This post extends and develops my analysis of Victor Hafichuk’s Path of Truth Ministry, which has in the last year become one of my most viewed pages. Commenters have universally ‘pinged’ him for running a cult. This despite my constant cautioning that I believe PoT to be a genuine Christian Ministry despite their caustic and divisive conduct and what I have called their serious flaws of excessive judgmentalism. It is written in the hope of bringing balance and reason into what is clearly a serious and ongoing situation for many.
Victor Hafichuk and his team of followers run an Internet Ministry called Path of Truth. They set up shop online in 2001 and started like most of us tentatively with a few posts of Victor’s articles, simultaneously getting active in online Forums. They are located in Canada and run an organic farm called Harvest Haven and maintain what has been a quite long-running engagement with people online in various stages of truthseeking. I’d assess their digital footprint to be substantial – good long-term Google-juice for their pet topics and they clearly punch above their weight.
Many a Christian Ministry I am sure would love to have the sort of influence that they achieve for their size. Without an obvious marketing budget (it’s probably NIL from my take of how Victor normally runs things) PoT has generated a substantial wake – mostly ALL negative unfortunately!
Their adherents do show signs of brainwashing similar to a cult however this does NOT run to the levels of the Mormon and Jehovah’s Witness, rather more zealousness of youth and immaturity more than control from occult leaders. Victor and his offsider Paul Cohen have strong personalities and to my mind err more in their inability to sense and moderate undue adoration (especially in the face of adversity and criticism) than erring on the side of cult leadership.
From this analysis though I distance matters of doctrine which I generally prefer to avoid – if I look for the typical signs of a cult where deliberate insidious and manipulative leadership uses and abuses their victims I cannot find it. I don’t believe that the typical view of a cult is appropriate for Path of Truth – again excluding doctrinal matters.
Before I quote a few anecdotes and examples to show how I reach this conclusion, I note that in an investigation a truthseeker MUST park prejudices, note a priori assumptions and humble oneself to be able to see reality. This is not always easy and especially so after getting whacked about the head on the tail-end of PoT’s verbal abuse. These guys don’t muck around and will hurl abuse and condemnation at those they think deserve it which requires a huge dollop of intestinal fortitude to cope with to maintain a level head – unless you comply with their take on reality.
At the risk of being accused of thinking I’m Mr Cool, (or as PoT put it, that I “love the sound of my own voice”) I’ll claim that I CAN step up to the mark, humble myself and do this analysis impartially.
My take is that no, they are not. Not only is there no evidence, but there is strong evidence to the contrary. Let’s take a few examples and look at them. Remember that as truthseekers we’re applying cold logic onto fact. Faulty logic and/or deception will send us off on a tangent!
Sarah, is PoT’s web mistress and was an early convert. At the time (and since) she was/has been accused of getting sucked into PoT’s “cult” when she left her parents in a conflict situation to go and live with PoT. The parents had tried to stop her from contacting them, read her emails and found that she was making plans to escape their clutches then kicked her out. Victor’s online religious auto-biography explains that Paul hit on her and wanted to marry her when Victor intervened. The whole thing appears to have been a little bit ugly but hey, whatever, life isn’t always clean like we want it to be!
Sarah’s example is either proof of PoT’s cult status (drawing a poor innocent impressionable girl away from her devoted Christian parents who ‘had a responsibility/authority’ towards their daughter they were losing to evil) or on the other hand an example of how false accusation, gossip, hidden agendas and evil is the result of good and godly people simply preaching the Truth and helping others to escape a less than ideal situation (if you’re with the PoT lot in their description of what happened).
I find the vast bulk of the PoT evidence located from multiple sources – Victor’s words, detractor’s comments, Sarah’s own testimony (and later explanation) – as well as subsequent events to support the PoT version of events. Sarah strikes me as a very switched on girl (now lady), self aware, showing all the signs of (yes sure maybe in a little emotional trauma at the time) an honest, determined genuine truthseeker who did reach out to some ‘good’ people who helped her.
It is clear that years later if she is still with the team then she WAS right to leave a difficult situation and that she DID (as she claimed) find the peace and sense of purpose in where she went. Think of this if you still consider her move to be of a cult-like attraction – if she left one abusive situation before when she was young and impressionable, could or would she not choose to leave another one a decade later when she was ten years more mature? Of course, clearly she can and I posit here, WOULD [UPDATE: and DID]. So at the first blush, the evidence from an example held up by detractors gives prima facie support to PoT’s version of events. No cult. No mind-control or brainwashing per se.
So to the concept that adherents are imprisoned in some way. This gets a little more tricky because you move into philosophy and theology and therein you can have arguments backwards and forwards all day and still never get agreement, BUT in terms of the intent to control people and retain them for spiritual or physical or financial benefit, I can’t see any of that AT ALL. In fact if you listen to testimony of those the have come out from PoT’s clutches then you see the opposite, and indeed my own situation is the same – PoT have a propensity to EXPEL others – not retain! PoT is not your typical cult in the slightest!
Another example is the story that one commenter gave that he left “when Victor told him to pee sitting down not standing up so as not to splash”. Ummm, perhaps, ‘maybe’ that could possibly be an over-controlling cult leader who has to be escaped from, but really? Perhaps instead it is just a guy that doesn’t want to have to wipe someone else’s urine off the toilet seat every time HE wants to sit down? My comments in reply to this one is that it seems to me that Victor has learned over the years that it’s a hundred times easier on everybody if you cut to the chase and shoot straight at the outset. Indeed Victor even says this – that it’s one of the first things he learned when commencing Internet Ministry – get to the point and pass up on the time-wasters and tyre-kickers! You see, something was obviously festering inside this commenter until the point that his frustration got so much and he snapped. Good on him for leaving if he had to but perhaps he should have left earlier or found a way to resolve the practical tensions in life? My money is on PoT here on this one – again.
Again another little example, in Victor’s biography thing (it’s a hugely difficult tome to read; basically a mixture of faith-diary, personal diary; theological treatise that he calls a “Theo autobiography”, a name that is actually a good description but which nobody would understand what it is from this description) he mentions that he once beat Paul Cohen – physically. Paul was an adult at the time. A good spanking Paul probably deserved too at the time but really, we should ask ourselves if this the mark of a man of God? Would this be typical of a cult leader in the usual meaning of the word cult?
You betcha it would be – normally – except where did we get the information from? It came from Victor himself. Perhaps we should look a little deeper, and not just run away all too ready to accuse and shout and blame Victor, using this example as a norm? Then you consider that Paul, an intelligent adult male didn’t make a public scene about it, submitted and then to throw in the VERY important consideration that not only has Victor admitted it, in public, he also accepted that he reconsidered his conduct . . . and note this . . . hasn’t done it again!
UPDATE: I have been informed that violence does occur within Path of Truth situations with and beyond that of Victor personally. If that is the case, then this indicates serious issues of integrity, and I may have been wrong in my analysis here. I will investigate this and other matters further. Feel free to avail yourself of the TIPLINE if you wish to contribute to that investigation.
Now this is NOT the mark of a typical cult leader. It is the mark of a man of God – sure, a very flawed one, but one who has passion, drive, vision and cares about something or someone so much that he goes too far, recognises his mistake and then learns from it. In bible-speak that’s called repentance – turning from our wicked ways. It’s also the mark of Wisdom.
So again it’s thumbs up for PoT and their leadership in some of the more obvious possibilities that they are a cult. That doesn’t make them as an organisation nor their leaders perfect, or totally clean from the tendency to foster cult-like behaviour from the followers but the broad wide-brush painting of Path of Truth as a cult, and their leaders as cult leaders does not wash for me. If I’m wrong, sure, show me the evidence but I’ve waited and watched and investigated for a year now and I’m SURE that if there was something, it would have come out by now. Except for doctrinal matters as I’ve said, my firm take is that no these guys ARE straight – no cult here (in the typical sense of the word).
Now, to the leader Victor. I’ve got a lot of time for this dude for lots of what I think are good reasons.
Victor has learned to get straight to the point. I like that for it is Jesus’ style to be efficient.
He’s into organics and healthy living. Me too and I wish that more Christians would read their bibles and switch off their TVs, grow their own foods, throw the toothpaste out the window, clean their teeth with hardwood sticks,* put a little more ‘rabbit-food’ into their diet etc, etc.
I can’t see or understand how the energised Grander Water things works scientifically and tend to doubt the need for it where I live (Samoa has clean tropical rainfall and I just drink the water I collect from the sky) as do the plants here! What I do know however is that there is a truckload of scientific knowledge lost from past generations and that Western science is largely a cult based on manipulation and deception in itself. So if some whacky thing works for him, I’ll just be the silent skeptic on the side for the moment.
I appreciate his black and white stance on life as I too am naturally like that and I can understand his belief that he is called to confront and challenge others. His clear statement that this was the Lord’s word to him caught me by surprise but he’s certainly living by his belief systems. As I will explain further on I think his aggression is too much and he errs into sinful, pride-based conduct, but I DO respect his belief that this is his lot in life. Most will mellow in later life. I don’t see a lot of that, rather that he (and particularly his offsider Paul Cohen) have hardened their approach as they’ve gone on. I might be wrong on that because Victor’s biography only tracks up to 2001 at this stage. In time we may see whether any mellowness in maturity appears.
I really do respect him for his b*lls to do what he thinks the Lord is telling him to do. He’s one to OBEY when he HEARS and that’s sadly a rare attribute in Christian circles! 10/10 to him for that.
He’s got no clues about the Holocaust myth and is not worried about Conspiracy Theories which is probably why he’s been so gullible on this one, and other than going on and on about his stock market traumas he’s not published anything on monetary issues, so he wipes out in my book in those departments. He’s into separate beds for husbands and wives whereas I wanna have the body of my wife beside me as we sleep – I can’t think of pushing her off as any show of love – unless she or I had some form of Asperger’s/Autism in which case I could understand that as a form of love.
While his relationship with Paul Cohen is an unusual one I like the fact that they work together as a team. Kudos to them, even if they do go too far and backscratch too much, unity amongst people working before the Lord, even if it is only a shared walk of faith in ministry is great in my books, and to actually live together in community too – top marks for that can be a real hard ‘trip’!
I don’t appreciate his attitude towards me which I think is arrogant and condescending but he certainly speaks what he thinks and hangs it all out there, especially obvious if you read his autobiography.
His direct “I’m right, so if we disagree then you’re wrong so prove it or help me God!” attitude is mersmerising for a genuine truth seeker and unless you’re into the finer details of theological banter (and I’m not) he’s certainly worth the time of day to read. I’ve modified my views on some things based on his words, enjoyed connecting with his take on some things and crossed swords on others. He claims to be open to correction and without an agenda (I’m not so sure about that totally) and certainly does give people the time of day – for a while.
Prophetic Ministry? Absolutely. There is a string of testimony from going back years that have shown his capacity to hear, and speak directly from the Lord. While I’d caution anybody to listen talking about themselves (for example Dennis on Dennis, or Victor on Victor) I think he does generally have a good handle on reality. His behaviour choices may be contentious and his style might be abrasive, defensive and (as I have stated in regards to his Ministries failings) overly judgmental.
Feedback from adherents and ex-insiders doesn’t include complaints of core religious cultism, more extreme confidence and stress around the edges of their daily living challenges.
Messiah? Absolutely not! And while he has what I see as holes of visible [spiritual] pride he does acknowledge this humanity too – a point that detractors who think he’s claims to be a Messiah cult should take note of!
Reading his autobiography has been incredibly enlightening for me as he’s bared his soul way more than anyone else I can think of, ever, certainly online. For that he needs kudos and especially an extra dollop of grace, for it is with those that give of themselves like Victor does, that we should respect. BUT that need not extend to total acceptance, just because he is open about many things.
My assessment having read, watched and engaged is that he has had a troubled life from youth, but has overcome much and achieved much. My guess is that he’d consider his greatest achievement is being obedient to his calling. His book is called “What the Lord has done with me!” which represents his philosophy and world-view – that it is only God who has used him, a mere mortal.
His struggled with a troublesome wife/marriage; his self-doubt; facing incredible opposition (a lot generated from his own confrontational ways I am sure but a lot of it demonic as others react to the truths he speaks); and his black and white personality all seem to have taken their toll on the ‘poor guy’. But equal to that I can see that the Lord has indeed used him, and probably incredibly so – just not visibly. From what it looks like looking in on this Ministry it looks like a rag-tag group of misfits fighting and squabbling amongst themselves yet totally united in purpose and vision in Ministry. Their leader is a character for sure. A huge ‘wake’ behind them as they have burst in and up and over breaking things as if they act like a spiritual ice-breaker.
I would note too that there is a strong tendency to defensiveness with PoT and either a siege-mentality of a guerilla warfare mentality that that makes it difficult to engage meaningfully. I saw this clearly when I was researching a recent comment relating to an older gentleman who noted that they had classified a teacher he respected in earlier times of his life (Theodore Austin-Sparks) in their “False Teachers” page. It seemed that PoT had spun through Theodore’s masses of writing ‘to get to the point that they could find a fault’, then they had posted him on their False Teacher’s page. The impression that I got was that PoT does this to prove a point and to puff themselves up in the guise of speaking the truth . . . and here we come to the real issue that I have with Victor Hafichuk and it is this . . .
When you stand and point at others, even if you are right, and when you do it violently and forcefully, and especially when you do it in Jesus’ name . . . you better be damned sure that you’re right, or you will be bringing huge curses upon yourselves in the process. I DO find fault with Victor and the way he runs the show. It’s not so much that he’s a ‘bad’ man or that he’s ‘wrong’ (for I do not, cannot and will not take him to task on theological issues) but that his attitude, style and conduct is at the far end of the spectrum of possibilities. It’s high risk stuff, perhaps ‘extreme’ is the word I’d put into this discussion of the man, and of course as it relates to his ministry. I’m not actually saying this (yet) or claiming it but there are potential symptoms of psychiatric issues – social interaction issues from teens or childhood; unique ways of viewing life (sometimes it is people who are ‘different’ who can see things clearer than the pack); taking binary views on human relationship matters; a troubled ministry with huge passion and commitment yet no overt signs of or apparent desire for success in the traditional sense; blindness to what others can see; excessive or unnatural openness and honesty in public; dogmatic adherence to a doctrine and misapplication into practical living. These are not so much accusations, just an alert to the possibility that Victor is ‘unique’ and views the world a different way from others and that there could easily be bigger issues and causes behind the scenes.
Having said that I’m not a theologian, I will though attempt to finger the area of spiritual health that I think Victor fails to discern properly, maybe not in his mind or belief systems but certainly as it relates to his interactions with others and it is the concept that when we are “in Christ” [the phrases “dwelling/abiding in the Spirit of Christ”; “in the Spirit” and more are variations of this] that we are perfected, and therefore have a right [or responsibility in Victor’s case] to speak the truth no matter what. I cannot argue this theologically but I note that there were times that Jesus (most notably at His trial) was falsely accused and He didn’t reply, argue or make His case. Having seen and observed the incredible pain that has resulted from PoT’s ministry across the globe, I cannot but get the impression that this is wrong and that while Victor may be technically right, and speak the truth, that his personal troubles engaging with the world have spilled into his Ministry.
I’ve put it previously thus, “being ‘in Christ’ makes us perfected in the Father’s eyes but does NOT make us perfect”. There are two ways I can see to view and understand this concept as it relates to Victor – the first is to read his auto-biography where he shares his personal struggles (and triumphs) as he deals with dealing with others. It will become obvious to any right-thinking caring person that Victor is certainly ‘different’ in how he interacts with others over matters of faith. The other way is to view the way his spiritual offspring deal with others, for this is where the rubber hits the road . . . what is our fruit? As a parent I know how I cringe when I see my own sub-optimal behaviour mimicked in my children’s conduct. Likewise you can see how Paul and Manny and others conduct themselves in support of their leader.
The challenge for any leader like Victor is always the same – humility and this is regardless of any uniqueness that he may have. In Victor’s case, he clearly carries himself with humility in daily life the majority of the time (as Manny, one of his adherents explained) however the heart is forever deceitful and I think Victor’s pride comes out through a Ministry that is widely accused, and I believe with good justification, to be caustic, divisive and not in full keeping with the Spirit of Christ in its conduct – erring on the side of truth more than love on the balancing scales.
Summarising this all then, my first ‘whack’ at speaking in depth of the man behind PoT, I would suggest that contrary to most detractor’s claims to the contrary, Victor is indeed a man of God – the Christian God; that indeed he has, can and does speak the truth but that his Ministry shows the signs of excessive judgmentalism because of his personal failings of arrogance before the Lord.
And no, this commentary has nothing to do with our personal testy tete a tete – if you might be thinking that this is a ‘get back’! I’d say all of this exactly the same to his face if I had the opportunity.
When you analyse detractors’ comments and view the source of their negativity there is generally only one source of the tension and troubles.
Sure they can refer to conduct, behaviour, words and the resultant strife and division within Christendom but at the core it’s ALWAYS theological or doctrinal matters that is niggling away at them.
This is a HUGE clue of what is going on here . . . this is totally typical of what happened in and around Jesus, is it not? This is a spiritual conflict right to the core of the conflict and both sides know it and are right – it IS a fight over belief systems.
Now in a moment I am going to take a whack (for the first time in public) at going through the PoT’s gazillions of Diabolical Doctrines and chip my lot into the conflict but it is WAY more important to me and therefore on this post and blog to show HOW the fight is being outworked.
Please park your own belief systems just for a moment. The rules of engagement in this match, just for the moment are that there is NO reference back to a priori assumptions; NO reference back to theological positions of ANY Christian persuasions. Christians pretend for just one moment that you are an Atheist and you are going into battle with Path of Truth. YOU (just for the moment) are the one who needs truth and you’re reading Path of Truth’s materials and engaging with them in their method of choice – chatrooms and email.
- Is PoT material objectionable? Nope!
- Is it well reasoned and logical? Yes it is! (Be careful here now because reason and logic transcend RIGHT and WRONG! They may still be WRONG but their logic may be quite sound.)
- Does it have the appearance of intelligence, commitment, integrity and all the other things that could be the mark of truth? Yes and No. Their confrontational style and verbal abuse stands out as something we wouldn’t think of as Jesus’ ways but if we bundled all the rest – an intelligent, life-experienced, committed and passionate leader and ignored his and his team’s style then sure we’d have to agree that PoT deserves an audience. Sure!
Now passion and commitment and so on doesn’t make something TRUE any more than going into a bakery shop will make you a loaf of bread but parking the theological things for the moment changes the entire dynamics of the “PoT is a cult” thing totally.
Now when you do that – and I have and do – an amazing thing comes out of the woodwork . . . we see HUGE cult-like behaviour from almost ALL the detractors and almost NONE from PoT!
If you paraphrase the argey-bargey from years of conflict it would be this:
Detractor: You are just a cult!
PoT: No we’re not! Why do you say that? Prove us wrong?
Detractor: Everybody knows that genuine Christians believe . . . [the Trinity, the Rapture, or whatever dogma the detractor wishes to raise]. You don’t so you are a cult!
PoT: We’re right and you’re wrong! You haven’t shown us in the bible where we’re wrong so you are from the Devil!
Detractor: Incredible! I know that I love Jesus so you’re wrong and I’m right, you are a cult!
PoT: Go to hell . . . your home where you came from and are going back to!
One of the marks of a cult is that a belief system is worshiped over truth, logic and reality. Someone will perhaps stand up and say for example, “I am God and you have to worship me!” then use every trick in the book to get others to bow down to him. This of course is the way of the Tempter and Accuser; the cause of the original sin.
Look and think through the above paraphrase at how the Detractor accuses FIRST. Now PoT often do attack or accuse first, which I put down to excessive defensiveness and arrogance on Paul Cohen’s part, not corrected by Victor (and it is the other way round too at times). I noted in a recent post in Victor’s tome that he appreciated Paul’s quick diagnoses of situations early in Paul’s ministry. A strength can very often become a weakness as our successes in Ministry pile up. Ask any Saint who had to be humbled about this one! The point here is not so much that one or t’other accuse first it is what develops from an accusation.
See then more importantly, the way that PoT challenge the Detractor to put up or shut up (we’re ignoring the WAY that PoT do this just for the moment) – which is perfectly logical and fair grounds for solid faith – the assumption of course is that they will change their tune if shown the error of their ways, but that’s a secondary issue. The PoT LOGIC is sound in the above paraphrase.
The logic of the Detractor then fails badly. Not every detractor uses the words “Everybody Knows” or “Everybody Believes” openly (some do) but there are doctrinal “no-go” areas for the vast majority of Christians whether they realise it or not. The point is not at this stage what is RIGHT or WRONG but HOW the engagement is occurring because the degeneration in relationship generally starts now. It changes from discussion to dogmatism, and this is the logical failing on the part of the detractor – NOT PoT!
This scenario is hugely important to understand because the REAL colours of each party can now be seen and the engagement can focus on the matters of FACT so that we can determine TRUTH – the supposed ultimate objective of all Christians – PoT and/or otherwise. This cult-like behaviour of Christians with a closed mind (a priori assumptions) is the VERY SAME behaviour that they accuse PoT of! Again we’re not in this hypothetical situation determining whether or not the Rapture is Coming before Christmas or whether God is three persons, or to prove the existence or determine the exact nature of Hell and Eternal Damnation, we’re simply noting that by and large it is the Detractors who have closed minds and a priori assumptions and have largely little desire to seek truth.
Now in my paraphrasing above, I show how the PoT response is to turn ‘ugly’. I’ll go into the reasons for this and give my commentary on it later the point though is that: rock meet hard place! It is actually a little more like the picture of a man standing in the way of people wanting to go along a footpath. He [PoT] stands there unmoving. The people want to get through but he won’t move. Getting agitated, they get angry, hurl abuse at the big man blocking their way and then get violent with him. He simply resists them, abuses them as stupid and occasionally punches back when they try to touch him. Now if PoT are protecting private property rightly, or intruding into public property where people have the right to move freely has yet to be decided!
We have here doctrine that is the root cause of conflict with PoT and (generally) mainstream Christians. It is theological beliefs that p*sses off the vast bulk of Detractors and this spills over into nastiness – PoT tend to lash out violently at people they see as ungodly hypocrites. Detractors tend to label them as a cult or vicious, nasty people.
I’ve shown that the accusation of a cult is more befitting detractors than PoT. I’ll address their nastiness in a minute. Let’s now address the theological issues.
I hate discussing theological issues. I hate it with a passion. It’s only one rung up from ‘religion’ which is almost at the bottom of my least favourite things. Now our belief systems are hugely important to our conduct AND to our future. Believing whether or not Jesus is the son of God and has died and risen again is hugely important to our eternal destiny. Believing that God is good and that there is an enemy is also a critical factor in this equation for it shapes our attitudes and conduct, thus the quality of our relationship with Jesus, but as far as I can work out 99% of theological issues DO NOT appear to me to be central to our Salvation.
I have Catholic friends who I fully expect to see on the other side. I love, love, LOVE the Catholic historical commitment to issues of Social Justice, but that the Catholic religion epitomisees all that Jesus came to set us free from screams out of the religious practices I see my Catholic friends indulge in.
I have SDA friends who I respect for their care over the foods they eat and how they treat their body but the general atmosphere of bondage and legalism that pervades that denomination sends me running a mile. Of course they are dead right that the Sabbath is a Saturday not a Sunday.
I read the Book of Mormon and observe that all the Mormons I know tell me about how they FELT something and followed their feelings. I know that every Mormon that I have met in Samoa has either punched me, lied to me or stolen from me and conclude that their theology sucks – clean on the outside and rotten on the inside.
I observe the Happy Clappies and participated in Pentecostal and Evangelistic Christianity for many years, and appreciated the feelings of worship and being part of a party yet that elusive ‘revival’ is yet to occur as far as I can see. I respect the things of William Branham, Derek Prince, yes even some of what Billy Graham and his ilk have said and done but the bottom line is that there IS no agreement within Christianity on all things.
The Prime Minister of my country of residence Samoa Tuila’epa has considered writing into the Constitution that Christianity is the countries religion. They say here that Samoa is founded upon God. The problem with this twoddle is that Christians can’t agree among themselves so FFS, is Samoa going to be Catholic or Protestant? That’ll set the cat among the pigeons and that’s just a starter!
Christians, when you agree, can you please let me know and I’ll join the party. Until then I’m out. It’s Jesus for me and Him only, thank you! Almost a decade ago, as an intelligent mature adult Christian male, the Lord called me out of mainstream organised Churchianity. I fought it and came up with all the usual platitudes like Hebrews (forsake not meeting) and the “if the coal comes out of the fire it will surely die” mantra and the possibility that I was being rebellious and the label backslidden/backslider from do-gooders who used to be my friends and more. One by one the Lord knocked them all down and I submitted when He basically said, “How about you just LISTEN TO ME and DO WHAT I SAY?”
So I did and as a theological clux despite more bible training and study than most around me, I found myself alone and not able to just lean on the teaching of the denomination I was committed to at the time. This was the big wide world of theology and I had to address all the big questions that life threw at me. When the JWs knocked on my door – I was certainly available to attend their events and be converted so what would I say, think do, believe? And Why? It went on and on . . . Was the Rapture for real or was it wishful thinking? In time . . . it came to the Path of Truth.
I’ve shared more than once before that I connected with a lot of Victor’s teaching. Not only that but some of the teaching he gave was outside of the mainstream Christian thought. This intrigued me. I didn’t grab everything the guy said with both hands and believe it all off pat by any means but take one example, the concept of Eternal Damnation – that when the bad people die they go to hell and live in torment forever – because they didn’t accept Jesus, or conform to certain belief system or say their last rites properly or [whatever!]. Ray Comfort’s ministry epitomises this world-view. Good on Ray if he’s out there doing good things for God I say, but it’s not based on wisdom, or truth or a correct interpretation of the bible as far as I can see!
You see, I had already done the hard yards on this one and the breakthrough came for me when as I struggled to reconcile my belief that the God who had reached down (or out) and touched me was a GOOD God. I struggled to see how I could reconcile this foreign concept with what I knew to be truth. I intellectualised it and accepted the story because there appeared to be no other option . . . but, when I found that this dogma is NOT accepted by a small sector of Christian thought-leaders; that indeed across many denominational divides there were people who interpreted scripture a little differently, I came to accept that the mainstream version may not in fact be so right. Now I hasten to add that I am NOT going to make a public theological statement like PoT nor like that of many Christian denominations and their leaders, but personally, I leaned more towards the alternative viewpoint. It didn’t change my life, but it did bring increased beauty, love, peace and met the general indicators of truth.
Path of Truth however are in your face over it. “It’s a DIABOLICAL DOCTINE!” they scream from their materials and communications. “We’re right. You’re wrong. If you are not with us then you are from the Devil so go to hell!” is their general response. While their style is obnoxious to many and the idea of exploring the possibility of alternative doctrinal error in mainstream beliefs simply won’t enter into the minds of most Christians, the mark of a genuine truthseeker is that we DO explore the issues, ask the questions and establish the truth for ourselves.
Sadly, I have found that MOST Christians switch their brain off once they’ve “got Jesus”. Truthseeking and sound logic are noticeably absent from modern church life. I don’t know whether this has always been the case; whether it is a recent phenomena or whether it’s just me but if there’s one thing you can say about Victor and his PoT, they’re not the kind to warm the pews with their bums!
So the list of my connections with their “fringe” theology continued. Victor had worked out from the school of hard knocks that REAL Christianity started upon removal of our lives from Churchianity – that the entire system was corrupt – it wasn’t so much the individuals who had lost the plot, although that certainly was often the case. I concurred.
He’d looked at the “Beam me outta here ASAP!” teaching of Rapture and written it off – good on ‘im too – for I had worked that one out too. He’d dived into the Creation/Evolution thing and taken the Intelligent Design stance – that’s basic logic 101 if ever there was an issue. Check! Victor, you and me are on the same page.
As I worked my way through his Diabolical Doctrines, I came across some to which I went, “Woah!! That’s a new one on me. I gotta check into that a little before I can accept that one!” but there were more that I did agree with – Sunday is not the Sabbath – Check! Birthdays and Christmas and Easter dates and practices all suck – Check! Democracy is utter ‘BS’ – Check! Once saved always saved – Check!
The Trinity . . . OK now this is a huge one which I check off here but the mere fact that Victor can even discuss this subject let alone speak out against it is a big check for me! For the record I simply don’t know. I know that Jesus is the Son of God and when I say that He is IN me, that I mean that the Spirit of Christ is in me (aka the Holy Spirit) so that while there are different aspects and manifestations of the one true God it’s all totally confusing to me (and I reckon to the majority of people who preach and teach about it). All I know is that Whoever called Himself Jesus from the Bible and Whoever it is that I pray to in the name of Jesus who I call the Father and Whoever it is that touched me all those years back when and Whomever it is who resides in me, strengthens me, guides me, teaches me and helps me to love Jesus is very welcome to my soul – whether that is a Trinity or otherwise I really don’t know (or care) to be quite frank!
What I did was to work through not only PoT’s Diabolical Doctrines but also their False Teachers page. PoT nail some big names. I could accept their barbs in relation to Calvin and Billy Graham and some of the other frauds out there like Benny Hinn & cohorts but some of the big names copped a hit too. I needed to and did look into the claims that PoT made and on what basis they nailed some of the big men of faith. I did find flaws in their attitudes and approach to labelling False Teachers but the LOGIC they used was always sound – ALWAYS and this impressed me hugely.
Victor and his team believe PoT teaching 100%. They are totally dedicated to their theological take on the matters they teach. I’ve found that virtually all their teaching is to be sound logically, backed up by scriptural validation that is logical. I’m not a theologian as I’ve said.
Argue away and have at it theologians, some of you will no doubt retain your tough stance. Let me know when you all agree on something and I’ll probably join the party! PoT tends to curse and palm off those determined to have them on. Sadly nothing is likely to change and the situation will very likely continue exactly the same until they are no more.
I’ve shown how many detractors’ logic fails when they write off PoT as a cult, showing cult-like conduct in their failed logic themselves BUT PoT failed in logic spectacularly in 2015 when I raised a forbidden subject (for them and many others) the missing validation of the Six Million figure of the so-called Holocaust and then stood up to their subsequent bullying attempts and spiritual grandstanding.
I’ve explained the way I see the Six Million thing pan out before. Basically the three things that are the Holocaust story are that:
- Hitler hated the Jews (Yup, he sure did!) and determined to bump em all off (Nope – it’s actually agreed by all parties that there is no ACTUAL evidence of that – not one piece of paper from all the Third Reich generated!)
- He established Concentration Camps and Gas Chambers were the murder weapon (Yes the Camps existed. Nope they weren’t designed for mass murder! Plus you can’t kill masses of people with ZyklonB the way they said it happened – it’s just technically impossible)
- Six Million Jews died, (Nope it was more like 300k – 500k of Jews AND Homosexuals, Gypsies and Political Dissidents etc and they mostly all died by natural causes!)
That PoT believe this cynical Fairy Tale cobbled together after the war simply shows me that they aren’t God’s gift to mankind and are the same as the rest of us – mere mortals who make mistakes.
They also revealed to me a huge hole in their understanding of a hugely important aspect of life – that of understanding the true nature of money, especially from an anointed Christian viewpoint.
Victor talks frequently about his foray into the stock markets and the truamas of losing money big-time. He’s a self-confessed penny-pincher who has yet to learn the basics of money. Paul has no clues and defends the indefensible which you can see in the emails we exchanged.
They believe that the charging and receipt of interest is ‘normal’ but homosexuality was ‘normal’ in the days of Lot. They, like most Christians will learn what real money is when the downturn occurs; when He shakes the political/financial Beast that has yet to go global and implode. I’ve blogged about this extensively.
The bottom line is DO NOT take advice from PoT on anything to do with money – they don’t understand the subject; are operating in darkness and are delusional with self-righteous justification of their ignorance.
They also haven’t done the basic due diligence on the Holocaust issue and are foolish to be willing to stake their reputation on Common Knowledge. Their attack in defense shows that they are quite happy to band together to protect their patch, simply another leader with a group of believers ( aka a denomination) in the guise of genuine truthseekers/truthspeakers.
If they’ve done this in provable ways with me, and I’m fortunate to be in a position to process quite a caustic, challenging experience; then to resist and take the truth out there about them, then there MUST be other situations where lesser mortals a little less capable or prepared to muscle it with them have gotten their fingers burned, ears boxed, hearts hardened, or perhaps worse and just gone away unable to vent or deal with them.
I have concluded my take on these guys (also summarised elsewhere) that they are indeed a Christian Ministry (and not a cult in the usual sense of the word) although their adherents certainly do show signs of cult-like following. I do find them however hugely in error on HOW they engage with the rest of the [primarily Christian] world – excessively judgmental; overly defensive and in my case (and by inference probably others too) totally wrong.
This post to any right-thinking person, Christian or otherwise should I believe (as some have already observed) demonstrate that I am, contrary to PoT’s arrogant write-off, a genuine believer walking in the Spirit of Christ – a thinker who does seek, value and honour the Truth, but not only that, demonstrate the understanding, sensitivity and love to my detractors that Path of Truth lack.
My Advice To Victor Hafichuk
My advice to Victor is to do the research into the claimed Six Million figure of the Holocaust as any genuine truthseeker would ‘normally’ do and at the very least learn and understand the key issues at stake. From there, if it is appropriate, Victor should revert to me with the evidence I sought for the Six Million figure that he (and Paul) believes in to be Common Knowledge. Failing that Victor should decide whether or not he wants to be known as a Fringe Christian Theologian who believes in Just-So Fairy Tales because they are Common Knowledge and too busy (or proud) to do the honourable thing, or whether he is a genuine truthseeker willing to research a matter of detail in which another believer has challenged him.
My advice to all PoT people – leaders AND adherents – is to humble yourselves somewhat; learn to communicate in a less caustic and offensive manner and to rid yourselves of the defensiveness that pervades your Internet presence.
My Advice to Detractors
My advice to detractors – especially people who view or perceive PoT to be a cult is to refrain from claiming that they are a cult (they aren’t in the normal sense of the word), and to perhaps get very specific on which doctrine you disagree with – take the matter into theological department which is where PoT want to live work and play. It is only from there that everybody’s objectives can be achieved, which is as I read it – increased obedience to the spirit of Christ.
In a practical sense the paraphrased interactions would then read:
Detractor: You are wrong, crazy, stupid to believe XXX and/or YYY!
PoT: No we’re not! Why do you say that? Prove us wrong!
Detractor: Because in the bible it says . . . [whatever the biblical validation of the matter in contention is].
PoT: We’re right because of [enter validation rebuttal] and thus you’re wrong!
Detractor: I can’t see it that way but at least we can agree to disagree. . . or secondary rounds of theological debate.
This is basic of conflict resolution – deal with the issues not the individuals; playing the ball not the player. Both parties invariably fail this simple rule. As far as I can see, I would put the bulk of the blame on Victor for creating the caustic confrontational environment in which his ministry operates but more particularly on Paul’s willingness to be combative, quick to shoot and arrogance in his diagnosis. As I’ve said before – judging others CAN be a valuable activity, but it is a high risk activity for if you get it wrong then you’ll create hell on earth and it makes life miserable for everyone, let alone the consequences of sinning before the Lord.
Lastly I close with a note that due to past communications with Path of Truth, their Right of Reply is now conditional. For the record I have never as far as I can recall in any of blogging in excess of a million words over years denied someone a Right of Reply, until now with Path of Truth. The conditions of their Right of Reply are that they deal with the substantive issues of the past in a mature, constructive, and (yes) godly manner. They didn’t at the outset; they haven’t since and I’ve already accepted one patronising response from Victor despite my bemusement that he would deign to communicate with me; one that he cast off as a devil and cursed in the name of Jesus!
My position is this . . . PoT terminated our communications unilaterally and in a huge hissy-fit of spiritual condemnation, something that I consider not only totally becoming of a Christian Ministry to start with, but they did it with malice disguised as righteousness. That they later chose to reverse their casting off and re-engage without addressing the core issue of contention shows ulterior motives – I suspect they wish to defend themselves on my blog knowing that it now has decent traffic and that their conduct, words and attitude is essentially looking like their dirty laundry.
Reverting to communications like this lacks integrity. They (specifically Victor) claims to apply logic, value the truth (which is the Truth in the Christian paradigm) yet have failed in their application with me. They claim to be innocent of guile and victims of injustice yet have failed consistently to rectify the matter, or even to address it, and suggesting condescendingly that God has greater things for their attention. And so as Jesus spoke in the parable, another one walked by and left the victim lying there on the ground ready to await a real Saint.
I am fortunate that I don’t need an Innkeeper to patch me up – I’ve done it and am up and about, thank you anyway, but my finger points nonetheless to the bandits who attacked. Victor, Paul, and others . . . go back and do the research (if you dare) show me the validation for this Six Million thing and I’ll apologise and go away. In the meantime you may wish to consider the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus – both of them are well recognised as fact according to the Common Knowledge of a massive sector of humankind – children and the gullible.
Why do you then now believe these two stories are fallacies, stories that belie logic based on fact? Probably because you have grown up and done the research? Do this with your Six Million fable please and when (or more likely IF) you ever do I expect that you will return with the highly embarrassing comment – something that will destroy your self-acclaimed spiritual invincibility, “Dennis, I think we were wrong! You might have a point . . . we can’t find any credible evidence. Thank you for alerting us to our faulty assumptions based on Common Knowledge.”
Do that Path of Truth and then we can re-engage constructively. Until then it is Comments Closed for you. You’ve got your own website to peddle your thoughts.
Let me help you boys who cannot bring yourself to do the basic research with an analogy . . . have you ever come across an unbeliever who rejects the Bible – specifically the fact that the Jesus we both know love and serve is alive and well? That indeed He is the Messiah?
And have you ever asked that person if they had read the bible, and incredibly they hadn’t? In other words they were making major life decisions without even researching the matters?
You see where this is going guys?
My Advice to Paul Cohen
Paul Cohen. I know full well that you are a Jew. I know full well that anti-Semitism exists. I know full well that there is huge Jewish benefit from the Holocaust industry but let me tell you here and now, I don’t give a rat’s behind whether it was Six Million Jews, Eskimos or Pigmies that somebody said got bumped off way back when in some country that I’ve never been to when I wasn’t even born, but when some dude who claims to have an exclusive lien on the truth can’t even bother to do the basic research when challenged; can’t even give me evidence for a wild claim that I have researched thoroughly over years and know to contain a whole bunch of porkies and he believes it because of Common Knowledge then I stop; challenge him and then when he gets snarky tell (and will continue to tell the world) that you are a gullible fool, lacking integrity and therefore a fraud. And because you claim to have the Spirit of Jesus in you and to live by Him at all times, I can tell you this in Jesus name too!
While I’m speaking to you, you may also research and consider the many Logical Fallacies, some that catch you out in relation to Victor and the Six Million stuff and others that you fall victim to a lot – some not relating to me.
“Common Knowledge” brings about witch trials and the incredible ungodly thought-crime laws that pervade Europe now where ‘they’ (yes “they”) won’t let you even ask questions! Does PoT agree with those laws BTW – it’s a rhetorical question of course because you haven’t earned back the right to talk to me yet) but you’ve got a dilemma if you don’t approve of them eh? Show me the evidence is all I ask! I ask questions because I want to know the truth – unlike you it seems.
“Call to Authority” essentially meaning that because someone is an authority they can be trusted. That’s setting yourself up for a fall because if Victor too believes the Six Million fable then you too will get made to look like a fool eh? Dear God please let me in . . . “Victor said!” No Paul you gotta think for yourself over this one and do your own research. I mean you do it in the bible don’t you? Do it at the Holocaust Museum – should be easy – take only a minute or two surely – give me the evidence Paul . . . credible believable evidence and hey maybe I’ll believe this Six Million thing too!
“The Bandwagon” – “Others agree with me so I/we must be right . . . so you’re a crook!” Not at all . . . just show me the evidence Paul . . . just show me the evidence!
“Ad Hominem” is where you attack the messenger and not the message. “You’re of the devil! You love the sound of your own voice!” Whatever! Can you please now show me the missing evidence!
“Bait and Switch” is where you start talking about rabid anti-Semitism when all I was talking about was Six Million and the validation of those figures. Let’s get back to finding the non-existing evidence, please!
I could go on and on fighting you and showing the world how you accuse others of the very things that you accuse others of.
Now unlike what you did to me by cursing me and casting me off to hell; nor like what many of your detractors do I’m not going to tell you that you are a cult; because I don’t believe that and fully expect to be in your company for a very long time, but I AM going to hold you to account, and my website has been going up and up and up in both hits and Google-juice about PoT every day since the day I first exposed you and your Ministries and its leader’s conduct.
Like you say to your detractors – I’m not out to hurt you, but I simply tell it how it is. That’s up to you what you do with it.
* Hardwood sticks not only clean but they polish your teeth, so that they look and feel naturally clean. I guess Colgate Fluroguard doesn’t want you to know what’s worked for a few thousand years eh??
- Analysing Victor Hafichuk’s Ministry - the orginal post of May 2015 in which my call is "Yes, Christian but excessive judgementalism"
- Path of Truth Emails - the evidence
- More from Victor Hafichuk - analysing a third party communication
- “Path of Truth Cult” – Vanity Search - An adherent supports PoT but challenges following a vanity search
- Aquatechnology.net – Victor Hafichuk - A longstanding third party analysis
- Path of Truth – Logical Fallacies - Exposing multiple logical fallacies in an adherent's communications
- Path of Truth IS a cult - Analysis following claims PoT is a cult
- Victor Hafichuk – The Other Side - A Christian Ministry
- Victor Hafichuk “Nobody Is Perfect” - Confusing Perfected in Christ with Perfect
- Analysing A Path of Truth Detractor - Correcting a Disillusioned PoT follower
- Handling the Path of Truth - Leaving the PoT can be hard
- Path of Truth – Ripped Asunder - Victor fires his long-term 2IC
- Paul Cohen After the Path of Truth - Paul's opportunity/challenge
- Maturity in overcoming Path of Truth - An ex-PoT adherent bares all
- Victor Hafichuk – False Claim Analysis - Exposing 'Delusions of Grandeur'