I’ve always said that there is no real difference between a religion and a cult, a cult is just a religion that lacks power and popularity. Both have the same insane, unjustifiable beliefs, held by people who refuse to question the crazy stuff that they teach. But religions want to think better of themselves so they hate it when anyone calls them a cult but they’re really not fooling anyone. So it should come as no surprise when something bad happens at a local church, the neighbors all knew it was a cult all along.
Bruce Leonard, 65, and Deborah Leonard, 59 have been charged with first degree manslaughter for the death of their son Lucas, 19, and the severe beating of his 17-year old brother during a “counseling session” held at the Word of Life Christian Church in New Hartford, New York. And nobody is at all surprised that this happened. Reports state that Bruce Leonard whipped Lucas with his belt after Lucas had threatened to leave the church. His brother was injured trying to break up the conflict and suffered injuries to his abdomen, genitals, back and thighs. Four other church members were also arrested following the incident.
According to Lisa Brown, who lived across the street from the church, “When they first took over the building, they would post Mass schedules so people knew when there were services. Now, it’s not like just anyone could go to church there…It’s kind of been the running joke that there’s a cult there.”
Adrian Hectus, who used to live next door, said, “There was just a really weird vibe about the place.”
Julie Howard lives nearby and says it’s always been odd. “There’s always been weird things going on. You always hear dogs, they’re breeding dogs. The cops have been called there before, they’re not allowed in the building, they can’t get in the building.” Other neighbors report they’ve heard strange chanting coming from the building, often in the middle of the night. It strikes me as funny because you know how neighbors never believe that the serial killer next door was a monster because he was so normal? Here, the neighbors all knew something weird was going on. Unfortunately, religion far too often gets a pass and authorities don’t investigate successfully until it is too late.
So on this Horror Show Tuesday, if your child wants to leave your church, let them. Don’t get in their way and certainly don’t assault them with your belt. If your beliefs are worth holding, they will keep holding them. If they’re not, then your kids are better off walking away. And so are you.