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An Independent and Critical Resource on the "House of Jacob"

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Sunday, October 22, 2000
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Key Buzzwords of the "House of Jacob" Defined

Members fear they will suffer the public humiliation of the "backseat," this church's form of shunning. If one is sentenced to the backseat, one is shunned by the church: No one from the church may talk to the shunned or their family members -- in or out of church, one is not allowed to participate in any way during the church service. Disgraced members are rarely given a specific time period they must "serve" on the backseat. They are required to go to church as usual -- 4 to 5 times a week -- and only when the "Spirit" moves the congregation or pastor to do so is the shunned member and his or her family welcomed back into the congregation.

BESA, Bethlehem Elementary School Association:
See "Anonymous 3's Story."

Books, or "Get My Name on The Books":
The membership rolls of the House of Jacob. A former member writes:

This is the eternal life scam in full blown effect. They have people so convinced of the eternal life thing and that they'll die and come back as an ant or slug or something if they dont' "have their name on the books" that when people are dying who fought to maintain the lifestyle this church demands, and gave up trying, they make desperate attempts to contact old pastors or church officials they're friends with or used to be, and beg to just "please, put my name on the books"!! So they won't turn into a fly or something.

The really sad part is that quite a large number of people in this organization are well-read, multi-degree college graduate people, and yet they don't have enough common sense to know......that even if it were possible for your soul to come back in a fly, you wouldn't feel any pain anyway. It's a proven fact that flies, as well as all insects and other small creatures of this nature, don't have brains that work like human brains. They don't feel pain. And I hardly think that if they did, they would realize it was because they didn't "get their name on the books" in time!

Daughters of God:

Devil And Rebellion:
Everything that is not endorsed by the HOJ is said to be of "of the Devil" or rebellious. Similar to "worldly." The spirit of Satan, or the Devil, makes one do worldly things.

A member is taken off the official membership roster and told they are no longer welcome. One may not attend church or have fellowship with members. Officially one goes to hell.

The father is their supreme bishop or leader. He is typically believed to have the same Spirit of God that Christ had. He is called "Father", "Lord," and Savior -- all of these meaning God himself. When members are taught to pray as children, they are told to visualize his face in their mind as they pray. They always pray using the words "Father" or "Lord." From birth they are taught that Father knows all and sees all. They are taught to fear him, worship him, "if you could only touch the hem of his garment..." just as they said of Christ when healing people. He is chauffered and rarely drives on his own. They sing songs of praise to the father such as:

  1. My God Is A Man, Don't You Know
  2. He's Got His Eyes On You, And He Sees All That You Do
  3. Do You Love The Lord Your Savior, Will You Give All You Have For Him
Members hang the Founder's picture above a throne-styled seat in the pulpit. The throne seat, which is required for each and every church, is reserved for him only. Members may not touch it, except to clean it. There is a sermon outlined in the Founder's biography book written by the second father (jis) entitled, "I Am That I Am," claiming that God's Spirit or God himself was placed in famous biblical figures' bodies, which "moved on" to another "tabernacle," or body when they died, and is now within the "House of Jacob" leader.

An excerpt from the constitution and bylaws book describes the relationship required between members and Father:

It is disrespectful and even wrong for any member to rebel in any way against the Father of this church. The board shall go its limit to clarify and show the rebel that the voice of the Father shall be heard and recognized above the words of anyone else. A ruler's word is to be kept above all others' on earth. A great mistake is made whenever one deems the Father to be no more than other men. The ministers of this body must protect the ruler of this church from disgrace moreso than to protect their own families and children from such.

There have been four fathers so far:

1910-1934 Father G. W. Isreal, P.O.I. (Pope Of Israel)

1934-1972 Father W. Wright, J.I.S. (Jehovah Is Seen, some members report that this acronym stood for Jesus Israel Savior)
go figure, you're born and raised in the place 20 plus years and don't know something like this!
1972-1979 Father W. B. Israel, S.O.T. (Son Of Thunder)

1979-present Father J. Daniel Israel, J.O.G. (Judge Of God)

Members report being uncertain how the initials were given or what their "true," or perhaps secret, meanings are.


Godly Offering:

This is the "Jerusalem" of House of Jacob members. The leader/"Father" lives there. The church owns roughly 17 houses. Families are chosen to live at Headquarters who are in good standing with the church. Some people are chosen because of certain skills they might have: They might call a family to live on "the farm" because the wife is a nurs. The church is in constant desperate need of nurses at their nursing home which is located on "the farm" or headquarters. This is also the location of the sacred cemetery where two of the three deceased Fathers are buried. One can find a 9-foot tall bronze statue of the Founder in this area. Here, too, is their office building, known as the "Control Center." The Control Center used to be a school, which members called BESA, or Bethlehem Elementary School Association. We hope to include a lengthy article on the BESA soon.

King James Version Bible:
This is the only bible HOJ members may use. They claim that the NIV bible is not the true Bible, but rather it is the Christians (or "worldly" people) twisting the true words of the Bible to make it sound like something that it is not so as to allow themselves priviliges that would have been sin in the KJV. From a former member: "I say to all House of Jacob members, if you want to read the original true, untranslated Bible, learn Greek, Latin, and Hebrew and then you can squawk about the NIV bible. Until that time, I'll be solely convinced that it's easier for House of Jacob people to confuse innocent minds with outdated speech like you find in the KJV."

Mandatory Offering:
According to former members, the House of Jacob has always had mandatory financial offerings. This includes the 10% "tithe, which is highly regulated and checked, as well as an additional 1% offering. The House of Jacob boasts that they don't pass offering plates around except on Sunday, excluding their Tuesday and Friday night services. They also claim that they are not concerned about how much money they receive. Readers may judge for themselves by reading the tithing procedure below.

Pentecostal Day:
First Sunday in June : Pentecostal Day, when members "tarry," or say "allelujah" over and over again until they go into convulsions -- which they call receiving the Holy Spirit or receiving more spiritual strength.


Reincarnation and Eternal Life:
These are the same concepts to House of Jacob members. They believe that heaven and hell are merely states of mind. Therefore, if one is depressed, or psychotic, or having a bad day, or feeling guilty, one is in hell. If one is happy, and everything in your life is going well, and one is a member of the House of Jacob, then one is in heaven. They teach that when one dies, the spirit or soul goes back to God and He finds another body for it, usually in the form of a baby. However, some spirits or souls can go into people who are living already, and not just being born. This leads to members' belief of Fathers "giving up the ghost." Members may also believe that if one lives a good life and dies as a member of the House of Jacob, even if one recently had one's name entered on the membership book, then one's spirit will be born into the baby of a HOJ members family. This is how members define eternal life: The spirit never dies, it simply moves on and on and on. However, if one is not an HOJ member, no matter what kind of a life one lived, then one is reincarnated as a dog, fly, or other lowly animal.

As in cultic groups, HOJ members fear they will suffer the public humiliation if they transgress the church's rules. See "backseat" above.

Sons of God:

This is the Spirit of the Lord. The HOJ people believe that baptism isn't enough for salvation. One must also utter the word "allelujah" over and over again once a year, on Pentecostal Day, and have a special "interpreter" hear you to listen for a special tone of "lalalalalalalalala," which former members report happens for any practitioner after roughly 2 minutes of repetition as fast as possible. Then a member is said to have received their special alloted portion of the Holy Spirit. This is the same Spirit that members talk about as leading them to call on certain people to render the sermon, or lead songs, or do a good deed -- and occasionally some bad ones. Members openly praise the "Spirit" for all that they do, except asking questions, or other things that highly offend them.

Members must utter the word "allelujah" over and over again once a year, on Pentecostal Day, until they go into convulsions. A special "interpreter" must hear you to listen for a special tone of "lalalalalalalalala," which former members report happens for any practitioner after roughly 2 minutes of repetition as fast as possible. Then a member is said to have received their special alloted portion of the Holy Spirit. Also see "Anonymous 1's Personal Story."

Mandatory tithing, or giving a fixed percentage of one's income to the church, is checked thoroughly -- one might say, obsessively. Members turn tithes in before the church service begins. The tithes secretary tallies the total during service and makes check marks beside members' names who paid and how much they paid. Members are required to mark on the outside of the envelope the amount of gross pay and their contribution, showing all the arithmetic (10% tithes and 1% offering). If a member makes a mistake or is short by a few cents, church officials approach the member in church, telling him or her they are short and demanding the amount be given to them. If a member does not pay his or her tithes -- even if unable to pay because of poverty -- they receive a "talk" from the pastor. If the member still does not or can not pay, he or she and his family is put on the backseat. If despite shunning, a member is unable to pay, he or she receives a letter from "Father." Finally a member is kicked out of the congregation and church. At one time, so many members were not paying that the church was losing a large number of members. Their response? They raised the tithes to 14% on all remaining member to cover the shortfall for approximately 5 years.

The "House of Jacob" organizes the flow of all this money through what they call their central banking system. All the churches in over 40 states count, check, record monies collected, and have cash transporters (because they don't like checks) bring all this money to headquarters, where it's deposited into a single bank account. Local churches are forced to support themselves with bake sales every Sunday to pay rent or utilities because they are not allowed to retain any of the tithes money.

Virgin Birth:
The birth of Jesus to Mary through the Holy Spirit with God as the Father and Joseph as the mortal head. A former member writes: "The Bible clearly says (if you read it in context) that the angel of the Lord (Gabriel, I think) came to Joseph in a dream and told him, 'Go and take Mary for your wife, she's not a loose woman, don't let the people humiliate her, she has been blessed by the Holy Spirit to give birth to the Son of God, and you will name him Jesus, and he will free all men from their sins."

"House of Jacob" designation for anything that does not originate from the House Of Jacob itself. The "world" is anyone who is not a member, including former members, and especially Christians. "Worldly" refers to any thing, organization, act, person, being, presence, etc., that is not HOJ.

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Some topics discussed on this site:Supreme Council of the House of Jacob of the USA, black supremacist, child molestation, G. W. Israel, Psychology, Law, Politics, Journalism, Cultic, cult, thought reform, mind control, Steven Hassan, Margaret Singer, David Koresh, Charles Manson, Christ, Christian Cults.

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