I first heard about Momentus from two friends at my church who had completed a Momentus training. I went to Momentus on good faith and conscience. At first I had doubts about attending, but I was told how wonderful it was and that going would help me to achieve a "breakthrough in my relationship with God and others". So I went with that in mind, only wanting God's will, and believing that Momentus was "committed to orthodox Christianity, affirming the creeds of the historic church," as described in the brochure

Well, the first night they read us all the "ground rules" and we had to sign them and agree to them. Then we had to sign a "hold-harmless" release and arbitration agreement. As we went through each rule or agreement, if one of us did not agree, we stayed on that one until everyone in the group agreed to it. In 11 years of being a Christian, not once has a pastor made me sign anything before he would counsel me nor have I read in the Bible where Jesus ever asked someone to sign anything before he would counsel with them. I felt very pressured and intimidated. If someone in the group did object, they had to stand up and tell why. Then the trainers would ask "What's the matter, do you have a problem following rules?" or "What is it you don't understand?" or "Why do you have a problem with this?" or "What does this have to do with the rule?" They used guilt and fear to hold us to our commitment and accountability.

The first night we had to pick a "buddy" and how we chose our buddy was to pick out the person we were least attracted to. I felt this to be very cruel and I stood there thinking: how can they ask us to do this, judge someone by their looks? Doesn't God's Word say in John 7:24, "Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment?" The person we picked was our "buddy" through the rest of the training, We were told, "You are your buddy and he is you." (This sounds like New Age talk.) You were held accountable for your buddy, and I felt very uncomfortable about this. A lot of us were married men and women. Some of the men had women buddies and the women had men. You were supposed to eat with your buddy and you were to be responsible for your buddy doing his homework and being there on time. One session we had to sit very close and hold hands. This was uncomfortable for me because this man was not my husband.

Later on, there were 6 "arcs" (chairs arranged in a U-shape), with 6-7 people in each group. One person at a time went to each arc. You stood there while each person in each are would say, "My experience of you is.... etc., etc..." It was mostly critical. Now this was 37 people - mostly strangers giving you "feedback" on their experience of you. How can you really know someone just in a matter of hours?

The first night myself and 3 others were not in our seats by the 60-second time call. When we got in the room, we had to stand. We were asked why we weren't responsible enough to be in our seats, Then I was yelled at and badgered for what seemed like hours, After the "trainer" was through, I felt stripped, laid bare. I felt like I had been raped of my dignity and self-worth. He raped me emotionally and spiritually, I was left emotionally devastated and was angry at the fact that another human could take someone's hurts and use them to totally crush them and then make them believe it was good for them. Where in the Bible did Jesus ever beat someone down before he told them- he loved them?

When I got home, I praised God that my children were at friends' houses. I was so crushed, devastated, I couldn't believe what had happened. I was angry and hurt. I felt betrayed that I was lied to about what Momentus was. When I got home, I told my friend, "No way would I EVER let my friends go through this!" I won't let them be hurt or torn apart like this, I felt it was cruel. How could this be in the name of Christ? I could never see or have ever read where Jesus did this. I had decided not to go back, but because of the guilt and the fact that I had made a promise to my buddy", I said I would try it one more day.

When I got there the second day, one of my friends who was one of the leaders there came up and hugged me. When he asked how I was doing, I said, " I think I'm only going to come one more day." His response was, "Don't threaten me." I said, "I'm not threatening you, I'm just saying I can't handle this!" His reaction changed, and he said, "Oh, yes, you can." This took me aback. I was just telling him how I felt.

I had only gotten 2 hours of sleep because of the "homework" that we were required to do. I felt there again they put pressure on us and made us afraid not to do the homework for fear we'd get called up and torn down. They never once looked at our "homework." I feel like this was a way of depriving us from sleep to wear us down. Others of the group shared how they were only getting 3-4 hours sleep a night. We had 30 minutes for lunch, in which we had to complete "homework." We had an hour for dinner, in which we had more homework. When we would get to eat out, the stress was on to get our homework done and be back before the 60-second time warning was called.

We did an exercise the second day where we had to stand in a circle. Each person was given 4 Popsicle sticks. Then we had to go around and choose who we would put on a "lifeboat" or who we would let stay on a sinking ship. If we didn't know a person's name, we were told to say, I didn't care enough about you to remember your name." The hurt on these people's faces was heartbreaking. Then after everyone completed the circle, the 4 people with the most sticks "went into the lifeboat." The rest "went in the water" (sat on the floor). If you gave all your sticks away, they said you committed suicide. A couple of people challenged the trainers about the "committing suicide" part, quoting the Scripture where Jesus says, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13), but were told, no, that they couldn't "lay down their life" because they'd already made the choice to 'I commit suicide".

In every exercise the lights were dim and the music was loud. They played contemporary music and the Christian music was very strange. I had never heard Christian music like that. It was just like a steady beat with a man's voice speaking over it.

The language that was allowed in these sessions was very offensive to me. How can they call themselves a Christian organization and allow profanity to be used? One time they had a couple in the middle of the room over 1 1/2 hours talking about extremely personal problems in their relationship. What I couldn't understand is that the Bible says God will "tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:19) Why did they, as mere men, want to bring up our past if our heavenly Father has forgotten about them? Why did they need to know?

In the exercise which was called the Confession session, all the women sat in one arc facing the wall, with the women leaders behind us, and all the men sat in another arc facing another wall with the men leaders behind them. Once again, the lights were turned down low and the music was turned up loud. Our eyes were closed, while the trainer asked questions like, "What are your secrets? Does anybody have the sin of (named some things]? Raise your hand." If this was supposed to be a confession to our Lord, why did they need to know it?

Things got more and more intense by the time the third day came. But by Saturday night my doubts about Momentus were being covered up by what I thought were the lies of the darkness in this training. I was thinking, well, maybe! God did use this to help people. I came home on the third night feeling, well, the Holy Spirit did use this. When I got home, my friend that was staying with me asked me to call one of the leaders in our church. We spoke for awhile. Then my pastor called and said that as my pastor he was advising me not to go back. Since my husband left us over 3 years ago, I have placed myself under the spiritual authority of my pastor. So I did not return the last day. Instead, I went to church,

Well, right before church started, in came my "buddy" and one of the trainers to ask me why I didn't return. When I told them, my buddy's reply was, "Who's in control and what's in control?" They were told strongly to leave or the police would be called. What kind of Christian organization would send someone to the Lord's house and convince someone to go back with them? Does this sound like something Jesus would approve of? I was so confused and hurt and I felt betrayed. It opened my eyes to ~the fact that Satan tried to come right into the flock to steal the sheep.

When I heard my tape on my answering machine where my "buddy" called wondering where I was Sunday morning, it sent chills through me. The panic in his voice! I thank the Lord for giving me open ears to listen to my pastor. I praise God for rescuing me out of the evil darkness that Satan tried using to steal me away from God.

My final statement is that I hope people's eyes and ears will be opened and that their hearts would be open to see the darkness in Momentus. The reason I wrote this statement is to ask you in Jesus' name, please keep your heart and mind guarded and centered in Christ the Lord.

In Christ's never-ending love,

Terri 1998

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