Here are extracts from various posts, by various people, regarding suicides of the former or current members of the Potters House & The Door.
SUICIDES IN BUNBURY (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) POTTERS HOUSE
During my time in CFM, 3 members of the congregation committed suicide. I carried guilt for many years over one of them. Not because I helped
pulled the trigger, but because I one day saw him in the street and had an overwhelming compulsion to go and chat with him and talk about how good life was. I resisted the urge, as I was in a hurry to go home. Half an hour later he blew his head off.
There was a guy called Michael. His family was 7th Day Adventist. He had schizophrenia and he was hard to talk to. That is to say that there was a general feeling of unease toward him. That was a result of the superstitious beliefs we had regarding people with mental illness — that they were supposed to have a demon wrapped around their head or some bullshit like that. When you believe crap like that, then the extension of that when the “demon-affected” person doesn’t respond is that it must be their fault for not throwing off the demon. And there was a bit of that. Bloody sick bastards that we were. Michael blew his head off in 1987. We blamed the SDA doctrine of eternal security.
There was another guy whose name eascapes me. He would often visit the single guys’ house where I was living with Barry Parsons, Grant
Ivers, Scott McLean, Matt O’Donoghue Jr, Paul MacMullan and Brett Mason. This guy also suffered from some form of mental illness. He had a heroin addiction which he couldn’t beat, though he tried hard. Towards the end of his life he was walking [sic “talking”] about killing himself. We were all powerless to help him. He was eventually found floating face down in the harbour some time in 1988. We in the single guys’ house were all pretty upset about it.
There was a young guy who had been brought into the church by Ashe Holbrook. Through Ashe’s diligence the young guy settled into the
church and managed to get his entire family in, so I heard. I was on the fringe at that time and didn’t have much involvement. The young guy had
personality problems and ended up killing himself. I can’t remember how. His entire family left after that.
I can’t ever recall the pastor (Rob Walsh) expressing any concern over these people. Maybe he was concerned, but he didn’t show it. When I was in the PH I thought that was normal. Only after I got out did I discover churches where the pastor actually demonstrated that he gave a damn
about people. Most pastors outside of the PH that I’ve met do actually care about people. Walsh didn’t, at least not back when he was my pastor. He was always more interested in the church program and in making sure that everyone would become a mirror image of himself.
You would think that pastors have a duty of care towards the people in their flock. The preaching during my time in CFM when Rob Walsh was the pastor was always about how none of us were ever good enough, how we were all to blame for the lack of revival, how it was our sin that stopped God’s hand. You’d think that the first suicide would have been a wake up call. Maybe the 2nd? What about the 3rd?
COMMENT ON THE ABOVE
I will just mention a few things. First of all there is the idea that if you listen to the doctor then you will believe that you are sick rather than you are healed. Mitch [Wayman Mitchell, the founder of the Potters House] embraced healing doctrines in the late 80s and taught those as absolute dogma. He said it was the will of God to heal all the people in our churches immediately. In 1992 I asked Mitch, in private meeting I had with him, about Harold Warner [a paraplegic pastor] and why he never got healed. Mitch stated that it was because of the things that the health care officials told Harold and how they prepared him to cope with his condition. They stressed that it was a permanent condition and thereby planted the seeds of unbelief in Harold’s mind. For this reason Harold did not have the necessary faith to be healed.
OTHER SUICIDE REPORTS IN THE POTTERS HOUSE
Keep your child very far from the church and your husband’s parents. There are many on this site who already know what happened to my husband and brother in law, 2 1/2 years ago. But to make a long story very, very short, my husband and brother in law both died as a result of the pain our pastor caused these two precious men. I left after my husband’s death and
I will never look back. Run and run fast.
This is exactly how it went for me and my late husband. We were told to separate for 6 months, he went to the Men’s home, where he was
treated SO bad by the “leader, and then we got married. We did love God and I thank God for the life that we had together. We really did love the
people too. It is still so hard to believe that the pastor killed my husband and brother in law and he still walks a free man. If you are new to
this site and you are a member of the Potter’s House, get out. Don’t allow your family to be the next victim.
I really believe that there are a lot of suicides connected with the fellowship. This is something that is mostly not noticed, but over the years I have started to think that many who were involved in that group were driven to kill themselves by the abuses they suffered in it and after getting out.
When I was still in the Tucson church there was a Jewish man who came for a while. He really struggled with all the “standards” and trying to be good enough for God. He stayed at the men’s home for a while. At one point he went out into the desert and hung himself and left a suicide note
stating that he was praising God for this and it was the only way he could stop offending God. The note disappeared, perhaps the police sending it
off to his relatives, and he was not talked about any more. It was as though he had never existed.
I already mentioned another man in the church who, shortly after I got sent out, killed himself. He was told not to seek professional counselling. In the religious minds of those who are caught up in Wayman’s World, they can’t see a professional counsellor helping anyone in their church. In fact, they consider them harmful because they are not “spiritually equipped” like the “pastor.” In reality, the fellowship leadership has no doubt murdered some people by steering them away from getting help. Again, as I have already stated before, any counsellor worth his or her salt would
see through the fellowship and recognize it as a destructive cult. Can’t have that, even if it means someone gets hurt or killed. But of course, they never had anyone’s best interests in mind, other than their own.
I am wondering how many other suicides are connected with the fellowship experience? I suppose that is like wondering how many divorces they have caused, how many educations they have aborted, how many kids they have distorted, how many families they have bankrupted, and how many people they have damaged psychologically for life, especially children.
When I think back on the horrific assault that I endured when I left that religious world, I can easily see people being pushed to the place where they decided to check out of this life. I wonder how many took that route?
SUICIDE OF DEBBIE CHRISTENSEN
[DEBBIE MALONE (formerly CHRISTENSEN) will be known by some ex members of Christian Fellowship Ministries. She was a member of Paul Campo’s church. She committed suicide years after she experienced rape in her “church” and the rejection by her “spiritual leader”, Paul Campo.]
This took place in El Paso. The Church there was called La Puerta, i.e., The Door [which is a part of the Christian Fellowship Ministries (CFM), founded by Wayman Mitchell, as is the Potters House].
What Campo told me was that he questioned the guy who Debbie said raped her. According to Campo this guy’s response was, “She was into it.” That was enough for Campo to dismiss it and hush up the whole thing from the outside world. It sounded like a typical date rape situation. The point I tried to make to Campo was that it was a legal issue. Once she told him that she was raped, he was obligated to call the police to take a
report. This is when he became angry with me, asserting that she was lying. That would have been up to a jury to decide. The problem is that the
fellowship is its own society. They consider themselves above the laws of the land. As pastor, Campo felt he had the right to make all the calls as to what should be done, ignoring the fact that he was legally obligated to call the police to take a report. Again, he repeatedly said that he could not let the media get a hold of this information.
Source: Google Groups