. We didn’t exactly have much support from our home churches. I should also mention, I saw a few other non leader couples get the same treatment. Later I found out that the leaders in my group were pressuring my best friend to get us to break up. I also discovered a close family member (who was a leader) was emailing my leaders and trashing me, my fiancé, and our impending marriage. They had decided we were going to fail and shouldn’t get married. Over a decade later we are still married, quite happily.
Anyways, my wedding rolls around and a large majority of people I had been in home church with and considered good friends didn’t show up. Marriages that have the stamp of approval in Xenos are packed with people. Marriages like mine, well, let’s just say they make it clear just how much they don’t support you. Okay so we are married then and happily. In an attempt to become closer with the couples (who were all in leadership) in our group, we throw Buckeye parties and invite the the entire group. A lot of the single people came. Not once did anyone in leadership show up. We invited the marrieds to do other things. Not once do they respond.
Finally, around Election Day, the senior leaders invite us over. My husband is happy. They finally wanted to hang with us. I was not so optimistic. We get there and they tell us we are no longer welcome in cell group and we should go to the adult group. After that, the only time they spoke to us was to ask how our search for a new group was going. Eventually we found one we thought we may belong in. Cue various love bombing and so forth. We joined. It honestly didn’t last long. We left maybe a year or two later. I’ve been through some horrible things in my life. The last few years in Xenos and leaving were easily the hardest. I’m grateful I’m gone. At this point all I care about is Xenos taking responsibility for what they have done to people. I’m not interested in bringing them down. I’m not concerned with what happened to me anymore. I’ve moved on. I wanted to share so someone who has gone through the same or is knows they aren’t alone. My life after leaving far surpassed anything I ever thought it would. I’d been trained to believe if I left I wasn’t a Christian anymore and would be miserable. I wasn’t. I was happy. Fulfilled. I’ve been blessed extensively.
Story Fifteen: “I realized that I had nothing, that they took everything from me and when it wasn’t enough I was casted aside. I tried to keep going to meetings and the friends I had there that were not part of leadership but when people are set against you it is healthier to leave destructive people behind!”
I joined Xenos when I was 19 years old it was shortly after my grandfather passed away... a friend from work that I was interested in dating asked me to my 1st home church meeting after hearing my story of and desire to follow a life of Christ. I made friends my 1st night there and soon started going to the weekly home church cell and central teachings less than a month later I moved in to one of the ministers houses a few years later I started working with high school girls and I enjoyed helping them and for a few years I was busy day and night and was barely able to do anything but meetings and classes I didn’t have a job that had a good income ... was pressured into give them money... then I lost my job I thought I could count on them to help me while I looked for a new job because others had joined our group that we completely supported till they found a job and got back on their feet... however they kept an account of how much I they “helped me” which was right about $800 dollars once I got a new job and started paying my share they asked me to pay everything back ( they had not asked others to do so) we as a group came up with a plan of action to pay what they asked ... I moved in with a married couple and would pay a certain amount back towards the house account as well as rent to the married couple... several days into this venture I shredded the tendons in my ankle.
I took several days off because my doctor told me to, before returning to work making a payment a few days late and even though this happened I was able to pay the full amount back and more by 200. At this point a family member became very ill and I went to the hospital to visit, I missed a few meetings and was called out for it as well as told that because I made a late payment that I need to repent from my financial sin that because I made a late payment it was my refusal to summit to god in and told that I should move into a homeless shelter until (they thought) I had made up and repented enough to rejoin a house ... at this point they told the leaders of the high school group I worked with that they had made me move in with the couple and that I hadn’t done what we had agreed upon and that I wasn’t moving back into the house.
I was then told that I was no longer welcome to help the high school girls that I had been working with for three years and called a liar by the leader. At this point I felt very attacked and hurt and small everything I had been working for for years had been taken away from me... and then I realized that I had cut my family practically out of my life that I had missed out on my nephews 2-5 years that I had given up my cat that I had raised from birth, disconnected from childhood friends that meant the world to me. I realized that I had nothing, that they took everything from me and when it wasn’t enough I was casted aside. I tried to keep going to meetings and the friends I had there that were not part of leadership but when people are set against you it is healthier to leave destructive people behind!
Story Sixteen: “ . . . and don't forget the insults and personal attacks that were present at these meetings as well. I took the mental abuse at one of these meetings once and let me tell you it isn't any fun at all...its actually quite horrible and mentally scarring.”
Dating within the cult (xenos)
People in the xenos college ministry do not date others that are outside of the group. The very few that do I would say less than 1% are looked at with disregard by other members of each specific group. I spent years in the college ministry and can only think of one person that I know of that dated a person who was not an active member of xenos. My friends girlfriend was also a christian and involved in another church. This wasn't good enough for xenos members to grant their approval. My friend was continually questioned by members of the group relating to his decision to date someone outside of xenos. Most of the hostility towards this persons own personal decision as to who he wanted to date was passive aggressiveness and slander behind his back. I was very close to this person and people would come up and me and ask what I thought about my friends relationship. They would ask if I thought it was benefiting him spiritually, if he was having sex with his girlfriend and if he was really serious about God. This was all because his girlfriend was a christian who didn't attend xenos, ABSOLUTE ABSURDITY! How can you say that your church isn't a cult when anytime a person decides to date someone outside the group it is looked on with such disregard? A group that is that insular is a cult in its finest form, holding the belief that members must be protected from anything outside the group. My friend ended up leaving the cult thankfully and now has a great relationship with the same girl he was dating while in xenos.
People in xenos follow very rigorous structures in their dating lives. Each relationship needs approval from leaders for the relationship to really flourish. If a person in the college ministry decides to date someone that may be a great fit for them but isn't looked at as being too “spiritual” then the relationship will most likely not work. A persons discipler, other members of the group, and the leaders will continually question a person who is in a relationship that they don't approve of. They will also display passive aggressive tendencies towards the person who's relationship they do not approve of by making snarky comments around them and behind their back. They will question the person about the relationship to the point where guilt and shame are brought on the person who's dating. This in hopes of getting the person to end their relationship and see “gods” will. Xenos leaders and members love to say that they see “gods” will in other peoples dating lives. These people actually believe that god specifically speaks to them about other peoples dating lives, while their so called “god” allows inhumane suffering to happen all across the world. But he cares about the dating lives of xenos members? ..... Does not make a whole lot of sense does it? But take it or leave it xenos members have the self proclaiming ultimate connection to god and his insight so we must trust them! It really is mind blowing that they don't see what they are really doing in these situations. All they really want to do is control a very intimate part of someones life and choose who and who they do not date. This practice is so prevalent throughout the college group and will affect anyone who attempts to date while being an active member in the cult. If you date within the college ministry also do not expect to spend much time at all with your significant other. People in xenos will have one “date night” per week and this is typically on Saturday night. The rest of the week is filled with other xenos related functions. I dated while in the college ministry and was questioned more than a few times for hanging out with my girlfriend more than once a week. Also if you plan on being out past 1 or 2 am be prepared to be questioned by the members of the ministry house that you live with as to what you were doing out so late alone with you significant other. People will wonder if you made out too long, touched each other, or oh no had SEX! Most people though are so scared of this questioning that they will obey the house sponsored curfews typically 1 or 2 am. Curfews for grown aged college students living on campus, is this what you want your college experience to be? 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.
I was a part of multiple house meetings in which another guy from my ministry house was interrogated over some form of “sexual” contact he had with his girlfriend. These allegations were usually admitted by the member committing the offense or drawn out by questioning from a persons dicipler of a leader in the group. These meetings were set up so that the accused person was front and center in a room and sat there getting questioned about what they did. Typically it was some form of “excessive” making out, or groping with clothes on not even sex. People would question the accused person as to specific details of what happened? How long did you touch? In what way? Why did you put yourself in a situation where this could happen? What are steps you are going to take to make sure this doesn't happen again? How will this affect you walk with god? These are some of the most typical questions asked, and don't forget the insults and personal attacks that were present at these meetings as well. I took the mental abuse at one of these meetings once and let me tell you it isn't any fun at all...its actually quite horrible and mentally scarring. It made me really start to wonder about who my “friends” in the ministry house really were and if they really care for me as a person. These meetings in which a guy confessed some form of “sexual act” if you can even call it that took place about once every 2-3 months. After the meetings were over that wont be the end of the questioning from other members of the group. This will be a continual process with more questions coming from other leaders and the members of the house for an undetermined amount of time. Once a person “messes” up at all sexually they are looked at differently and with the potential to screw up again being highly likely, they must be kept in check by other members through questioning. This really is all so mentally draining and I wish this on no one.... it just isn't humane.
I write all of this in hopes of reaching people who are members of the college group/ or considering joining the cult to think for yourselves and don't let group think take control of you. Consider all the stories people on here have posted about the oppressive xenos cult, we are here to share our stories and experiences and help people gain freedom. You can fight back against the xenos culture and leave or never start going in the first place. You will lose most all of the friends you have there if you do leave just like I did, but you will be able to start a new life without the stresses of the oppressive xenos culture wearing you down day in and day out. RISE above the oppression, you all have it in you, and your life will be drastically better!
Story Seventeen: “Attend a xenos college group and have you life and beliefs discussed extensively behind your back and without your permission...I call that gossip and slander.”
I spent over 5 years in the xenos college ministry and was a leader..I no longer attend and have opened my eyes to the brainwashing, indoctrination, spiritual abuse, and downright nastiness of the college ministry.
Attend a xenos college group and have you life and beliefs discussed extensively behind your back and without your permission...I call that gossip and slander.
I have a document here that I think is important for people to see, a list coming from a typical xenos college group prayer group that will be emailed out to all members of the group each week. Xenos college groups all have a weekly “prayer” meeting where any new potential convert is discussed extensively. Their beliefs, upbringing, relational status and living situation are all discussed at length with between 15-40 people all at the same time. This is done without the permission or knowledge of the person who is being discussed, since the new potential convert/group member is never invited to the homechurch's prayer meeting. The main point of these meetings is to share with the already established group members... any new potential converts or new potential members who may be showing interest in joining. The intricate details of peoples lives discussed at these prayer meetings a lot of the time was straight up gossip and slander. People bashing/making fun of new potential members beliefs, relational status, upbringing and style of living is downright appauling. I remember countless times where a new person would show up to homechurch a few times and word would get out that they had a significant other that may be stalling their meeting attendance and growth. We would discuss at these meetings strategies to get the new potential member to breakup/or gain space from their significant other so that they could attend more meetings, looking back it is sickening. The only relationships xenos members approve of is dating within the church... and that a lot of times isn’t enough for people there to approve of a relationship. I will save that topic for another post though. Each new potential convert is also assigned a point person/or point people. This means that 1 or 2 maybe 3 people from the group are assigned to this new person to text them, hangout with them, and have extensive conversations with them on a daily/weekly basis...all in hopes that this new person will get more involved with the group. Everything about these prayer meetings and wining new members is very calculated. These weekly prayer meetings are not the end of discussion surrounding new potential members personal lives. Any new potential member is discussed extensively on a daily basis between people in the homechurch. The more serious a person seemed about becoming part of the group and devoting time to the group the more they are discussed. Within xenos discussing new members and the intricate details of their lives is considered to be a “spiritual conversation”. The word spiritual conversation in xenos is very key to understanding how they operate. A spiritual conversation...a lot of times involving discussing new potential converts is considered with very high regard, something that people strive for. The thing that the college group members don’t realize is that if they were to ask the new potential member how they felt about being discussed in front of upwards of 40 people I guarantee they wouldn’t be ok with that in any sense. They don’t realize that all they are doing is gossiping and slandering another person in the worst way possible...in front of a giant group of people! I sincerely warn people to stay away from the xenos college group at all costs...you will be discussed, gossiped about and xenos will have a plan for you life that I know you wont agree with until it is too late!
Here is the prayer list from a typical weekly homechurch prayer group meeting. Important to note that this list is only the basics of what is discussed between group members to help them remember who the new potential members/converts are. Names are changed for privacy of these people that were openly gossiped/slandered against in front of 30+ people at the time... they have suffered enough gossip already!
· Sarah is Tammy's friend from class. She is also a freshman and is Catholic. Has hung out with us during the game. She has softened up about her desire to come to protestant group. She does feel devoted to her Catholic church. She loved home church but probably hasn’t received Christ. She probably will come hang and watch football. Pray for good conversations to see where she is at!
· Katherine is Eric's girlfriend. She initiated coming to home church. Catholic background probably isn’t a believer. Katherine seems a bit closed about her faith. Pray for a receptive heart in Katherine. Pray that Eric and Katherine can come for the teaching part of home church.
· Anna is Jordan's friend who prayed to receive Christ a month ago. Pray that she can spend time with Anna and see the work God has done in Anna's life.
· Adurey, Anna's friend, liked home church and wants to come back. Pray that God can stir in her heart and that she would return.
· Alex has been coming our pretty consistently. Seems really excited to start following the Lord. Pray for his girlfriend as well, that Alex will follow the Lords will for their relationship. Thank God for his willingness to hear the Lord! Pray against spiritual attack.
· David is Kyle's friend who might come hang with Kyle, pray for spiritual conversations!
· Alex’s friend Dan has lost touch a little bit. Pray for God stirring in his heart and contact with Alex.
· David is going to have lunch with Joe, he is a 7th day Adventist. Seems into spiritual things!
· Yanni, thanks to God that he is willing to come around. Pray that God would move in his heart and that he could be
· Sammi came out to home church again, and has initiated with Kristen! Thank God that she has been more open and willing to have consistent time with Kristen.
· Morgan seems to be hesitant and nervous about deeper commitment to fellowship. Pray that she would begin to act on her convictions to be more involved with fellowship.
· Tim is Mark's friend and they are going to spend time this week. Pray for spiritual conversations. Also pray for Scott, Mark's old roommate, that he would be interested in God!
· Russell has invited his roommates to home church. Pray for Russell to be able to have free time to attend fellowship, pray that he would have too much stress. Thank God that he wants to be involved in fellowship.
· Jim has been coming out for a while, pray that it would be clear what the next step is for him.
· Hector's Chinese friend might be busy on Thursdays, pray his schedule would be cleared up.
· Pray that Paul wouldn’t feel alienated.
- All names below have been changed.
- Mary and Sally are two high school students who participate in a Xenos home church.
- The home church is led by two college students, Catherine and Ethel. Catherine meets with Mary and Sally individually, outside of meetings, for discipleship.
- A fellow high school student, Amanda, has recently become a Christian after conversations with long-time friends Mary and Sally, and attending Xenos meetings.
- While addressing members of the home church after a recent Central Teaching, Ethel angrily declared it was “f#@!ing lame” no first-timers were coming to Xenos meetings.
Initial Meeting: Mary and Sally met with Catherine to express these things:
- They felt the home church seemed to be focusing too much on performance.
- For example, they felt unduly pushed by Catherine to pray and share in meetings. After proposing such “challenges” Catherine would send text messages reminding them she was looking forward to hearing from them in the next meeting. If they didn’t pray or share in the next meeting, she’d ask why they hadn’t prayed or shared.
- They also felt pushed by challenges to get together with specific girls outside meetings by specific deadlines identified by Catherine. Intermediate goals proposed by the girls, such as spending more time within meetings getting to know the other girls, were rejected.
- They felt Catherine wasn’t listening to them. For example, Amanda had told Mary and Sally she’d be unable to attend a Xenos meeting until swimming season ended. Catherine responded to this information by challenging them to continue inviting Amanda anyway.
- They felt Catherine wasn’t working with them to identify spiritual challenges, but simply telling them what their steps of faith should be.
- They felt Catherine did much to challenge, but little to encourage.
- They felt disturbed by Ethel’s remark to the group that it was “f#@!ing lame” no first-timers were coming to meetings.
Follow Up to Initial Meeting: Ethel joined Catherine to talk with Mary and Sally
- Ethel indicated that because Mary and Sally knew they had been inviting people to meetings, they shouldn’t feel personally accused by the “f#@!ing lame” comment.
- Catherine was unable to verbalize any “takeaways” in terms of her own character or actions after reflecting on input she’d received from Mary and Sally in their previous meeting.
- Catherine considers her “challenges” to the girls appropriate because God is already commanding them to do these things.
- Catherine and Ethel believe concerns raised by the girls raised point to a serious underlying perception problem on Mary’s and Sally’s part. They’re misunderstanding the church’s calls to action and feeling they’re being judged for not following up on action steps. The fact they’re expressing concern about focus on performance suggests they’re likely viewing themselves and others in the group “under law”. Even if someone were treating them as though they were under law, the bible says they’re not under law. Therefore, if they feel they’re under law, they alone bear responsibility for those feelings.
- Ethel and Catherine argued Christians should already have received the full encouragement needed to accept “challenges”: this is true because we know Christ died for us and the Holy Spirit is present within us. Nevertheless, the body does have a role to “come alongside” and “spur” us to take steps we don’t want to take. Ethel referenced Hebrews 10:24, which discusses considering how to spur one another on to love and good deeds. She indicated the Greek word doesn’t suggest encouragement or gentleness, but rather pushing, dragging, squeezing, or irritating.
Topic: Pushback and Pushing
Catherine indicated she felt “pushback” from Mary and Sally with respect to her suggestion that they continue asking Amanda to participate in still more bible study meetings.
Mary and Sally had met with Amanda a few times but felt she seemed distracted, uncomfortable, and disinterested. Given that Amanda had gone from zero to two bible study meetings per week, that Amanda was making spiritual progress, that Amanda faced time constraints with schoolwork and sports, and that as friends they knew Amanda has a hard time saying no, they decided to not press her further at the time.
Ethel indicated that because Amanda hadn’t explicitly said she was uncomfortable or disinterested, it was safe to assume Mary and Sally were projecting their own feelings onto Amanda- that their time together was just another meeting
Ethel indicated the bible says equipping a believer is important and doesn’t talk about comfort. So long as Amanda showed up to study, Mary and Sally should have continued even if Amanda seemed uncomfortable.
Mary asked whether there’s ever a point at which we’re pushing people too much. Referencing a teaching she’d heard, Catherine indicated she didn’t think God would ever say He wished they’d have pushed a new disciple less or taken the pressure off a little bit.
Topic: Consideration of Spiritual Fruit
After referencing James’ instruction that faith not put into practice is worthless, Catherine asked Mary and Sally to consider what fruit their faith had produced in the past year, answer honestly before God, and let Him convict them. She added that she wasn’t saying this to make them feel bad.
Topic: The Radical Call (comments from Catherine and Emma)
- Their home church was once failing but is now growing because its call to members is one of radical high commitment.
- Mary and Sally should examine how their lives line up with the radical call God’s making.
- The radical calling is only going to intensify. Unless Mary and Sally can trust and act on truth, it’s only going to get harder and worse for them.
- Mary and Sally should consider what they are going to do in the home church unless they’re willing to get on board with the radical call.
- God’s always calling people to be radical, and God is OK with losing disciples if that’s the result.
- If they feel the call is too much for them, maybe Xenos is not the church for them.
Story Eighteen: “Lots of mysterious deaths around high schoolers tied up in Xenos. I know some Ex members who said they controlled and stalked your life outside the church. So invasive.”
I would not consider myself an ex-member because I was never truly a member. I was invited to a home church group for high schoolers, which are lead by the college aged members. The first outing I made to the house was pretty normal because that Sunday was actually Super Bowl Sunday. It wasn't a normal bible study, just a party for the football game. They still managed to bring Faith into it, but I didnt see any red flags yet. So I decided to show up the next week for their bible study, to actually scope it out. A couple things.
1) perhaps I may have spilled too much personal info about my childhood, as I attended a catholic school for three years of GRADE school. Maybe they found out. Who knows. Im not a practicing catholic or practicing anything. But that whole bible study session, everyone was bashing Catholics and explaining why their fellowship was superior. It was quite funny listening to the ignorance and misinterpretations of an institution they clearly have no knowledge of. But yeah. I felt pretty singled out and felt a lot of hateful vibes, since they have this ego of being the superior religion or something.
2) they gave me a spare bible and expected me to flip to Corinthians like I knew exactly where it was. After flipping through it for a couple seconds to get my bearings she snatched it out of my hand and flipped to it, asserting dominance and proving my lack of cognitive ability or something haha. Weird vibes.
3) this is where I'm creeped out. They make you Recite this verse in order to be truly.. in ? If that makes sense. The verse is about how you must utter with your mouth out loud that you accept Gods grace or something along those lines. Perhaps deuteronomy 23.23 or something I dont remember. I said Ok but not with the intention of doing it right there. She watched me and waited for me to say it. I said I was uncomfortable. Next week she revisited me with her bible and asked if I was ready to say the verse. I never did. Made me feel weird. Extreme pressure.
4) one of the college aged leaders would give me rides and tried to bribe me to join their group by taking me to UDF. I ate the free ice cream but ended up saying no in the end.
Lots of mysterious deaths around high schoolers tied up in Xenos. I know some Ex members who said they controlled and stalked your life outside the church. So invasive.
Everyone I spoke to sounded so uneducated and in their weird Ego bubble of superiority. You cant be inviting while also being condescending. They're literally trained to be little recruiters. You know them when you see them.
Story Nineteen: “Eventually, I stopped attending Xenos and the friendships that I thought would be long lasting ended. My best friend from middle school and the beginning of high school stopped talking to me. She confronted me and told me she couldn't be friends with others who didn't believe in christ.”
When I was in elementary school my mom joined Xenos (when it was located in a warehouse off Sinclair Rd) and as an 8 year old I was put in the Sunday school rooms. I never had a bad experience for those random Sundays we would visit. Fast forward to middle school and I met a friend who attended Blow Out the middle school hang out for Xenos. I went with her a few times and loved the social aspect of it. We played dodge ball! I never really ended up attending that often to feel included, but rather as a guest, in the middle school program. I did however, start attending the high school program more regularly as a freshman and really enjoyed the social aspect of the whole church.
As a (barely) high school student I was going to campus for Cell group meetings. I went on a few missionary trips (one to South Dakota and another to the UP Michigan) and I absolutely loved the trip and the friendships I made. However, I never truly believed in the Bible and the teachings. I also was weirded out because they let kids smoke cigarettes (under age), but kicked kids out if they found out they were engaging in sexual activity. Eventually, I stopped attending Xenos and the friendships that I thought would be long lasting ended. My best friend from middle school and the beginning of high school stopped talking to me. She confronted me and told me she couldn't be friends with others who didn't believe in christ. Even though we attended the same school for two more years, we hardly spoke. Eventually, 10+ years later, she left the church and we were able to reconnect.
Story Twenty: “This Xenos cult crap creates inner circles and groups within groups within groups of friends who exclude people from certain things. They're not always forthright about what they say or do, and I didn't realize that until after the fact.”
About 7 years ago I was introduced to the High School Home Church segment of the college group I later became apart of. At the time I wasn't even aware of Xenos and the umbrella of influence. At the time I thought it was ok that college students were reaching out to high schoolers about the word of god. I liked the group so I kept going back.
After participating with the college group on OSU campus for a month or so I was taken to Xenos. I went for a few months, 8pm on Thursdays with [ 8 Names ], and people from this branch. I discovered that the interpretations were different and I didn't know how I felt about it. I accepted that the word of god can have many interpretations and left it be.
It wasn't until about the 6th month mark that I noticed everyone bored out of their minds during a lecture. First, I noticed Xenos were only attending for the socialization aspect but then I noticed it within my group too.. people falling asleep everytime, playing on their phones, talking, goofing off, and realized nobody is even taking this seriously. It pissed me off but I let it be.
One day, I decided I wanted to drink a little bit. I turned 21 months prior and hadn't really gone out to drink too much. [ . . . . ] took me to a bar one time and it was fun, and the college students have alcohol in their home so I figured I'd go get drunk. I thought about how I even attended a birthday party sponsored by Monster and people were drinking beers so why not?
[ . . . . ] came out, picked me up from Gahanna and took me to Kroger to pick up a 6 pack. I already drank 10 in the previous 2 hours and I was feeling pretty good. I told him in the car on our way there that I had already drank 10 and he couldn't even tell that I had been drinking. We got to the college student's campus home and I grabbed a beer and started drinking it. Another girl there asked if she can have one so I told her yea!
One of the guys didn't like that I was drinking and told me to stop or he'll call the police. His name is [ . . . . ]. It was the most ridiculous thing I ever heard knowing that they all drink, and party, and bs around. I told him that I haven't bothered anyone but if I do, I'll stop. I didn't want to go home but he gave me no choice.. he still threatened me telling me to go home. To this day I don't even think he lived there. [ . . . . ] offered a ride home but I declined. I told them I'll walk home and jumped down off the 3 steps without losing balance. I told them that I'm not drunk and told [ . . . . ] off and started walking home.
I walked down to the corner going left. With 2 shirts on I flipped one inside out to hide the graphic on the front. Afterwards I walked the other direction at that corner going north instead of south. It took me about 6-7 hours to walk home from downtown Columbus to the west side of Gahanna. I ended up walking the wrong way about an hour on morse road, missed the last bus of the night by mere seconds, and a homeless man asked for money so I gave him $10 so he wouldn't try robbing me. I did it though.
That night was one of the hardest challenges I ever experienced in my life. I discovered confidence within myself, and hope for a greater future. They tried reaching out to me but I closed them out after that. Supposedly they went looking for me but couldn't find me. After 11 beers in a 3 hour window, I outsmarted half a dozen 25 to 27 year old college adults. I have always felt good about this.
This Xenos cult crap creates inner circles and groups within groups within groups of friends who exclude people from certain things. They're not always forthright about what they say or do, and I didn't realize that until after the fact. It was weird hearing my sister come to the same conclusion after she attended.. and I didn't even know she was. And she's someone who these experiences can both influence the most and hurt the most. That's scary.
I saw this Xenos is a Cult group and felt like maybe my story (though not entirely bad) can help people better protect themselves. An old friend of mine [ . . . . . . . . . . ] was truly changed by this group for the better I assume. He found god and gave up some of life's bad habits. I think he quit the group for similar reasons.
This group absolutely needs to be shut down because I absolutely believe it's a cult in disguise. They're trying to reach into you and manipulate you from within, to see exactly how they see.. I just imagine that it's been 7 years and how many more people are being drawn into this? How many more are discovering it's a cult?
Story Twenty-One: “I told my friend about what happened, she apologized profusely and said she’d report him. One of the leaders told her that no one saw this take place so there was nothing she could have done.”
Hi I have a story I’d like to share. I wasn’t apart of Xenos but my best friend was. I had just moved to Ohio for my dads work when I met this girl at school who I instantly clicked with. She invited me out to this huge party type thing, she told me there would be a small bible session before and after wards we would all just hang out. I grew up in the Catholic Church so I was like ya whatever a bible session is fine because I wanted to hang out with my friend. So I go to this place and it is huge. There had to be like 100 people there easy, maybe more. Someone comes out on the stage and my friend calls me over and we all sit down. This dude talked for over 2 hours. Finally after it was done my friend introduced me to other people and they were very nice, I ended up having a great time. I end up becoming really good friends with this girl, we lived right down the street from each other, she started driving me and taking me home from school, etc. Then every time I asked her to hang out she couldn’t because she had to go to meetings. I quickly found out that the only way I would be able to hang out with her was if I attended these meetings with her. I started going pretty consistently, once a week or so. I grew up in a church so I was the master of tuning people out so at the beginning I really didn’t pay attention too much. One day I decided to listen in, they were trying to discredit all religions. They claimed Christianity was the only religion with actual evidence. I laughed, then everyone looked back at me. The leader asked me what was funny, I said actually theres evidence of Buddha dating back well before Christ. Everyone was silent for a minute and then they all started whispering to each other. The leader was scrambling, didn’t know what to say. Basically said I was wrong and that I needed to “find god”. I shrugged it off. The leader came up to me after the session and told me that she really wanted to help me find god. I told her god and I were old friends (she didn’t laugh at the joke, she just stared me down) she then asked me to keep coming out. My friend started to have medical issues so she started missing the meetings. She called me crying one day talking about how her leader told her if she stopped coming to all the meetings that she’d be throwing away her relationship with god and shit. I told her that wasn’t true, your relationship with god is your own, you don’t have to go to church every week let alone 3 times a week.
She started dating this guy in the group, a real creep. They started messing around. She told me that he told his leader that she was tempting him to sin and some insane shit like that. They pulled her aside and basically told her to stop being a slut, she had to change her wardrobe and they were no longer allowed to be alone together. She started getting depressed. I watched the girl who I would laugh with for hours turn into someone who would barely speak two words to anyone. I told her to talk to her parents about seeing a doctor but she told me that her leader said “depression isn’t real, get over it”. This is the first time I told her to get the hell out of that group. She didn’t. Fast forward a year or so later, she was a year ahead of me so she graduated high school and dove head first into the “church”. She moved into one of their houses where she shared a tiny ass room with 3 other girls. She paid $300 a month to live there. She showed me the contract, rent was listed as $200, the other $100 was listed under “Water, Electric, Garbage and church activities”. She’s living there, not going to college because they convinced her to become a Leader. She starts getting sick again as well as working her ass off so she’s not attending all meetings, activities etc. They threatened to kick her out of the house and the church if she didn’t attend. Once again saying she was neglecting god. This was the second time I told her to get the hell out of there. She didn’t. Then they started to pile on house duties. If she didn’t attend all meetings than she would be punished by having to do all the work in the house. So she was forcing herself to go to work even though she felt like garage and then coming home to more work. I stayed over one night, they were having a party. My friend forgot about the reading so her and I came in late. Everyone stared at us, I looked at my friend and she was red and swearing and cowering. Not like her. We sat down. They were preaching about how weather could not be predicted, that it was an act of god. I couldn’t help myself from making a face. The people around us starting whispering, pointing. I ignored them. After that the leader came up to her and I with beer, we were 17,18 so we happily accepted. The leader started talking to about god and what I believe in, etc. 2 drinks later I was a little tipsy. The leader begged me to “accept god” and join the group. He put another drink infront of me. It was at this point I realized he was still on his
First drink. I told him no thank you, and started to back away. He grabbed my arm and said “God loves you even though you don’t love him” I yanked my arm out of his grip and ran away. I told my friend about what happened, she apologized profusely and said she’d report him. One of the leaders told her that no one saw this take place so there was nothing she could have done. She was horrified, so embarrassed. That’s when I stopped going over there, but I continued to be her friend. She started to date another guy in the group to whom she lost her virginity to. They dated a long time without anyone knowing they had been intimate. She only told me, no one else. She was paranoid (and rightly so) that if she told anyone else they’d kick her out. A year went by with no one knowing. One day they were caught. The guy ended up coming out like rose, saying it was her fault and that he was sorry. But she was crucified. Everyone she thought was her friend turned on her. They called her horrible things to her face as well as behind her back. This was the last time I told her to leave, and she finally did with her parents damn well near disowning her for it.
These people are mentally disturbed to say the least. They fabricate all these lies to try to discredit all other religions and science. And their followers just believe everything they say. Once I encouraged a few of the girls to google other religions as well as Christianity to show them that what these leaders were preaching was complete bullshit. I was told that that would be a “distrust in both god and the leaders” and that I would be sent to hell for even suggesting it. I also know several of the members have committed suicide, 2 of them were good friends with my friend. I remember when the second young girl committed suicide, my friend was distraught and said “I can’t believe this is happening again”. At the time, I didn’t know about the first girl, so I said “what do you mean again?” And she talked about another girl a year before I had moved to Ohio that had also committed suicide. Both of these girls reached out for help, my friend told me they were both severely depressed, but were told just like her, that depression wasn’t real and if they were put on medication or even saw a therapist that wasn’t a church therapist, they’d no longer be allowed to stay in the group. I believe the leaders of Xenos should be held responsible for these suicides. The amount of emotional abuse these people endure is truly frightening. They use your relationship with god against you if you don’t do what you’re told. The reason these people are so scared to leave the group is because they tell them if they do that they are throwing away their relationship with god and that he’d never be there for them again. I hope your website and Facebook page will shed some light on these individuals and hopefully authorities will one day be involved. Thank you for doing this!