"I’m writing this as a mother of a former Xenos member. Me and my husband are Christians, active in a nondenominational church and my daughter was homeschooled and raised in this Christian environment. My daughter joined when she was attending cscc. A good friend of hers joined and convinced my daughter to join. At first she seemed to enjoy it and was very active with meetings and new friends. Throughout this time however maybe unknown to her house church she still attended church with us.
After she moved into a ministry house I started to notice some changes with her. She became more anxious and afraid. She shared with me how she was pressured to go to parties and to “hang out” with certain guys that the leaders had wanted her to “hang out” with. Some of them made her feel very uncomfortable. She also didn’t like the living conditions at the house. Initially she was told she would share a room with her long time friend but the house leaders felt that wasn’t right so all five of them shared 1 small bedroom as an accountability kind of thing. It was high rent (paid to a xenos member landlord of course) to share a room with 4 other women.
She started dating a classmate that wasn’t in xenos and was told she couldn’t date him and still be in the church. Under much pressure she told him she couldn’t see him but later ended up going against her church and dating him. I liked her boyfriend and thought it was really strange for a church to dictate who she dated when as her Christian mother who respects my childrens adulthood, I didn’t even do that. She was also tired of all the parties and commitments on her time when she was trying to go to college. With all the required parties and drinking, I thought it sounded more like a sorority then a church and told her to just leave and move back home.
When she told them she was leaving the church they told her she would need to move out and pay her share of the rent through the end of the lease. I called her landlord and asked him if he was kicking her out of the house because she was leaving the church and if so was he aware that that was religious discrimination. He told me he was not kicking anyone out of the house. With this knowledge I met with her roommates and informed them that the landlord was not kicking her out so they had two options: let her out of the lease or she would stay in the house and pay the rent under her own terms ie. not go to their church, have one of the spare rooms and date whoever she wanted. They told me it wasn’t possible for her to stay and not be part of the church and under the authority of the house leader. They brought up a church covenant she signed and I told them that we all knew that wouldn’t hold up in a court. I asked them if they thought that all of this was strange. I said my daughter is an active Christian going to a different church and you can’t be friends or roommates with other Christians that go to other churches. I told them when I was in college me and my roommates didn’t go to the same churches. I told them point blank that they must be part of a cult if they couldn’t live with another Christian just because they didn’t go to the same church.
Faced with only those two options they took her name off the lease and she moved back home. At the meeting with her roommates I saw how oppressive this environment had been for her. She was cowering in a corner like an abused dog especially when the house leader would talk. They wanted to talk with her alone but I wouldn’t have it. She has been out of xenos for over 6 years now and while much better still has issues with fear of people and anxiety that she didn’t have before Xenos. They took my beautiful child of God that before Xenos has been confident in her knowledge of Gods love for her and made her fearful and anxious with their intimidation and oppressive environment.
I pray for her complete healing that she may be the wonderful and confident person that God created her to be. Confident in His love. Xenos is an abusive church run like a sorority and fraternity where people are made to be like puppets under leaders that have too much power and no relationship with God. They rule though intimidation and control. So thankful that my daughter maintained an open relationship with me through the whole experience and still attended our church. This gave her wisdom and a Christian experience outside of xenos that helped her to recognize that it was an abusive cult and gave her a desire to leave."
"When Xenos brainwashes your child, it's like a death. The marvelous, wonderful person that you loved like crazy is gone--- and someone else is standing right there in front of you, in their body. Someone who now hates you, constantly judges you, is extremely manipulative, and repeatedly hurls terrible insults at you--- someone who encourages the grandchildren to pray for you, because you "don't have Jesus in your heart" and won't be in Heaven with the rest of them--- someone who sets up your grandchildren to proselytize to you.
Xenos brainwashed two of my minor children, young teenagers in the early years of high school, against the consent of their parents. The children underwent personality changes and turned against anyone in the family who was the most outspoken against Xenos. Brainwashing minor children, especially against the stated wishes of their parents, should be a felony. This has completely ruined our family. People who do this should be treated as the predators that they are.
When I would tell my daughter that she couldn't go to Xenos, there was an adult woman, the mother of young children, who would call and offer to drive my teenage daughter to Xenos after I had firmly told my minor child that she could not go. I wonder how many other families this woman has interfered with over the years. I know her name.
Xenos wanted to take my teenage minor child on a "mission trip" to a foreign country on another continent when she was still in high school. I managed to hold them off. When she was 18 and old enough to move into a ministry house, I had no legal way to stop her. Or Xenos."
"Kids are given "the talk" usually in their junior year in high school about how they should stay in Columbus to be a part of Xenos instead of leaving to go to a different school. I have seen it with my children - they were planning to go elsewhere, but changed their mind because of this."
"My son wanted to kill himself after leaving Xenos. He was a member for 2 years. He lived in a ministry house the second year. Xenos installed surveillance software on his laptop and phone that tracked every keystroke and website visited. His leader would him to justify websites he'd visited. His leader also encouraged him to drop out of college so he'd have more time for ministry activities. He did drop out and spent all day every day doing Xenos activities. When he started to catch on to how controlling Xenos is, his leader told him that If he left Xenos then god would hate him. It took him months to make the decision to finally move out of the ministry house and quit Xenos. When he did, he was completely shunned. All of his Xenos 'friends' refused to talk to him. They went from lovebombing to completely shunning him. It really messed up his mind and ruined his confidence. It's been almost 3 years, he's back in college and has new friends, but he's still very distrustful of people. He thinks friends are only nice to him because they want something and that they'll shun him if he doesn't make them happy. His depression when he left Xenos was devastating."
These are excerpts from a public Xenos Essay about Culture and Career. [Link]
"Since God has sovereignly placed these students in Xenos, shouldn’t the burden of proof be on why you should go away to school? If someone had a perfectly good job and decided they would leave their church and established relationships to move to another city to take a slightly better job wouldn't we critique that decision? Why wouldn't the same critique apply if we're talking about colleges?"
"When selecting an institution of higher education for one’s children, the factors to weigh include:
God and his will for children to be spiritually healthy and growing
The proven adequacy of provision for these spiritual factors at different places
The adequacy of the educational institution to deliver reasonable career training
The affordability of the education and avoidance of waste or bad stewardship
The capabilities of the child
The desire of the child
We believe the order or weighting of these factors should be roughly as shown. Our values system should be evident in how we make decisions. If parents put school prestige at the top of the list, it shows a worldly values system."
"High-paying careers are undesirable and dangerous. Wealth is dangerous to people’s spiritual lives. Jesus taught that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to be saved. Believers like Solomon were swept away in large part because of their wealth. Paul teaches that the pursuit of wealth “plunges people into ruin and destruction” in 1 Timothy 6. Proverbs 30:8-9 says, “Keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, that I not be full and deny You and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or that I not be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.”
Notice that this proverb refers to deception and lies in connection with the wealth question. Jesus said the “worry and cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches” choke out fruitfulness in Christian workers (Matt 13:22, cf Rev 3:15-17). These passages warn that people don’t realize they are being seduced by wealth, and this makes it more dangerous still.
Jesus said, “You cannot serve God and wealth” (Matt 6:21-24). His warning that where our treasure is determines where our hearts will be is sobering. Theoretically, wealthy people could give away all their excess wealth and live simple lives. But how often does this happen? Studies show that people give proportionately less, the more they make. The many warnings about the dangers of wealth suggest that urging our children to achieve high paying careers is very dangerous for them and unwise on our part. “High paying” is also a relative concept, but it should be clear that the higher the pay gets, the greater the danger."
“My mom is preparing to go pay for epic, but the first thing that pops up is “ xenos is a cult”. My mom immediately freaks and tells me she doesn’t want me going out anymore. I didn’t know any better at the time because I had never even heard of xenos until I was brought here back in October.
Epic comes and right away this was all so weird. a girl I had considered my best friend would take everything I was telling her, run back and tell my girl leader. This specific leader would make plans with me and then once I was ready to hang out she would say she was busy but then turns out she was actually hanging with my best friend. Epic passes then there’s parent night. Where this church was able to convince my mom that it was in fact not a cult and that “ outsiders “ just had it all wrong and were haters.”