REPORT

The Christian cult staying alive on social media

By James Cook

The Trumpet Call of God is a radical Christian sect based in America but operating across the world. Their central belief is that God is communicating to modern-day prophets through dream letters. The group’s mysterious leader “Timothy” was believed to be the main conduit between our current generation and Jesus. When he slept, he often dreamt strange scenes involving the voice of God speaking new Bible verses. Timothy instructed his followers that his new Bible verses were more important than what they had already read, his instructions superseded the Bible. With a new messiah generating seemingly authentic biblical verses, the cult’s reach spread throughout the world, attracting followers in Europe, Africa and across Asia. However, the group’s leadership suddenly splintered. But instead of fading away, the sect has seen a revival through the use of Twitter and Facebook to spread its dangerous message.

Mind control

According to cult expert Rick Ross, The Trumpet Call of God (to be referred to as TOG from this point forward) uses a classic mixture of indoctrination and mind control techniques to gain influence over their followers across the world. Lectures with Timothy were held over Skype. Members of the flock would watch their leader post sections of the letters he claimed to have received from God and together they would agree upon the points. However, one Skype sermon was interrupted by a surprise announcement. This leaked chat log reveals Timothy quickly posting a “live” letter straight from God in response to a flock member announcing their departure.

11:54:31 Departed flock member: Hello everyone,
11:54:47 Departed flock member: I jus want to say goodbey…
11:55:08 Departed flock member: I have been tested, and I have failed.
11:55:46 Timothy: The Lord is saying… By 300 was My glory revealed, even as those 300 beheld My glory according to My will. Yet of that which was required of the children of Israel, only two of the first multitude entered, even the lampstand which I had set over them did not enter, remaining that example to the people according to that which the Lord requires, even unto death, even according to that much more which is required of those who lead the flock. Yet his reward was met, for though he died, he was also taken… for his service is not yet concluded.
11:56:19 Departed flock member: I had to make a decession, between leaving the church included my children an wife..
11:57:04 Departed flock member: or live alone, with nothing left…
11:57:55 Departed flock member: I have chosen for my children and marige, so this is the last study.
11:58:29 Leader 1: We pray well for you.
11:58:35 Timothy: You have choosen poorly My son… by which I you have also grieved Me….
11:58:42 Timothy: therefore depart….

Give us all your money

The website of TOG takes great to care point out that the group does not ask for donations.

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A former member of the sect posted an account of her time inside the group on the website of cult specialist Rick Ross. Although his website has now been deleted and turned into a casino recommendations site, “LLG”‘s posts remain archived.

“I was unfortunately caught up in this cult until a little while ago, I appreciate all your efforts to raise awareness. I would still be there had it not been for my family hiring a professional exit counselor to do an intervention. I am still going through a recovery period because of the mind control they employ to reform people’s thoughts and get them to be mindlessly obedient.

“I of course didn’t realize it was a cult when I started, but I began reading the letters after I saw a video on youtube. They sparked my interest as I had already been feeling that we are nearing Jesus’ return for some time and something in these letters grabbed hold of that.

I completely separated from my family emailing them all to tell them I couldn’t be with them if they rejected the letters

“I gave money and even jewelry (because I didn’t have enough money) out of fear that I would have to leave the group if I didn’t give enough. I nearly lost my husband (I didn’t separate from him but was basically living very much apart from him) and felt like a martyr when he wanted to kick me out of my home. My daughter apparently felt very distanced from me because I was always on the computer, which she told others (I found out during my intervention).”

Personal Jesus

All of the known photographs of "Timothy"

All of the known photographs of “Timothy”

Internet rumours claim that TOG’s enigmatic messiah figure “Timothy” left the group suddenly, taking their money with him. Other accounts suggest that he then quickly rejoined TOG. The Kernel attempted to contact Timothy to clear up what his current involvement with the sect is. We called multiple telephone numbers registered to the Nebraska home address used as the base for the publishing company he runs with his wife Amy. All of the numbers had been disconnected. One directory site lists Timothy’s occupation as a therapist and his status as “deceased”, while another website suggests that he has grown out his hair and disappeared.

When researching The Trumpet Call of God, there is a strange dual existence.

Usually when investigating a cult that existed on the internet around the turn of the millennium, the majority of information about the group has dissolved away with the advancement in technology. Archived websites, low-resolution screenshots and deleted mailing lists are the lifeblood of cult investigations, and yet when researching The Trumpet Call of God, there is a strange dual existence.

The social media sect

While the websites ran by the group’s original leaders seem to be either deserted or deleted, the cult has survived by embracing social media. The group runs a Twitter account with thousands of followers, multiple Facebook pages, a YouTube profile, a Dropbox account and a Lulu author profile.

The cult's active Twitter account.

The cult’s active Twitter account.

Worryingly, former member “LLG” claims that TOG uses social media to try and attract internet users to the cult.

“[I would] spend many hours a day recruiting (or so the group calls it ‘trumpeting’) both in person and on many internet venues such as facebook and youtube. I myself used to spend at least 2.5 to 3 hours studying and approximately 2 hours every day ‘trumpeting'”

The cult’s YouTube profile offers up their dangerous teachings in handy video format.

The cult’s site offers a variety of .PDF downloads to help followers “trumpet” the word of their new Messiah, including this document that features printable stickers.

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The old leaders have disappeared.

This new existence for the cult seems to be a different entity from the version of the group previously run by Timothy. The old leaders have disappeared, taking their personal sites and contact information off the internet. However, the website is still sharing the letters that Timothy, their Messiah, claimed to have received from God. Can they still influence and control people without their enigmatic founder at the helm? It certainly seems so, their social media presence is still expanding to this day.