Pastor Terry Jones must be in sociopathic heaven. He’s threatened to burn copies of the Islamic Qur’an to mark tomorrow’s anniversary of the September 11 attack. His threats have created a media frenzy, drawn responses from President Barak Obama and General David Petraeus, and resulted in the death of at least one protester in Afghanistan.
Not bad for a sociopathic cult leader of a tiny church in Florida.
So who is this guy? He has an honorary degree from the unaccredited California Graduate School of Theology. He’s a former hotel manager who runs both a church in Gainesville and a used furniture business on eBay. The line between the two endeavors is apparently blurry, and is under investigation by Florida tax officials.
Church in Germany
Jones went to Cologne, Germany, to set up a church in 1981, which at its height, had 800 to 1,000 members, until the congregation revolted and threw him out. Here’s what a German publication, Spiegel Online, reports about the church:
A “climate of fear and control” had previously prevailed in the congregation, says one former member of the church who does not want to be named. Instead of free expression, “blind obedience” was demanded, he says.
Various witnesses gave SPIEGEL ONLINE consistent accounts of the Jones’ behavior. The pastor and his wife apparently regarded themselves as having been appointed by God, meaning opposition was a crime against the Lord. Terry and Sylvia Jones allegedly used these methods to ask for money in an increasingly insistent manner, as well as making members of the congregation carry out work.
Jones urged church members to beat their children with a rod. He ran an academy for children, with a printed rulebook that ordered them to obey the leadership of the Academy and the church, and prohibited them from visiting family members or friends, or receiving visits.
By the end of 2007, church members had had enough of Terry Jones, and expelled him. Only about 80 people remain in the church.
Back in Florida
Jones’ Florida church, the Dove World Outreach Center, also has only 50 to 80 congregants. The church is on a 20-acre property that is also the address of TS and Company, which is the online furniture business run by Terry Jones and his second wife, Sylvia Jones.
A reporter from the Gainesville Sun visited the church and found that the sanctuary was partially filled with furniture. Jones says that all employees of TS and Company are church members who volunteer their time.
Former members of Jones’ Cologne church – Christliche Gemeinde Koln – described the situation there differently.
“It’s all about how much did you work, how much profit did you bring in,” said Emma Jones, the 29-year-old daughter of Terry Jones and his deceased first wife, Lisa Jones. “He made 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds work 12-hour days.”
Emma Jones said she is speaking out against her father and the church she grew up in with the hope of helping others leave what she calls a “cult” that “forced us with oppression to be obedient.”
“They used mental violence. They’d say, ‘If you’re not obedient, God will punish you,’ ” Emma Jones said.
So this is the guy who wrote a book called Islam Is of the Devil. He’s the guy promoting International Burn a Koran Day. He’s the guy causing controversy in New York, protests throughout the Islamic world and possibly threatening American lives.
Terry Jones is an exploitative, brainwashing, sociopathic cult leader who demands that church members obey him and sell his furniture. And he’s loving all the attention.
For more on Pastor Terry Jones, read the following articles:
The church behind the signs, on Gainesville.com.
Terry Jones accused of ‘spiritual abuse’ at Cologne church, on Spiegel.de.
DWOC Academy Rule Book, translated from German, on Gainesville.com.
Who is Pastor Terry Jones, and why is he burning to torch the Koran? on PoliticsDaily.com.
Quran-burning pastor’s former German church denounces him: He’s ‘violent and fanatical,’ on HuffingtonPost.com