Ministry used force labour to panhandle for money and expanded to 30 cities
#1
By ELLIOT SPAGAT
23 minutes ago



SAN DIEGO (AP) — The leader of a Southern California ministry charged with using deadbolt locks to detain homeless residents and making them turn over panhandling money

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Residents were seen at intersections in burgundy T-shirts with the ministry’s name emblazoned in white letters, asking idled motorists for money and giving them a brochure about the ministry’s work and a choice of peanuts or candy.

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It became so successful that it established a network of about 30 affiliate churches across the country in cities as far-flung as Charlotte, North Carolina, and Las Vegas.

A list of 29 house rules cited in an indictment unsealed Tuesday describes how the ministry kept a tight hold on residents in a cult-like atmosphere. They were prohibited from discussing “things of the world” and reading anything but the Bible, forced to surrender all identification and personal belongings, avoid family contact for the first 30 days and relinquish all earnings.

“You can’t leave the house unless accompanied by someone and with the permission from the director -- never by yourself,” the rules sheet read. “You can’t go to the front yard, unless told so by the counselor.”

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Residents panhandled up to 54 hours a week to provide money to the church

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Some were refused medical treatment.

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The ministry sent someone from Imperial Valley to establish the affiliates, who were required to send back 10% of their tithes
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#2
More info at Associated Press: https://www.apnews.com/c4813ac83d874fe08de8b61032be5c11
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#3
Southern California ministry ......

I thought it's a government ministry! Embarrassed
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