PART NINE – Signs of New Times (cont.)
After leaving us for a few days, Forrest called, having misgivings and doubts about everything. He was returning to the former thoughts with which we had found him, and he believed we were leading him astray from God and interfering with his calling and ministry. We visited more with Forrest, and I was losing it with him. The whole affair became contemptible to me, and I ceased trying to conceal my misgivings.
Mariko was now being addressed personally and corrected. There was conflict between Mark and her. They were talking about marriage. I told them that if they wished to marry, fine, but there would be hell to pay for it (speaking as things then stood between them). Paul had written a letter on marriage, encouraging all to remain single, if they could bear it, as with the apostle Paul’s counsel to the Corinthians:
“Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you loosed from a wife? Do not seek a wife. But if you do marry, you did not sin; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. But such shall have trouble in the flesh, but I spare you. But this I say, brothers, The time is short. It remains that both those who have wives should be as not having one” (1 Corinthians 7:27-29 MKJV).
It was rather ironic that Paul should be writing such a letter. We would discover he was not yet finished with his own panting after a wife.
Paul and I were also dealing by correspondence with Jeff Fairhall of Washington.
Paul writes: “I met Jeff Fairhall at a Bioengineering conference in Seattle in 1998 sponsored by concerned scientists and people associated with organic foods, in which field I was working with Jim Barngrover in Helena. Jeff was founder and part-owner of Essentials Foods and Essential Bakery (two separate organic food businesses) in Seattle. Jeff and I communicated on occasion and I stayed with him when I came back to Seattle for another food conference the next year during the World Trade Organization meetings and protests.”
On September 7th, we were saying farewell to Yuko, a Japanese girl who had heard many things from us. Then her flight was canceled and I had time to speak to her much more about the Kingdom of God and her need to turn to Him. She would not be leaving until the 18th.
Marilyn and I had another bitter battle. It seemed a divorce was close at hand. She continued in arrogance. She was defiant, combative, disrespectful, fretting, and defensive – finding no problem with herself, but many with me.
It would come to be known as 9/11. I happened to be watching the news on television that morning and talking to the Hsin Ten head office in New York when the Twin Towers were hit. The Hsin Ten staff were unaware of what was happening right there in their city, and I told them to turn on their TVs. The Twin Towers were coming down as we spoke.
I had been witnessing, with frustration, America’s hypocritical restriction of Israel defending itself against blatant, wanton, hateful, unprovoked Arab aggression, and now the chickens were coming home to roost. America was getting a taste of Israel’s troubles.
Billy Graham, America’s version of a man of God, a man-pleaser if there ever was one, condemned the attack. If he was God’s man, he would have attacked America’s sin and identified America as the culprit and cause of its own troubles. As the curse causeless doesn’t come, so the Muslims weren’t roused up against America for no reason.
And while the US insists that Israel use restraint when hostilities are incessantly perpetrated inside and outside adjoining its borders by its neighbors without provocation, what would the US do? Attack violently and brutally another nation thousands of miles away, indiscriminately killing civilians, as well, and occupy it for years to come? And this, without sure evidence and confirmation Iraq was the perpetrator?
I wrote a letter to Bill and Connie Kleinhans, admonishing them about their thinking and seeking wealth to preach the Gospel. I told them they wouldn’t prosper in their endeavors, particularly when doing these things in Christ’s Name.
Forrest called to tell me I was a cult leader and a legalist. He wanted to get together and talk to me, though he also said that others to whom he had spoken advised him to have nothing to do with me. I picked him up for supper at the farm and we talked. It occurred to me that we had the “real thing” of which Forrest dreamed, and he only had the counterfeit.
Hsin Ten Enterprises (our Chi company) was holding a conference in Edmonton on Saturday, September 22, 2001. Wasn’t the conference a business activity? Should we be involved in any business at all on the Sabbath? Certainly not according to the Law of God. How should we spend our weekly Sabbaths? Should we have a Sabbath day’s travel distance limit? Edmonton was 500 kilometers away. To ardent Sabbath-keepers, this would be wrong, and I also questioned it. Shouldn’t we remain at home and rest? I felt we should go, contrary to the Law.
We prayed about the convention and felt free to go. Was it covetousness that prevailed with me? Paul, Trevor, and I traveled Friday, rented a room, and spent the day at the conference. For what it was worth, September 22, 2001, was our 50th Sabbath and Jonathan’s 10th birthday, not that we observed birthdays.
There we met with Bob Nelson, who made references to God yet seemed standoffish (as he was when last seeing him in Minneapolis. Perhaps he was wondering what we were doing there on the Sabbath?) We also met with Nes Kotyk, Frances Evernden, Yosh Yoishi (our distributors), Ken Cook our up-line, his wife Leeann Stetson, and A. J. Lanigan, guest speaker, scientist, and inventor of a supplement, BetaLoe, an effective immune booster, for which HTE was given exclusive distribution rights.
Spiritually, nothing significant seemed to happen. Why did we go? We didn’t work. It seemed that though we didn’t speak, our lives there were a testimony. Rationalization? Perhaps. We did give Bob Nelson and the VP of HTE the paper, but so what?
Note: As I edit this 14 years later, I believe I offended. We had no business there on the Lord’s Sabbath – none at all.
Around this time, Bob Fife left a phone message, and I returned his call. Sean answered and apologized to me. Bob called later and I told him he was as responsible for Sean as Sean was, if not more so. I called him the root cause. Bob got angry, retaliating, but I told him that he would come around to realize the depth of his sin, crying tears of repentance, and that his son would help him get there.
Why did Bob get so angry? Why could he not accept his culpability for the toddler son and wife he abandoned? When people react, could it be there’s a problem? Bob insisted he was forgiven and that all was behind him. I’d seen where sinners truly forgiven have the peace and humility to admit their wrong without much difficulty, especially when confronted much after the time of offense and forgiveness.
Bob had given himself over to all lusts. He declared that he spared nothing. Then when Sean visited him many years ago, he turned away from his homosexual lifestyle and left all such activities behind him. No doubt, God gave him the grace to do so, because when someone gives himself over to such things, it’s practically impossible to change even when wanting to do so; it becomes a matter of nature, addiction, and deeply ingrained habit, even demonic possession.
Right or wrong, what I perceived with Bob was that while he had the monster locked up in the cage, the monster was still there. It needed to be eliminated altogether.
“Mitch” continued to write attack letters, which I shared with everyone else, including Ingrid, who was in Belgium. She had a strong letter of response to Mitch, who wouldn’t walk away unscathed. Mitch replied with wicked retort, condemning Ingrid, Paul, Sara, and me. I was thankful Ingrid was standing.
Someone gave me a video of Billy Brim with Kenneth Copeland. They never talked about sin or preached repentance. They said nothing of the Law of God or of holiness. They blamed all troubles on Satan and preached prosperity, success, and getting, getting, getting, as long as one first gives to them. It isn’t a matter of what one can be for God, as Abraham was God’s friend, but of what God can be for them – happiness, power, wealth, fame, success, comfort, security, and victory. Both giver and getter are utterly self-serving; it is satanic.
They are indeed a generation of vipers, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, blasphemers, calling glory to themselves; mean, insatiable, boastful, proud, provokers of every evil, with an evil eye, in contempt of all that is pure, holy, godly, and true; vomiting out their heresies and contemptible doctrines; baiting their prey with soothing, enticing words, promising much to the blind and unbelieving – those whom God hasn’t called.
I realized why I was troubled these past days. Yes, my neck was bothering me and, with that particular area in pain, fears and anxieties plagued me. However, Forrest Browatzke has been a vessel of the enemy against me, and I hadn’t realized how it affected me. I was so prone to heeding the accusations of the enemy, believing my adversaries instead of God.
Forrest’s life and spirit condemned me, as had been the case with Sean Fife. I had felt like there was something wrong with me, but no, it was a spirit of criticism, fault-finding, and hatred toward me, masked in human love, which they claim to be the love of God.
Forrest claimed to be sold out for God, but his life was one of reckless abandon, not consecration to God. What he did was in the Name of God, but it wasn’t of God. He needed deliverance.
Forrest called to come out. He said he felt he should come and live at the farm. Knowing his nature, I forewarned him that he would have to endure discipline (what disciples are all about) and submit to authority. I referred him to by Bill Britton. I think that did it. He didn’t make it.
In contemplations of Forrest, I came to realize that he never mentioned sin to anyone. It came to me that he worshipped “another Jesus.”
In October 2001, we found a website belonging to “Michael Travesser,” real name Wayne Bent. I believe we were informed of him by two women we met in the chatroom of Eliyah.com, who identified themselves as “Blessed Quietness” and “Obedient Servant.” Bent claimed to be the Messiah and there were several that believed him. “Travesser” identified the two women as the two witnesses of Revelation 11, who testified of him as being Jesus Christ.
Paul saw through him immediately. Should that be hard? I tended to write nothing off and give people benefit of doubt, as foolish as something may appear. Why? Was I gullible, slow on the uptake, or not in tune with God as I should be? I’d say, “Yes,” to all three. I know that Paul has been given to see quickly and sharply.
I wrote “Michael” and sent him my testimony to see what he would say. He replied, playing his cards so close to his chest; he didn’t know much for a messiah.
We also had correspondence with his two witnesses. Their letters were vicious, self-righteous, and contemptible. Should it be any wonder? They had dumped their husbands and were in adultery with Bent. These women belonged to other men and couldn’t care less.
“Such is the way of an adulterous woman; she eats, and wipes her mouth, and says, I have done no evil” (Proverbs 30:20 MKJV).
Jann Gouw came to do siding on the farm house. Then he found himself in the hospital, having suffered a stroke. We began to speak to him of the things of God. I was considering giving him several pieces of literature – he said he would accept any and all that we would give him. Then Jonathan said, “Dad, I think I just had a prophecy: ‘Give him a Bible and nothing else’.” So I did.
Trevor had a vivid dream that Paul had set his alarm for 1:30 AM to catch a plane to Israel. It would be the last one available. Other flights prior to this were canceled (we all believed Paul would be going to Israel soon). We had talked to Talya Polinger in Israel about it. She promised arrangements, friends, and contacts for him. With the war heating up in Afghanistan and so many other things happening, it didn’t look good for Israel or Jews worldwide.
However, was Trevor bent on getting rid of Paul so he could have Sara? He practically stalked her, phoning, emailing, and looking into immigration possibilities. He was quite sick, in need of deliverance. He hadn’t heeded the counsel and prophetic command of God by Jonathan on September 5th to drop it. I feel powerless to do anything about it.
On November 3rd, Trevor was still in his obsession with Sara. Jonathan then said, “Dad, I think I just had a prophecy: ‘Tell Trevor that if he doesn’t drop all this with Sara, he will be destroyed’.” I called the farm and related Jonathan’s message to them. Lois, Mark, and Mariko all agreed with it.
On a Sabbath, when Arie Van Den Hoek came to blow out our sprinkler lines at home, I showed him the Chi Machine and let him try it. He bought it on the spot, which I didn’t expect. There it was, a sale on the Sabbath, something about which I was troubled. Yet I knew that it was a matter of motive and not of act. I was sold on the Chi, knowing how it had helped so many others in marvelous ways, including myself. I thought I would show it to him for that reason.
Something that bothered me about the Chi business was that it was an MLM that seemed to require a manipulation of points and positions, putting them in the right place to be able to profit in markup margins. I found nothing wrong with an MLM, in itself, nor even with working of the points per se – the problem was my becoming consumed and frustrated with the system, which was designed to make one work in ways that didn’t seem wise or acceptable. I wasn’t trusting God. I dearly hoped I wasn’t going astray spiritually and prayed He would deliver me.
I was also tormented about not spending time with Jonathan. The Chi business was getting busier and now consumed much of my time and energies.
offered to help us so he joined us for the carrot harvest. We all enjoyed working together in the cool, crisp air. Evan thought he would try his hand at becoming an HTE distributor and selling machines. That evening, Mariko red the to all of us with Evan present.
Mariko reported a comment Masa made on an incident months before when I publicly rebuked Marilyn for her attitude and past conduct with Sean. I was very strong with her and didn’t spare, though Masa was present. He said that what I had to say was centered in the Scriptures and on God; it wasn’t a selfish thing. I thought that was interesting, seeing he didn’t even profess faith in Christ.
I don’t have much respect for some medical experts and specialists. They operate with blinders, stuck in their own little worlds, yet seeming to act as though they rule the universe. They’re often closed to anything that has not had a peer-reviewed medical journal report or a double-blind placebo, lab-controlled study. On the other hand, they dispense drugs that are barely tested and which kill young and old. The hypocrisy, contradiction and arrogance are remarkable and disturbing.
I contacted Dr. Brian Kolb, who I heard was a specialist dealing with stroke patients. A major HTE distributor in Utah, Deanna Sudweeks, worked with stroke victims, using the Chi Machine, and experienced marvelous results. I thought that if anyone would be interested in such results, it would be Dr. Kolb, so I called him. There he was, asking for medical reports. He wasn’t about to accept anecdotal testimony. He refused my offer of free trials to see the results for himself.
Frankly, I thought the man an idiot and all like him. Don’t results speak for themselves? If anything produces results or stands a chance of doing so, why not try it? These medical priests with their extensive education are often the most ignorant people on the face of this earth – void of common sense and reasoning, stupidly educated, and proudly stubborn. They’re too busy to help their patients, too busy to care, and too stupid to realize it. Specialists! Pah! Egomaniacs playing God.
Good or bad, right or wrong, the Chi business (including all Hsin Ten products) took off, as Jonathan prophesied would happen if I chose the Chi business instead of the Lord. Had I made that choice? Initially, our intention was to buy only one Chi and use it (I wasn’t even going to buy the one at first), it progressed to buying five and receiving one free, and selling the rest to pay for ours. But as people began using the machines, they wanted them and wonderful things were happening for many. We progressed from level to level, becoming very busy, especially when there were so many other things happening on the farm, as well.
This was on the evening of October 25th. I couldn’t decide whether it was prophetic or not, but Jonathan said that the Chi business was as though I was headed for doom, had an open door out of it, and chose not to take it. I recalled the of the man on the winged horse, landing on forbidden territory, doomed.
Father! Father! What shall be? What shall I do? Please do not give me over to the world, the cares of it, the flesh, and the lusts of it. Father, deliver me from the enticements of this world. If I shoot for HTE goals, will it overthrow my faith? I think of reaching discount levels, but why? To have provision? Isn’t the Lord my Provider and Provision both?
Are the words of David Wilkerson in The Vision to come to pass in me? He said that Satan tried to bring Job down by stripping him of everything, whereas in the last days, he would overcome the believer by loading him with wealth and prosperity. Father, let it not be so, not at all!
Jonathan begs me to pay attention to him, to spend time with him, to refrain from being consumed with the Chi business, yet I keep right on with it. Where is all this going? Is Jonathan right? Am I hearing the cry of innocence and wisdom, or selfishness? Why am I not heeding? How is it that I love him so much, yet don’t spend that time with him? What is it? What kind of love am I talking here?
Then Jonathan prayed that I would get the points in the Chi business without laboring or being consumed with the business. The Lord answered graciously, and Jonathan marveled that the Lord answered his prayers.
Joe Waldner, his wife Ruth, and his younger brother Jacob farm at Cranford, just east of Lethbridge, having left their social and religious Hutterite moorings some years before. Joe is an ambitious inventor, an active, generous man, engaging in conversation. I talked to them about the Chi and Hot House (Far Infrared Dome), which he purchased. Because he seemed more than reasonable in pricing feed to us for our livestock, I gave him a generous reduction in price.
One thing about the Chi business was that it often opened doors to testify of the Lord and what He had done for me. We talked about spiritual matters, which seemed of particular interest to Joe and Jacob because of their background. No doubt they had a trying, if not traumatic, experience breaking from their colony after living in it all their lives.
I also had a talk with Jacob, who was quite cynical. He seemed disillusioned with religion. I tried to relate to him and let him know he had a right to criticize religion, saying I wouldn’t criticize him for it, but he also took issue with our understanding of the walk of faith and wasn’t open to further discussion. Jacob was burned and bitter, it seemed.
Mark had the dangerous propensity of not paying attention to mathematical details, which, as a manager of finances and schedules, could be disastrous. I came down hard on him for his repeated negligence and failures in these matters, and for not following up on people in his supervisory duties.
He had struggles with Mariko, too. She was resisting and rebelling, partially because of her disposition, but also because of Mark’s demanding and critical ways. Added to these things, Mark had the problem of constantly figuring things out, living by logic and reason, rather than depending on the Lord and looking to Him for guidance through faith. He could be very frustrating that way. There is no end to carnal reasoning and that’s seldom a solution to anything, especially if we’re called to walk by faith.
Furthermore, Mark, defensive and fearful, was always quick to tactfully, skillfully, and cleverly pass on to others the responsibility of making decisions. He would take the credit for decisions proving good, but would always find a way to blame someone or something else if his decision or the part he played in anything was found to be wrong. If joint decisions proved successful, he would take full credit; if they didn’t work out, he’d say, “Well, you said! You made that decision.” It was frustrating.
Finally, Mark was a people-pleaser, always looking for acceptance and afraid to offend someone. It was so bad that I could liken it to a man trashing his house, anticipating a vandal was coming to do it. He would give away whatever he was supposed to negotiate about, swiftly, gullibly believing the arguments his counterparts would give, because intimidated by them. Fear of man played a big role in Mark, and his hasty, cowardly capitulations cost us all in many ways.
On October 29th, Kerri called Paul, saying she had nowhere else to turn. She and Steve were having many problems.
I’m deeply regretful of ever having married the woman. Better not to have been born. I’m fed up with her. If I am sinning in speaking thus (highly likely that I am), so be it.
Two days ago or so, it came to me that Marilyn had tempted the Lord to the very brink. She thinks He is going to put up with her shit forever. Today, I have news for her. But the bitch is utterly incorrigible, a brat that can only know to have her own way, even when she appears to be paying for it.
And Jonathan blames me for our conflict. So be it. She has him bewitched and bound. I told him today to ask the Lord what the issues are, that only God can give him to know, that things were not according to appearance. She relishes having him deceived against me; she denies it, but it’s true. I’d rather have him go than to have her around anymore if he’s going to be deceived and sympathizing with her.
Note: As I edit fourteen years later, I ask: Where was the thanksgiving? I see I had once more lost my way. Surely, the history of Israel is our history, as though inevitable…up and down, back and forth, free, then in bondage again.
Jerry and Chris De Yong spent 14 years with the Wycliffe Bible translators. We met them through the Chi business, as we met many. Chris’s health wasn’t good, if not rather devastated after so many years in Papua New Guinea, a backward environment where they were presumably bringing the Word of God to the inhabitants in their own language.
The De Yongs professed faith in Christ. Was poor health part of the price to pay for serving the Lord, or could those in true faith depend on the Lord to keep them from the onslaught of pathogens like ravaging parasites? Was her illness an indication of lack of faith, even taking the Name of the Lord in vain? Perhaps they did a great and necessary work and things had to happen for them the way they did.
As we shared with the De Yongs, we found that while they had a profession of faith, it was only a profession. There was no true faith. We had met others who were with Wycliffe who also had no faith – Sean’s mother Audrey and her husband, Vinton Goff, along with others working with them.
How can people translate the Bible without faith or spiritual understanding? Yet, many of the translations we have with us today have had unbelieving translators, the KJV included.
How can men speak spiritual truth without faith? It’s one thing to read what God is saying; it is another to understand His meaning. While unbelievers can do an excellent job of translation, it takes the Spirit of God to quicken the letter. Only believers can possess that power. Translators who don’t believe don’t have a clue what they’re translating. Perhaps God may give a special unction for the job of translation though the translators don’t know Him.
Paul and I were in correspondence with Talya Polinger, formerly known as Tynne “Tina” Satinoff, of Philadelphia, who was now married and living in northern Israel with husband Bram.
We were able to share many things with her, but she was very guarded. We found out she was badly burned at , where I first met her in 1980 and where we told her that it was not the Lord’s will for them to be doing what they were doing. It was at that time that her elder, Joseph Finkelstein, withstood us at his home and hardened Tina’s heart against us, calling me a false prophet. They asked us to leave, which we did. Now, 20 years later, “out of the blue,” Tina renewed contact with Paul.
I had been speaking for many months to Jim Clifton, a farm neighbor of ours about the Far Infrared Dome (Hot House). I told him it could help his body fight his prostate cancer. FIR was known to be effective in boosting the immune system and clearing toxins. He wouldn’t listen. Finally, in pain and apparently losing the battle, he bought a Dome, tried using it, but found it uncomfortably warm (something I hadn’t encountered before with anyone or experienced myself).
As he was succumbing at St. Michael’s palliative care facility, I visited him. He made a request of me: “Victor, I waited too long to use the Hot House. I want you to tell others not to wait like I did.” I promised I would. I have tried to honor Jim’s request, though I’ve had the feeling at times that it comes off as a sales pressure tactic.
Jim died and his wife Joy donated the machines they purchased from us to make available to those who couldn’t afford them, which we did.
As you know, November 10th has been a special date for us. This one happened to fall on a Sabbath. And what do we do? Several of us – Paul, Jonathan, Sara, Mark, and I leave at 6:30 a.m. and drive 135 miles to Calgary to attend another Chi meeting. There we met up with Les and Laura Klein (Marilyn’s mother and husband) and dropped Jonathan off with them before the meeting. At the meeting, Paul, Sara, and I won enzymes on draws, and Sean Wu took us for lunch to… McDonald’s, breaking habits and rules and doing things we don’t normally do – including winning prizes.
I talked with Sean Wu, who opened up some, spoke of some of his problems in the business, and queried me on my possible reaction to firing Jessie, their Canadian office girl in Toronto, who wasn’t meeting his expectations.
On this day, Sara asked if she could come to the farm for training and discipline. She didn’t know what she was asking for. Does anyone, when asking for discipline?
Now Ingrid was “falling” for Paul on the internet as they communicated between Belgium and Montana. She was taking steps with immigration to come to Canada and the two were making plans for marriage. I was willing to go for it, but wasn’t settled. Mark and Marilyn were against it and the only ones decisively so. Lois was already looking for a house for Paul and Ingrid.
On November 12th, Jonathan had a vision and prophecy for me. He saw a Y and the prophecy was that I had a choice to make. I could take one fork of the Y and go all the way with the Chi business and prosper, losing my soul, or some Chi business and all would be okay.
“Lord, I don’t understand, and I hate the thought that there should have to be a choice. I want to walk with You, perfectly, as per dream of 1972, period. Make it and keep it so.”
By the 20th, I felt like I was losing the Lord, and Jonathan was saying that I was getting destroyed with the Chi business, it taking so much of my time and attention. I suspected he wanted me to spend time with him more than that he was speaking by revelation, yet I knew the possibility of serious consequences in many ways if I continued this way.
In retrospect 14 years later, I don’t believe Jonathan was speaking but by the Lord. His Word was true. My question is, what did I choose?