How fun. He sent me a link to an article that purports to “answer his critics,” and does so in ways that are rather vague and crazy.
In keeping with my policy of blogging about him whenever he initiates contact, then, I suppose I shall have to do so, though he bores me to tears at this point.
So I guess I will post my letter of excommunication from one of the Hymers cults, the Open Door Community Churches, from 1977 or whenever it was. I have redacted the names of all eight of his ministers/elders within that organization, since none of them are with the organization at present, and since that time those with whom I had the most contact back in the 1970s have apologized, despite their ruined lives, for their own roles in ruining mine.
Open Door Community Churches
of Los Angeles
Dr. R. L. Hymers, Superintendent
(213) 473-8376 or 465-9247
Board of Elders:
Dec. 2, 1977
Dear Miss Whittemore:
You have been excommunicated from the church for sexual sins that you refuse to repent of, and for continually missing church, and for denying Christ.
You have violated your enclosed covenant with God. There is only one way you can get right with God. You must come back to this church, repent, and publicly confess your sins. You cannot go to any other church and be absolved, for, even if they accept you, God will not. You must come back here to repent, even it is fifty years from now. Otherwise you can never be forgiven.
You were excommunicated by a unanimous vote of the membership of the entire church.
Very Truly Yours,
Clerk, Board of Elders
You are barred from ever again taking Communion, unless you are restored by coming back to this church and repenting. If you ever again take Communion without doing this first, you will be severely judged by God (1 Corinthians 11:27-30).
Clearly, it wasn’t a cult. All mainstream churches say that one can only get right with God via one little ministry in the Los Angeles area. I suppose that means that if I wanted to be saved now, at this stage in life, I’d have to go to the Fundamentalist Baptist Tabernacle in order to do it. Unless I can wait until it’s been 51 years, and then I’d be free to go elsewhere.
But, you know: Hymers’ church is downtown. That’s a heck of a drive from here, and . . . well, the traffic these days . . .
UPDATE: An ex-member of the Hymers cult writes:
Hymer’s defense seems to be “Hey, people like me! – Big people!” He has always befriended well known figures in fundamentalist circles and claimed legitimacy for himself from his association with them. Of course, what Sumner or anyone else has to say about Hymers has nothing whatsoever to do with his abuses, exploitation and lies (which they probably don’t know about, and certainly have not witnessed). Nor does this new defense, ‘church splits,’ that Hymer’s has pulled out of his, er, hat, hold any water. Abuse is abuse.
Actually, ex-members are great for getting to know what an abusive religious leader is really like. Many such ex-members have web sites where they tell their individual stories and warn the unsuspecting. You usually get the gist of the abusive group’s M.O. pretty quickly this way. Cult leaders just hate that.
So I’d noticed. Glenn Reynolds: “Smart PR people don’t generally go after bloggers, as this tends to attract other bloggers to the story . . . .” Oh, don’t be absurd: Hymers is very media-savvy. He’s said so himself.
Dr. R.L. Hymers
More on the R.L. Hymers Cult
On Halloween, and Obsessive Truth-Telling
The Best Deprogramming: Don’t Program Yourself at All
The “Hymers Warners” Group
A Word About Libel: Memo to Bob Hymers
Why Is Hymers’ Website So Ugly?
Losing My Virginity in the R.L. Hymers Cult
Bob Hymers’ History of Violence
Mac Brunson: Another Member of the “Millstone” Club?
One Fake Letter; One Real One
I’ve been told that some people are misunderstanding my allusion in the comments to my having been raped in the Hymers church. I did, indeed, lose my virginity to an act of rape when I was in Hymers’ cult. The perpetrator was also someone attending Hymers’ church. However, that was history by the time I was excommunicated from Hymers’ cult. I had broken up with the boyfriend who had raped me. The lines about “sexual sin,” and about my supposedly “denying Christ” were simply added to my excommunication letter to spice it up.
I was excommunicated because I refused to begin attending church meetings/services any more, in the wake of a bout with mononucleosis. I can actually document this, since I received a “warning letter” from the Hymers cult that made no mention of sexual sin, but did warn me that I was obligated to begin attending church meetings once more.
Bob Hymers had instructed me to go to a “sexual deviants’ meeting” on Monday nights after prayer meetings, and I attended faithfully during my time in his cult. I therefore think it is almost certain he knew the nature of that first instance of sexual intercourse—that it was forced upon me. He certainly had no problems publicly humiliating a 14-year old girl for “sexual sin” in the middle of a church service on a Sunday.