The Power of “Spiritual Addiction”

Posted: January 18, 2010 in Deception, IHOP, Spiritual Abuse

Those of you who have experienced or know someone who has dealt with any form of addiction can certainly attest to its potent strength and the strangle hold it possesses over the life it claims. It demands what it wants. Addictions must be fed and the cravings will scream so loudly that no amount of willpower will be able to squelch its pleading.

If one is able to hook people by use of spiritual addiction, they can maintain a tighter grasp than even a physical substance can…because we are spiritual beings–made in the image of the G-d who created us. I believe that spiritual addictions are often more difficult to recognize and break free from than physical ones. An illustration I use is that spiritual addictions take hold at the root compared to physical addictions that simply cling to the branches.  Because G-d knows how He made us (spiritual beings created in His image and likeness), He knows what will keep us free as well as what will tie us down in bondage and spiritual trappings.  So He set up a means of protection by giving us instructions in His Word regarding what to believe, what to follow and what to stay away from. Thinking that we are better at knowing what’s right and good for us than G-d is, humanity has very often taken the self-directed approach and as a result those who do will veer off into dangerous waters that they will eventually sink in.

Because I know the powerful effect of hypnosis on the human mind, I have not listened to music produced by IHOP in years. Shortly after I left, I put on one of the CDs I still had from when I was there. The repetitive chanting which IHOP calls “choruses” put me almost instantly into a familiar trance-like state. I felt almost nauseated even just to listen to it. I remember telling my Mom that there was something in the music that I didn’t hear when I was at IHOP but now it was so overwhelming, I couldn’t handle it. I threw out all of the music I owned which had been produced through IHOP. Why am I telling you this? Because unless you understand the power of hypnosis and the way IHOP is using it to fuel spiritual addiction, you will think that their “Harp & Bowl Model” using repetitive chorus lines is completely innocent…which is far from true.

Hypnosis puts you into an altered state of consciousness—making you susceptible and receptive to any message you hear while in that altered mental state.  Don’t just take my word for it–do a little research into how hypnosis works and it’s pretty clearly spelled out. The worlds of psychiatry and psychology use it as a form of “therapy” to help people overcome addictions such as smoking. But hypnosis can also be used to ‘program’ as well as ‘de-program’ the ones it is used on. (many hypno-therapists use it to de-program those who have been in satantic rituals or undergone military mind control)

I refer to spiritual addiction as “the perfect crime” because of the way hypnosis is used to ‘cover up the evidence’ of any mis-deed–making the victims of the abuse look like the ones who missed it and are in the wrong.  I’ve noticed many times when I was assigned to be in the prayer room a glassy-eyed, glazed over look on many people’s faces.  It was like they were locked in some kind of stupor.  I remember thinking after I left IHOP: “Why didn’t I see the deceptions sooner? When did this hook me? How did I get so attached that it controlled me and I defended it so vehemently?” The hypnosis used of that environment is like covering up the finger prints of a crime scene. You don’t remember when things went awry.  You can’t recall how or when you went from being the casual observer who was just attending conferences to the full-fledged IHOPer that would eat (or not eat), breath and sleep their mantras and try to convert everyone you know to sell their homes and move to Kansas City to join this “new” movement. Suddenly I became part of their word-of-mouth marketing department…and instead of getting paid for publicity, I was in fact paying them.

Spiritual hypnosis, as used in IHOP, utilizes repetitive, chanting, mantra-like phrases to bypass the mind (often via music) to touch people on a soulish level because it alters the brain’s waves and affects mood and emotions. IHOP’s theology is largely imparted through music. Because it is sung hypnotically over people…over…and over…and over again, it bypasses the mind and all rational/logical thought processes and is embraced on an emotional level. People feel an emotional connection to IHOP largely because of the many hours spent in the prayer room listening to repetitive music.

Add this to the fact that, for an intern, there was practically never time to be alone or rationally process anything being taught so you would be on sensory overload and find your moods and decisions being altered so rapidly yet it felt like something controlling you…not something you were controlling. Suddenly, life became all about IHOP. No outside friends. No hobbies, activities, etc. outside of IHOP. Time in the prayer room or at IHOP meetings and services became the center of my existence. Whenever I would have ‘negative feelings’ the solution everyone gave was ‘go spend more time in the prayer room’. Life became very small and confined. It happened so subtly I was slowly suffocating and couldn’t even put my finger on why until right before I left IHOP.

Back to spiritual addiction…why is it so dangerous? Because if an organization, ministry, church, House of Prayer, etc. can manipulate the soul (mind, will and emotions) then they can steer your decisions and actions. The soul has no discernment. Discernment is born of the spirit and is a gift from G-d. If you bypass the spirit and connect to someone only on a soulish/emotional realm, false doctrines can easily slip in because they “feel” good and appeal to the emotion. Once we emotionally latch onto something, it’s often very difficult to let go of it.

My prayer for you is that the Father would guard your hearts and minds from the deceptiveness of spiritual addiction and that the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us would be the antidote of freedom from all forms of addiction, abuse, etc.

  1. AChildOfGod♥. says:

    Hi, i just want to say that i’m a teenage believer and around this time last summer i happened to be introduced to ihop. I dont know how it happened really. One day i was watching a youtube video on Jesus Culture and you know the links posted on the side of youtube videos>well i clicked on a misty edwards video from the call. I liked it so i started listening to was fine at first. Then i started listening to her preach and it was sound so i listened. I listened to Lou Engle on the ‘nazarite calling’ and i was hooked. I mean, the spiritual deadness was and still is ever present around me so i jumped at the chance to engage and listen to believers who were on fire for God with 24 hr prayer/worship. Then.. i dont know what happened but i got decieved, like this demon angel of light popped in my life…i believed it was an angel…..Then i was led by this angel for the remainder of the summer and then God stepped in and corrected me. He told me to stop following ihop ….I was uncomfortable with some of Misty’s songs..God being inlove with me and all that……it was weird. So i stopped. And the angel left. But then..this angel came back. it started with this fantasy dreaming of me being some super christian missionary and it just spun out of control in my life. The angel of light came back and convinced me that it was Jesus. I know…I doubted it for sooo wasnt Biblical and i prayed and prayed to God to remove these dreams and this angel. These dreams ..its hard to explain..they were daydreams/ escape from the boring life i lived, the spiritual deadness. So..about 2 months ago i was on itunes getting some chrisitan music and i saw misty edwards new cd ‘flind wide’ i heard the song ‘arms wide open’ b4 on youtube the previous summer and i loved it.So i struggled within me. One of my friends at school once told me that it was okay to listen to the music as long as you have the right heart behind it. She was wrong. I never should have listened to her. I mean when God stopped me from following ihop the previous summer, i did all the research on it with ernie gruens report and your blog etc..then i stopped. My friend did no research, she had no idea wat i was talking about. But i listened to her anyways. I purchased two songs. ‘Arms wide open’ by misty edwards and ‘i put on Christ’ by Laura hackett. It was late at night, i listened to the worship and i couldnt sleep, i was in AWE! i felt reawkaened , i went back to ihop where ppl were like me.. i was crying& i was so thankful and i felt so close to God. i loved it. Then as time passed i got more worship music from misty and day i crossed the prayer room. WOW! It took hold of me terribly. I loved it!24 hr prayer/worship! So i worshipped because i love worshipping God, i write songs, i worship Him, the prayer room pleased me. And i prayed. I would watch the prayer room on my computer in the morning before school, after school ..later on. I loved it. I would only watch Laura, Misty and Cory….i KNEW it was acult..can u believe it?But i thought these 3 alone were sound. My life was awesome, the worship was great!I was reading the word more, praying more=SPIRITUAL GROWTH !But then after a while… i felt like i wasn’t doing enough. Wasn’t praying enough, wasnt worshipping enough. I enjoy reading but once i got deep in the prayer room i stopped because i felt like i had to always pray and worship-nothing else. It was horrible. And the romance with Jesus…i never felt comfortable with it. I would avoid singing those lines in Misty’s songs. But i loved the worship. I neglected all my favourite Hillsong worship etc and had only ihop. I felt like it was an us vs them mentality. That me and ihop were the best and every other christian around the world wasnt doing enough. I thought everyone else was sleeping, but i was awake with my ppl..ihop. Fasting.. i really felt like i was a failure because i couldnt really fast. Like fast as in eating one meal a day or a 6am to 6pm fast… i did it alot in the summer but recently i just couldnt..and ihop emphasizes fasting so much….i felt like i couldnt measure up. Its only been over a week since God has broken these chains. No more demon by His more dreaming.. But its a struggle. In this moemnt i long to listen to Mistys worship , i can hear it now.”take me to the place where you satisfy, take me to the river. I’ll do anything God there is no price take me to the river. Deep is calling unto deep is calling unto deep Deep is calling unto deep is calling unto deep Deep is calling unto deep is calling unto to deep.Yesterdays depth is feeling really shallow and I gotta go deeper deeper deeper still and all Your waves, and all Your billows are crashing over me calling me deep deep DEEPER. From glory from glory from strength to strength, from depth to depth. I want to fellowship with You” thats from Misty’s song ‘Soul Cry”. Youre right, the music is very repetitive and i never in a millions yrs would believe someone if they told me before that i would ever like this sort of worship but i do..its hard to let go. I just feel such a burden for those who are linked to ihop. I’m 17 and i feel like i’ve wasted a year of my life. I guess i’m really impatient on waiting upon God which lead me into all of this but…ihops music alone messed up my life. WOW i mean sound doctrine…i’m getting back to the basics. I just touched upon emotion again today…i was so heartless and sad because i knew i couldnt go back to the prayer room after casting out the demon from my life in Christ’s Name just last week with my mother. As i told her my testimony i was laughing in shame and embrarassment.. i couldnt believe all of this happened to me because i was too zealous for God. Just tooo much. I just want to say pls dont listen to the music. You can get addicted for sure.. i did. The 24 hr prayer and worship movement sounds cool on the outside but when you let this deception come into your life..youre asking for destruction. God Bless you all♥.

    • Ariel says:

      Wow, first I commend you on your courage to share your experience. I’m so thankful that G-d opened your eyes and set your heart free from the entanglements of deception from IHOP’s “worship”. I completely relate to where you’re coming from. Singing on worship teams, listening to IHOP music 24/7, etc. made letting go of the music very hard for me at first too. There is a hook, a pull in it that a lot of people don’t understand. Once you begin listening, it’s hard to stop because the music is so hypnotic it lulls you and draws you in and it’s all you want to listen to. It become an audio vacuum of sorts that saturates you with its insidious doctrine. Praise G-d that He allowed you to see all of that and gave you the grace to walk away from it. I know how hard that was and the road you’re on now might feel scary but hold on dear sister…it’s SO, SO worth it!! I commend you for choosing truth over comfort and I know that each day, as you continue to guard and keep your heart set on truth that the Spirit of G-d will continue to lead you into greater freedom. It’s HIS sheep that know his voice…a wolf doesn’t. Be encouraged that no matter how much you feel the pull to go back, to re-submerge in the culture, stand firm in the victory you have been given and don’t look back. If I can be of further encouragement feel free to e-mail me: Grace and peace to your heart as you continue walking out of all that you’ve been through. Thank you for writing and sharing your story.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    woops–that should have been “so your pastor will NOT be surprised”!
    Keep praying!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Posting an alert—IHOP is sending out recruiters to the churches to bring in young adults to IHOP. I do not know if it is just in the KC area or if they are branching out, but I know of 2 churches in KC they have been to. Fortunately both pastors know about IHOP and were able to talk to the recruiter. If you are in a solid church, you might warn your pastor so he will be surprised if one shows up.

  4. Diane says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I had several opportunities to come and see the how the house of prayer here locally works. Having been invited, I decided to do a little research….that was over a year ago and I am amazed at how God protected me from ever going there.
    The same one who invited me has now become close friends with the women’s bible study leader at our church and she has been going to the prayer room harp and bowl thing–whatever it is called. She has invited the rest of us in our women’s bible study to come. I do not think any have taken her up on it yet. It was only brought up once to us and rather quickly at the end of our meeting so there was no discussion of it nor time to do so. This all happened just 3 weeks ago.
    What I would like to know is this: what would be a good opening question to ask this woman as to why she goes to these prayer meetings? I want to converse with her and need help in what the best approach would be. Thank you…I am humbled by the mercy of my Lord and Savior and His care of me to keep me free from this when it was very tempting at that point in my life to go with this woman to experience this. He is a Merciful and Loving God!

    • Ariel says:

      Diane, indeed it was the grace of G-d that protected you and opened your eyes on the front end. You were spared much in not going. Not knowing anything about your friend or her situation, the best question I can think of to open a discussion is “what do you believe you gain by going to these prayer meetings that you could not gain anywhere else?” The elitist message at IHOP is rather huge and many (if not all) believe that what they find at IHOP they cannot find elsewhere. The “closeness to G-d”, the teaching, the worship, etc. is better than their local fellowships and congregations. So, to really get at the heart of the issue in a non-confrontational way, I would just ask her how or why she believes that IHOP provides something to her relationship with G-d that is exclusive to them? Do not all of G-d’s children have equal access to Him? Do we not all have the same scriptures and the same right to go before Him in prayer from anywhere at any time? When you know what she goes there for, it opens a door to explain to her that IHOP is not the gateway to G-d. She has direct access to Him 24/7 from wherever she is. Once IHOP becomes the primary means by which people can pray or worship, we have a huge problem on our hands because in the same way that the Catholic church holds to the idea that a priest mediates your repentance by confessing to them, there is now a monster organization that has set themselves up as the gatekeeper to the presence of G-d.

      • Diane says:

        Thank you, Ariel. I wrote your suggestion down and placed it in my bible so I can have it with me and remember it when I get a chance to talk with her about it.
        I appreciate you taking the time to help me.
        It makes me sad that people think they have to physicaly go somewhere to pray…as if that makes the prayer stronger or something…or that they are so lacking in Christ’s presence in their lives that they need to go somewhere to “feel” it. Do they not understand the power of what Jesus did for them on the cross? How knowing who you are and Who He is and what He did for us brings us to our knees in daily repentance and praise and, well, one can’t get much closer to the Lord than that. Living in gratitude for His salvation…knowing I am no longer in darkness but eternal life is promised to me. By faith He is with us…never to leave nor forsake. Not by feelings.
        Thanks again….

      • Ariel says:

        You are so welcome! Grace and peace to you Diane and I pray that G-d puts timely words of truth in your mouth to share with you friend. What a wonderful gift that we have access to the Father anywhere at any time and approach His throne boldly with full confidence that He hears and answers us!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Truthspeaker–is the blog you mentioned called truthspeaker .wordpress? I have looked at that site before and I noticed that there are some things quoted from Andrew Strom. I just want to put out a heads up on him. We met him when he first moved to Grandview (just down the street from IHOP) straight form New Zealand. He has a lovely family and beautiful children and has certainly spoken out strongly about the IHOP movement (ie “Why I left the prophetic”) however he really believes that Mike Bickle dropped the ball and he (Andrew Strom) is called to carry the task to completion. He was seriously wanting to have his meetings in the original building Bickle pastored in and he did succeed for a while until IHOP purchased the building. We figured out something was wrong when the Mormons (RLDS from Independence) started showing up at his meetings. He really felt like he was supposed to pick up Bickle’s “mantle”. It all came to a head at the White Dove conference when all the “original prophets” came together for the conference at the old church building. So while he does hit the problems openly, there was (and maybe still is) something else underneath that actually wanted to do what IHOP was doing.

    • truthspeaker says:

      Elizabeth, yes that is my blog. I have posted several of his email alerts. Sometimes I think he hits the mark, and other times not. I do get the feeling that he thinks he’s the one to start a big end time revival. Andrew supposedly was sent here by God, but then wound up going back to NZ. I’m not sure he wants to replacate IHOP, but certainly be part of seeing a revival break out. But thanks for the heads up.

      • Elizabeth says:

        well–I hate to admit it but I know first hand. Andrew was the first one we started meeting with after we left IHOP in an effort to make something good out of something bad. We started meeting in the living room of his rented house just blocks from IHOP. There was one other lady that had been at IHOP and myself and my husband that started the meetings. At first I thought it was a good thing-maybe even a G-d thing but it was not too long after that his real “call” began to show through. When we broke off from them (you just cannot make something good from something inspired by gnostic mysticism) we were harassed to the point of having the phone company block his number. It was at that point we discovered that what we really needed was repentance! He has the potential to be what Bickle is if he were given the chance. just be careful because what seems to be well intended may have a darker side.

    • Julie says:

      Well, that’s disappointing.

    • jamadan says:

      I spent some time visiting and posting over at Strom’s revival forum and I’d have to say that I agree that while I like that he and they understand and see the evils manifesting at IHOP, Lakeland and all the other children of the KC “prophetic’ movement, I still found myself disquieted by their posts.

      In short, the problem is they have made revival an idol.

      No where in Scripture does it say to make revival a goal. And while winning the lost is the great commission, that is different than revival.

      We all need to learn how to live quiet lives in simple, loving submission to the Lord, reaching out in love to save the lost and caring for those in need whom God puts around us – the orphans, widows and poor. That really is the life God calls us to.

      • David S says:


        I haven’t spent time on Strom’s forums, but I have similar views to yours about revival. I think it goes a bit further than you suggested – the word revival is not found anywhere in the Bible. So I’m not sure we should be making a big deal of it.

      • Ariel says:

        Jamadan, thank you for making that point. You are correct that no where in scripture is “revival” the thing we are told to chase after. It’s not our goal and purpose for existing nor should it be worshiped the way it is today. Revival by dictionary definition is restoration to life, consciousness, vigor, strength, etc. the act of reviving or the state of being revived. So basically it means bringing something dead and lifeless to true life–causing it to function the way it was created to be. Turning and repenting and then choosing to do the things G-d requires of those who choose to follow Him is what brings about a revival in us. Sadly, “revival” gets the emphasis and focus rather than the true heart repentance that gets us there.

        Micah 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

      • truthspeaker says:

        You put into words exactly how I have been feeling:

        “They have made revival an idol”!

      • Elizabeth says:

        I agree as well. If Strom wanted “revival” why did he not preach the word in truth in New Zealand. I feel very sure that there those that need to hear the Gospel there. The “revival” he seeks is actually the one prophesied by the KC prophets. The Bible says in the end of days there would be a great falling away, not a “revival”. So my thanks as well, jamadan, for the excellent post.

  6. Bradley says:

    Thank you so much for this blog, and for speaking out for what you think is right. I’ve been very big into IHOP music, and I performed on sets at a House of Prayer in Mississippi for several years. I can definitely attest to many of the things written on this site… One thing in particular, as I’ve begun to see the House of Prayer I was at from the outside looking in, I’ve begun to sense the spirit of control that was in that place. I felt in bondage to go pray a certain amount of hours, and that is not biblical. And the more I think about it, the more all of this stuff is tied in with the music; some of my friends at that house of prayer are almost obsessed with it, they don’t listen to anything else.
    The gate is truly narrow. It saddens me how many well-meaning people get caught up in something like this. I find it easy for myself now to shun every “revival” that I see. However, revival is biblical, the Holy Spirit changing someone’s life is biblical, and I do believe that the end times are close. I’ve always had this preconceived notion that the deceptions of the end times would be from non-Christian sources; but now I see that these deceptions could be from inside the church as well. It is up to us individually testing the spirits and comparing something to the Word. I like 1 Thessalonians 5 pertaining to all of this. In verses 19 and 20 it says, “Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings.” BUT, “Prove all things, hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil” (21-22). “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (23-24).

    • Ariel says:

      Bradley, thank you so much for your post. I am sure that there are many stories out there of others that have experienced things similar to what you shared and I commend you for your courage is speaking up and telling your story. It is not an easy thing to do. I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote. The control runs deep and I experienced the same thing you said…the compulsory drive to pray a certain number of hours because of the guilt and expectations continually placed on you. You’re right–not biblical at all. The obsession over their music is still a major concern of mine because even those who claim to not be involved or endorse IHOP still buy, sing, promote and share IHOP’s music and they don’t see what a major hook that contains.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I will add an amen to Ariel’s comment. I do not know if the group you were with had to sign a sacred trust, but at the IHOP-KC everyone had to sign the Sacred Trust to guarantee how many hours you committed to spend in the prayer room. The Bible says pray always-certainly not sign a piece of paper to make a commitment to some leader or movement. Part of the trust was also to agree that you would not speak against the IHOP leadership and be faithful to the teachings of the ministry. Anyone not signing the trust were no longer welcome to be part of the mission base. The Bible also warns about making covenants and that is what this is.

      • Ariel says:

        Very true. There isn’t ever much emphasis placed on the Sacred Trust contract outside of IHOP staff. The casual attendee is for the most part ignorant of such a document. Thank you for bring this topic to light Elizabeth.

      • Julie says:

        Wow, Elizabeth. They have more and more signs of being a secret society – which I have suspected for awhile now. This confirms it, for me. Secret Societies always have their attendees sign/swear oaths – completely against Jesus’s warning not to.

        Jesus says:

        Don’t use repetitious prayer. Hello! Comtemplative!
        Don’t swear oaths: Hello! Sign the Sacred Trust

        What’s next – calling the leaders “father?”

      • truthspeaker says:

        Julie, you said: “What’s next – calling the leaders “father?””

        No it’s worse than that! I’ts calling them HUSBAND…. go on my blog and read the story about Brian Tamaki! they are doing mystical wedding ceremonies and marrying the congregations to the leaders!

        See what Bill wrote here: ” What is at stake for the world-view these people hold to is nothing less than total submission to a “Corporate Christ” or “Many-Membered Manchild” by the “Corporate Bride.” You are made part of the “Bride” through the classical Mystery School Initiations and magical rituals performed at OneThing and TheCall events. When you were coerced into laying on the floor and crying “Jesus, Marry Us!!” you asked to be wed to the Ein Sof, Adam Kadmon, and Wisdom Sophia of the Kabbalah”

        Brian Tamaki went one step further and did an outright ceremony, having all the males take an oath to him and giving them all rings!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Truthspeaker–I could be interested in a conference call. Was your friend Bill ever involved in IHOP?? since they had their 10th anniversary not so very long ago, he must have been studying very early on. I would love to talk about the time line you are working on. I am starting a “family tree” including Lonnie Frisbe (Vineyard) and the word of faith movement.

    Bickle on rapture–yes he teaches rapture BUT it is at the very end after the manifest sons have become super humans (not gotten their glorified bodies) redeemed the world with massive revival, set up the kingdom and invited Jesus back –THEN the church meets him in the sky, get new bodies and only those special people from the beginning will rule and reign. He publicly makes fun of those who want to be “rescued” from tribulation. He does not believe the newer version of manifest sons that take over the political arena just like he states on the IHOP web site. He believes the older version that is not political but spiritual. He calls it rapture but it is just an elevator–up and then back down….initiated by the manifest sons.

    I actually saw a tape of Kenneth Copeland at a conference from the late 80’s. He goes into kind of a trance and starts talking about all the biblical heroes pointing at him in heaven and saying something like WOW there is one of those, one of the special ones from the end times one of god’s (not the real G-D) special ones with special anointing. I did not think much about it at the time but now I know that the word movement has some shared roots with IHOP. Mike Bickle thinks he is special and god’s favorite too. The Word of Faith is into manifest sons and latter rain as well.

    IHOP is a cash cow but the real money is in Diane’s real estate. IHOP runs with no reserve at all–I know this first hand (but I do not want to elaborate, please). I have seen the books and know there is a lot of shady business going on. They cover it up. Call and say you want to be a partner but you want to see the public accounting that is supposed to be available for tax exempt organizations and good luck with that. Why have they not been exposed?? I believe it is their own judgement. Because they worship another Jesus and teach another Gospel. Those who belong to Christ He corrects. Well……I just weep over people I know still there that seem determined to be judged with them. I don’t pretend to know how much they will be held accountable for but I know the first thing I did when we left was REPENT. I knew right away that was what I had to do.

    I believe this is very serious business on any level you look at it and many people have eternity in the balance. I thank G-d every day that he rescued us out and pray for those that are there and are hooked in. I have tried to talk to people that used to be friends at IHOP and had them get up and walk out on the conversation. The deception is very strong. Please please pray for them all.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    I have been doing some study this weekend looking for the root of IHOP. I would suggest if you want to really see where a lot of this is coming from, look up the Phildelphian Society. I must apologize. What is now listed on the IHOP web defending what they believe and do not believe is actually true. Apparently the defination of “latter Rain” and “Manifest Sons” has changed from the original theology. IHOP actually teaches a very old theology on these subjects-while just as messed up-really is different than listed on the web page. There was a strong concentration on “marrying Jesus” as early as the 1600’s with this movement. Another person to look up is Jane Leade. I have been amazed what I have found in a few days of reading.

    Even Count Zinzendorf seems to have split off the Monrovian community into age groups and there seems to be information that he did not allow the parents to have imput in raising their children. One of the complaints was that the young adults in particular were totally segmented from their family. Also look up Order of the Mustard Seed

    There are strong indications that it is like a group “hypnosis” that allows the participants to be controlled.

    This information has not made be angry–just incredibaly grieved for people I know still hooked in this. I can attest that any resistance I personally brought up while I was there was immediately repressed. Anyone not submissive to the group is squeezed out.

    I believe that the changes seen in IHOP have always been there but as the movement has become stronger, the leadership has become more confident to put what they really believe into practice.
    The sad things is if you Google IHOP there are pages and pages of off shoot groups in cities all over the USA and overseas.

    • Ariel says:

      Wow, some very helpful insights Elizabeth. Thank you!! I’ll do some researching into the things you mentioned also.

      “Anyone not submissive to the group is squeezed out.” You couldn’t be more right about this.

      • Julie says:

        I have also read the information mentioned by Elizabeth. In conjunction with the study of free-masonry, it is an eye-opening read. I was sad to learn of Count Zinzendorf’s error, as I know the current Boiler Rooms (another 24/7 prayer group) hold him in high regard. Another group of youth that I have grown to love. Eeee gads! It is everywhere!

        For me, studying the Phildelphian Society is a complicated study and will require more reading to “get my head around it”, but I agree with Elizabeth. What they truly believe at the top of the food chain is beginning to come into focus.

        Once again, thank you Ariel, and Elizabeth, for your first hand accounts. Having both of your first hand experiences helps the entire picture come in to focus.

      • truthspeaker says:

        “Anyone not submissive to the group is squeezed out.”

        A sure sign of a cultic operation!

    • truthspeaker says:

      You must have been reading the research done by my research partner Bill, (NOLR History). He has been doing research on the Latter Rain movememt for 10 years. I’m currently working on a Latter Rain time line and the men involved in its development.

      When you begin to study Jane Leade and the Philidelphia society you find out that they got much of their teachings from Jackob Boheme, a “christian” theosophist and kabbalist. The roots of this whole latter rain movement are actually from the Kabbalah.

      If you would like to talk about any of this let me know and we can arrange a phone call!

      • truthspeaker says:

        Julie, are you the same Julie from “Julie’s Story” over on Greycoats?

      • Julie says:

        Truthspeaker: I am that Julie. AKA cheaperdozen. Love your blogspot, too.

      • truthspeaker says:

        Ariel, Julie and Elizabeth….. would any of you be interested in doing a conference call ….. maybe on Sunday afternoon or evening? I can get my friend and research partner Bill on the call and I think it would put a lot of pieces in perspective for you all. He’s been researching all this for 10 years. Let me know. Ariel, you know how to reach me!

  9. Annunk (for SP) says:

    Oh Polly,
    I wish I had an easy answer for helping to get your “family member” out of IHOP. If the mom is supportive of her being there, it’s an up hill battle. But good news! There is nothing God can’t do. Absolutely nothing.

    Do as I know others with family members there are doing: pray, pray, pray.

    If God could open Ariel’s eyes, he can open theirs also. Just keep praying.
    I’ll be in agreement with you. That’s not a promise – that’s a guarantee.

  10. Annunk says:

    One more thing: I have an old friend in Texas who recently sent their child to IHOP. I was mortified when I heard this news so I wrote her to tell her what I knew about IHOP. Not surprisingly, I never got a reply from her.

    Do you know of anything I could say to this person to at least get them to consider that IHOP just might not be a good thing?

    • Ariel says:

      Are you asking me specifically or just opening that question to everyone?

      • Annunk says:

        You, Ariel – and anyone else who thinks they might have a good idea

        But you’ve been there so I guess you might have an idea ‘what’ would hit a parent’s heart to make them think think think about where their child’s at and what they may or may not be doing.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I would just like to say that only G-d can take off the blinders that the people that go to IHOP put on. You can always pray. Pray that they will see the truth, that they will be put in positions that will challenge what they believe and they will have to search for themselves. Pray their eyes will be open and their heart will receive the truth. Pray G-d will have mercy. PRAY! The deception is very great and it appeals to the flesh which makes it all the more difficult to minister to those caught in IHOP.

      • Ariel says:

        Very true! I wholeheartedly agree with you. Prayer is the only out at this point. The blinders are huge and the deception runs deep. Only G-d can speak to the hearts of those who have grown spiritually deaf. Those who have ears to hear…let them hear.

  11. Annunk says:

    If Misty and the other song leaders are leading with repetitive lyrics time and time again, then I truly believe Misty et al have slipped out of “victim” mode and into “instagator” mode instead.

    Much the same, I believe Mike Bickle probably got into his superior “god” mode quite by accident years ago. But like Misty, he decided to make the best of his role and run with it.

    I only know that good, Jesus loving people have and are getting sucked into their heretical teachings and pulled down to depths unknown.

    I’m truly waiting for something ‘big’ to hit IHOP. It is virtually a house of cards waiting to fall. But it just dawned on me – Bob Jones and Paul Cain didn’t do anything to hurt it with their sexual/homosexual escapades – so who knows what’ll happen? I’m just hoping and praying it happens soon – before too many other people get caught in the IHOP current and sucked down into it.

    • cheaperdozen says:

      Let me add that, few people who in the congregation, and on staff, in the early days are with IHOP today. However, as Ariel has pointed out on another post, there is a revolving door of people leaving/people coming. What I want to see happen, and I believe Grey Coats is working on this, is a compilation, much like what Ernie Gruen put together in the 90’s to expose what has taken place at IHOP over the last 10 years. People, like Elizabeth, and Ariel, need to give their testimonies, perhaps even name names (without being accused of slander, this could be difficult) and really expose this stuff.

      I have friends who were with Mike Bickle from the 80’s that are still with him today. It boggles my mind as to why – other than they think God truly is doing “a new thing” replete with mysticism. Very hard to watch.

      Anyway, this house of cards MUST come down, the sooner the better!

  12. Elizabeth says:

    One other quick comment. I totally agree with those who have posted about IHOP music. I remember being trained in the Harp and Bowl “method”. they would tell us to look over the room and if people seemed disconnected with the music to pick a phrase. something short and catchy and slow. Then start repeating it over and over until you get the room under CONTROL. I have seen it work over and over. The room will settle down and everyone will mindlessly repeat the music phrase over and over. It shows how powerful the music can be when used in ways to gain control. I will not sing repetative short verses any more because of what I have seen.

    • Ariel says:

      Yes, I remember that. I was also trained in Harp & Bowl and sang on a few worship teams. I was explaining that experience to someone recently and just hearing myself explain the method of how they containerized and systematically controlled worship it reminded me of how it felt then. The control that comes over people in that chanting environment is truly powerful…that is why it hooks people and they become blind to the fact it is manipulating their emotions. I hope and pray others in IHOP wake up and see these things in time to get out.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    What a great discussion here. I too was involved with IHOP in the new staff entry class. That was 7 years ago, I was 50 years old and my whole famliy came with me. It was a group decision for us because of what we saw at the conferences. Little did we know the things said at the conferences were smoke screens for what really went on there. Once at IHOP my son and I both were in positions that we contacted directly with Bickle and his inner circle. It was unbeievable how they protected Bickle. Not at liberty to go into business details but let’s just say they were shady at best. People were willing to put themselves in jepoardy (like could be arrested) for him without a thought. If Mike wanted it-it was done no matter what.

    I quickly saw that it was a house of cards-not prayer. There was a lot of sexual indiscretion going on and a lot of counciling that was definatly unbiblical. Then when The members in question left, it was a coverup what was going on, I could ramble on but the bottom line is that it is all about the leadership and control of the “kingdom”.

    Even after all of that, the thing that caused us to leave was the Latter Rain belief that they were the special ones and they would bring in the Kingdom WITHOUT the Lord because THEY were gods. Bickle says they do not believe that but he lies. It is just packaged in other words.

    The bottom line is that to leave will take nothing short of G-D taking the blinders off so you actually see what is really going on. Pray these people get in places that will reveal the truth and that their heart is prepared to receive it. Then DO NOT return. everyone we have seen that has left and gone back has been worst off then before.

    It is such a sad state that parents believe their children are going to be taught a godly lifestyle and the things of G-d and in the end their children are taken from them to be part of a cult.–

    • Ariel says:

      Elizabeth, thank you SO much for sharing your experiences. Everything you are talking about is exactly what I witnessed and went through when I was there. You explained it so accurately and highlighted some of the things I really want my blog readers to hear and understand about IHOP. I am so thankful that G-d led you out of that place and brought you to a place of true freedom in Him!

      • Elizabeth says:

        You are a blessing to have a blog where the truth can be told and the lies exposed. We will pray for understanding of the truth of G-d’s Word to remove the blinders off of anyone that has followed the road to IHOP and been snared by their false teaching!

        You are a blessing and I am so glad that you too have been rescued!

      • Ariel says:

        Thank you so much Elizabeth! Same to you.

    • jamadan says:

      You said, “There was a lot of sexual indiscretion going on and a lot of counciling that was definatly unbiblical.”

      Not asking for you to name names or anything or even get into inappropriate descriptions, but could you elaborate on this a little please – it can help to discern whether or not this is part of cult-like activities or just the normal struggles and situations that happen whenever you get a bunch of teens and twenties together like that.

      Are you implying just that they were relationships between the interns that you believe crossed into impurity? Or were pastors/staff involved in relationships with younger interns?

      And what specifically was unBiblical about the counseling you are referring to? Perhaps a specific example (again without names) would help.



      • Elizabeth says:


        If you sing songs about kissing Jesus and then de-masculate the men and tell them they are literal brides it pushes the thought processes into deviant lifestyles. It is especially hard on young men. I don’t need to elaborate. So you get a group of really sexually misdirected young men and women and you in some cases LITERALLY marry an unseen lover you are bound to have problems. Yes homosexuality and babies out of wedlock would both be part of the problem.

        I would rather not expound on the subject. But I will say I have personally and directly seen individuals that have given over to this lie. Even now, 6 yeas later they still will not renounce and repent of IHOP.

      • David S says:

        This comment is a response to Elizabeth (I can’t reply to hers):

        I agree with you completely. Whilst the Bible teaches that the church (collectively) is the bride of Christ, groups like IHOP focus on the “bridal paradigm” to an unhealthy extent and individuals can feel that they personally are the bride of Christ. This is obviously completely inappropriate, and for men in particular it can be very damaging as you say.

        I’ve known a few people who’ve been influenced by this thinking – they’ve always been women and seem to find it difficult to understand how men cannot relate to this.

        I related point, as you also say, is that the music that forms the focus of the worship in IHOP and many other churches is often very sensual in nature, which many men find extremely hard to sing.

        I appreciated your comment and the understanding you have of this subject.

    • truthspeaker says:

      Elizabeth, thank you for sharing your story. I’d like permission to copy this on my blog….. also you said this:

      “Even after all of that, the thing that caused us to leave was the Latter Rain belief that they were the special ones and they would bring in the Kingdom WITHOUT the Lord because THEY were gods. Bickle says they do not believe that but he lies. It is just packaged in other words. ”

      That is classic kabbalism…. can you give specifics on what they say to back this up?

      This touches on the bridal paradigm as well….. and why there would be so much sexual immorality….. (and we know that both of Mike Bickle’s “spiritual fathers” had sin in that area!)

      here’s a quote:

      “Kabbalists teach that God is masculine and feminine, and that when speaking of ‘man’ they are always referring to two faces. Adam Kadmon is androgynous, according to the Kabbalah interpretation of Genesis “male and female created he them” as cited in Blavatsky’s Theosophical Glossary or in The Secret Doctrine:

      “Adam, as the supposed great ‘Progenitor of the human race’ is, as Adam-Kadmon, made in the image of God – a priapic image, therefore. The Hebrew words Zakhar and Neqebah are, literally translated, linga (phallus) and yoni, notwithstanding their transliteration in the Bible as ‘male and female.’ As said there: ‘God creates ‘Man in his own image’…in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them,’ *the androgyne Adam-Kadmon. Now this Kabbalistic name is not that of a living man, nor even of a human or divine Being, but of the two sexes or organs of procreation, called in Hebrew Zakhar and neqebah; these two being, therefore, the image under which the ‘Lord God appeared usually to his chosen people. That this is so, is now undeniably proven by almost all the symbologists and Hebrew scholars as well as by the Kabala. Therefore Adam is in one sense Jehovah.” 25. ”

      • Elizabeth says:


        You may use anything I post if it will go where someone will read it and be directed to the truth of G-d’s Word.

        Go to the IHOP web page. They had a page that gave a long reason why they are not Latter Rain. not sure it is still there But it is a lie. Bickle believes that there is no rapture. The special ones (IHOP) will be safe in cities that will be safe havens during the tribulation. they will lead a huge end time revival and that will bring in the kingdom (without Jesus). He says rapture is a cop out and why would you want to be rescued anyway? Excuse me? are we not rescued from sin by a Savior that paid a price that I could not pay? Why does that suddenly put us in a position where we do not need Jesus any longer? And what about the Book of Revelation? I see no revival there-only a GREAT falling away of all humanity to follow the Anti-Christ.

        If you do research, Bickle is not the only one that believes Latter Rain/Manifest Sons of G-d Actually the Word/name it and claim it preachers do as well. They just do not advertise it. You can recognize it by the teaching that we are gods and have the same power or greater than Jesus Christ. You will also note that they do not talk about rapture and repentance is never mentioned.

        Anytime we are taught by anyone that WE have this thing under control and we no longer need a Savior, you can bet they preach another Jesus and another Gospel. When our Lord and Savior becomes the main character in a Christian Romance novel instead of the only begotten Son of the only Living G-d who laid His own life down for us ,to redeem us from sin–we have a REALLY BIG problem.

        Sorry to get preachy but the only thing we have is the Word and if every Christian would toss out preconceived ideas and read what the Word really says, I honestly believe there would be no confusion.

        Bickle is really not into Blavatsky/New Age/New Thought nor Kabblalism. He is more into Desert Fathers and many of the Catholic contempletative prayer leaders.

        Hope this expounds in the area you asked the question about.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I just re-read my post to you and I hope you forgive me if it is bit preachy! there is just so much that is wrong taught at IHOP. Bickle can really twist the scriptures to say what he wants them to say. I tried to counter some of the teachings when i was there and you would have thought I was quoting something out of the satanic bible instead of the Word! I did not get through to anyone even though I was a part of IHOP. I do have to give a good report. Because what I believe was so strongly tested-I am pretty much sold out now! Praise the Lord!!–Bless you!

      • Ariel says:

        Not preachy at all. Thank you for sharing Elizabeth. I was met with similar opposition so I understand completely where you’re coming from. Those who like the darkness hiss at those who turn the lights on…it isn’t comfortable and ear-tickling to hear the truth when one is walking in deception. The truth offends those who have embraced deception which is why they are defensive when you try to share the truth with them.

      • truthspeaker says:

        Thanks, Elizabeth…. I’m working on putting together a post and will post the link here when it’s done!

      • truthspeaker says:

        You said: “Bickle believes that there is no rapture. The special ones (IHOP) will be safe in cities that will be safe havens during the tribulation. they will lead a huge end time revival and that will bring in the kingdom (without Jesus). He says rapture is a cop out and why would you want to be rescued anyway?”

        I’ve been listening to Bickle’s Omega series and he was reading from Thess. and he definitely believes there is a rapture because he mentions it. The only thing I can think of is that either A) his eschatology has changed or B) he was talking about a post-trib rapture.

        He basically says that the IHOPers are actually going to pray in the judgment of God on the world and that living through the tribulation is what is going to promote them in God’s kingdom. This is very dangerous and disturbing to me, as he is now becoming a millenarianist and gearing people up for some very dangerous idiologies. It also feeds into their elitist thinking. This was one of Charles Taze Russell’s main teachings (the founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses)…. he called it the Golden Age and he kept predicting Jesus Christ’s return.

        Read this on wiki:

    • NOLR History says:

      The NOLR theosophical term for the individual used to “protest” the leader is “armor-bearer”. Rick Joyner uses people for this as well. This is Joel’s Army in action. The 17th century Christian Kabbalah theology is put into practice. What is at stake for the world-view these people hold to is nothing less than total submission to a “Corporate Christ” or “Many-Membered Manchild” by the “Corporate Bride.” You are made part of the “Bride” through the classical Mystery School Initiations and magical rituals performed at OneThing and TheCall events. When you were coerced into laying on the floor and crying “Jesus, Marry Us!!” you asked to be wed to the Ein Sof, Adam Kadmon, and Wisdom Sophia of the Kabbalah. Certainly if you trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior before you entered into IHOP’s magical rituals, your were already part of the Bride of Christ, but Mike Bickle, Lou Engle, Bob Jones, Paul Cain and many other kabbalist Latter Rain deviates decided to engage in Kabbalist sexual role-playing. The difference here is that instead of physical sex, your soul plays the role of the “female principle” and the occult principalities and doctrines behind IHOP/NOLR theosophy play the role of the “Male Principle.” The mystical encounter with your soul and their occult doctrines coupled with their Mystery School “Harp and Bowl” music (Heather Clark is a modern-day Oracle of Delphi) you engage in spiritual intercourse with the anti-christ. As physical sex will result in a physical pregnancy, so spiritual sex will result in a psychic pregnancy where the impregnated with gestate an occult fetus and take over the individual’s mind and heart and body as it uses it for food. The individual God made you is cleverly gagged and suppressed while this new “baby” learns to mimic your personality so as to make it look to outsiders that you are still the person that inhabits your body when in reality the real you is held in spiritual chains. Mike Bickle and the demons and the demonic doctrines he advances want warm bodies. This corporate Kabbalist occult entity cannot carry out it’s dominionist agenda of world take-over alone.

      Ariel, Elizabeth and Julie, you have already testified that what you encountered at IHOP is not a legitimate expression of Christianity. You have already found some of the occult historical roots behind this very deadly movement that is now spreading itself like cancer. May God Almighty use you to diagnose (understand) what this doctrinal disease and use the appropriate medicine (expose’s, letters, videos, preaching, speaking biblical truth, personal testimonies, informing law enforcement officials of criminal wrongdoings such as the starvation murder of Jeremiah Candler, the sexual attacks of Paul Cain, Bob Jones, etc.) and whatever else the Lord might have you do, like sending a letter with evidence the Senator Chuck Grassley to coincide with his ongoing investigation of other televangelists for misuse of their non-profit finances.

      We are looking at the very same doctrines and practices of Christian Kabbalah and Christian neoplatonism that plagued European Christianity in the 16th and 17th centuries. We need to re-capture history and then re-apply it to the same infiltration and infection we are now witnessing. The God’s divine assistance, we can prevail against this Brotherhood of Darkness.

      Please Do Not Give Up! You probably have already gone unbelievable traumatic stress and waves of hopelessness. Take note that you are now part of a new vanguard of Christians that God is raising up against this occult invasion. It’s a tough road, so share your burdens and prayers with one another and by all means, share documentation. At this very moment, Bickle is working real hard at containing information control in Kansas City. He’s trying to hoodwink local pastors to come onboard with infecting 10s of 1000s of youth coming to KC and elsewhere. BTW, this is also a written Rosicrucian objective. Every cult has doctrines that promote “Heavenly Deception” and use “Flirty Fishing” to capture their prey.

      What is at Stake is Your Friends!!!

      Prov 24:10-12
      If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider it? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? and shall not he render to every man according to his works?

      May God Almighty empower us to overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony. In Jesus Name, Amen.

  14. Rachel Abou-Zeid says:

    I was researching cult recovery due to coming out of Masters Commission, and so many from that are a basket case after wards. It took me 5 years to just figure out what happened. But ultimately I was emotionally and spiritually drained to the point that anything that had to do with church made me want to run. I was never angry with God, any ultimately feel that it was a way of showing me how treacherous something with “good intentions” can become. It’s nice to find those who understand the intricacies of this type of experience.

    • Ariel says:

      Rachel, thank you so much for sharing your experience. I almost joined Master’s Commission before I was on staff at IHOP. I relate very well to the feeling you expressed of “wanting to run”. I have heard that from many, many others…some former IHOP interns and some who went through similar experiences with other “ministries and movements” such as Bethel, Lakeland, etc. I did a little running myself after leaving IHOP. Like you, it was not G-d that I was angry at. He was the anchor that held me through those times and He is the only anchor that holds in a storm of deception, falsehood and confusion. I am thankful that after all you have been through that the eyes of your heart were opened to what was going on and the Father in His great love rescued you.

  15. jamadan says:

    The problem isn’t the music, it’s the spirit behind the music.

    Music is a tool used to worship God. Worshipping God via song for an hour isn’t bad either – it’s GOOD. Even repetitive lyrics aren’t the problem. I’ve been singing in charismatic churches for decades and love that we linger and repeat phrases to God – there’s something about telling God how much you love Him over and over that is transforming in your spirit. To this end, worshipping God is a power way to draw close to Him and to yield our hearts and lives to Him.

    Worship is meant to leave us yielded to God. So when we worship Him, we make ourselves vulnerable on purpose. The thing is, that’s where it’s a matter of trust with those who are leading. If they are trying their best to obey and follow God and have joined in that same vulnerability with you, then you are safe. But too many ministers know their flock is open to suggestion and persuasion at this moment and take advantage of that whether by asking for an offering, pushing an agenda, dealing with an issue, whatever, they wrongfully use this moment to manipulate and control.

    Having a ministry dedicated to 24/7 prayer like IHOP, seems to be a good thing. But why the need for all the control mechanisms you’ve aptly described on this blog? Obviously a spiritual elitism has taken root long ago and is now manifesting in this cult behavior.

    I agree with you that the music I hear from IHOP is creepy. The words, the music and the apparent love of God that these kids have would normally draw me in, but it didn’t. I definitely sense evil behind their efforts. I would guess that it’s unknown to them completely. I think they truly believe they are on the cutting edge of what God is doing, but it’s that very pride that makes them vulnerable to evil influence and manipulation.

    And the underlying theology is so wacked it’s not funny. I thnk you’ve done a good job detailing some of that on this blog. I used to track with Joyner, Jones and Cain in the 80’s and early 90’s, but I started noticing things that made me step back and open the Bible to compare what was being said with Scripture and I found they did not line up. This was particularly evident in Joyner’s books about his dreams. Then I noticed a string of very obviosu prophetic misses – things they said would happen that did not. I know people who moved out of California because Jones and Joyner said it was going to be destroyed with 25 million dead by 1998. It obviously didn’t happen and they spun it every which way to try to excuse themselves, but I kept track and noticed they were never right on things that could be measured. Then I dove into the Kingdom theology and grew alarmed. Any ministry that holds to that theology is more dangerous and off base then I can possible express. It necessitates spiritual elitism and the pursuit of a future that God has not ordained.

    I’ll stop rambling.

    • Ariel says:

      Wow! Jamadan thank you for your insightful post! So very true. I agree with you on all counts and can relate very much to what you wrote. Thank you for posting this! It appears that you have a pretty firm grasp on IHOP’s history and their “blind spots”. I appreciate your “ramble”. Blessings!

      • jamadan says:

        Thanks Ariel, though I would like to return credit where it is due. It’s only by reading your posts here that I’ve been able to connect the dots with the things I’ve both known and sensed. By exposing the light on your experiences, you may indeed be helping to set people free from this demonic stronghold in time. We have to remember that these folks caught up in this are our brothers and sisters and they love God. I have a friend who’s caught up in it. He’s going through absolute misery, finances and family falling apart and ill, but he attributes it to demonic resistance to his destiny to be a prophet to world leaders and to rule several planets that are his . . . I’m not kidding – he posts this stuff on Facebook for one and all to see. He has no idea he’s in deception and while he is under demonic attack, it’s because he’s yielded his life to a false prophet and false religion. He’s basically inviting demons to have their way with him, yet his heart is fully convinced of a passionate love for God and he is my brother, but he’s being held captive. Such a paradox we have here.

        They’ve really set themselves up to not hear the truth. If you try to speak to them directly, they’re programmed to view you as being one of the “grays” (to use Joyner’s terms). So I would just encourage you to continue this effort here. Explore your heart and experiences and ask for God’s truth and light.

        And be cautious of overreaction. I’m worried some folks may throw the baby out with the bath water or apply judgement when grace is what is needed. That’s the reason I posted because I was afraid someone would interpret all charismatic worship as being of this evil nature – hint (there’s nothing evil about Hillsong that I’ve ever heard). And while no one is perfect, a Joyce Meyers is not in this camp at all and I heard her even speaking against some of the things these folks at IHOP and Morningstar are doing just last week on TV – she didn’t mention names but described their behavior exactly and rebuked them. I know you’re not the one condemning folks, but it’s easy for a “group-think” to rally around a cause and suddenly everyone is condemning everything – I’m thinking of many of the posts over at the EndTimesProphetic blog.

        Keep your focus dear sister. God is showing you things for a reason. In time, much wisdom can come from your experiences. I’m an email away if I can provide any assistance.


      • truthspeaker says:

        you said: “his destiny to be a prophet to world leaders and to rule several planets that are his . .”

        That sounds like something out of Mormonism or Scientology!

  16. Mark says:

    Hi, I’m a Vanderbilt student that just came across this blog recently… I should be writing up something for speech, but I’m just desiring to see what you think of this individual due to your involvement with IHOP.

    I got to know about the IHOP musicians through the Call (Ohio and DC II). God has done a work in me in opening my eyes to the reality of what’s going on in the organization, but I believe there’s one individual that seems to really have a heart for God…

    What do you think of Matt Gilman?

    • Ariel says:

      Hi Mark. I am not familiar with Matt nor have I worked with him in the past so unfortunately I don’t have any personal experience on that I can share. Is he at IHOP-KC? I’ve been out of IHOP for a while so some of the “newbies” I am not as familiar with as those who have been around from the beginning.

      • Mark says:

        I guess he’s newer, and yes, he is involved with IHOP-KC. He released an album with Cory Asbury a few years ago… and when I look at the lyrics of the song, they don’t appear to be saturated with the whole “Bridal Paradigm” idea. The song “Holy” is simple but incredibly powerful…

        You can check out his music here:

        Exactly when did you leave IHOP?

  17. TLC says:

    Thanks so much for this post. It’s brought back to mind a very negative experience with HHOP — Heartland House of Prayer — in Council Bluffs, IA, an offshoot of IHOP. During a season of great spiritual confusion and dryness, I decided to attend a weekend conference they hosted, hoping to get refreshed.

    Every session started with the same repetitive worship music going on and on and on. The first two sessions I attended, it took up the first hour of the session. In the grand finale session on Saturday night, they finally cut it off after 1 1/2 hours so the speakers would get a chance to speak. I remember being very confused and annoyed by the ongoing music. I was very grateful I hadn’t had to hire a babysitter anymore, because either I would have been very late getting home, or I would have had to leave before hearing the speakers. The program made no mention of the extended worship times.

    Some of the stated topics were also misleading. The best part was that the conference was held right before the Iowa caucuses, and they went on and on about the importance of attending — until they discovered, by a show of hands, that about 95 percent of the audience was from Nebraska!

    I knew when I left that there was something very wrong, and going to this event left me MORE confused than ever. Now I understand why. I’ve since broken free from this mess and my relationship with God is much simpler — and stronger. Thanks for speaking out to give us the information we need to see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

    • Ariel says:

      I’m so thankful you were able to break free from all of that. Thank you for sharing your experience. I agree…freedom makes having a relationship with G-d so much simpler and stronger!

      ‘Thanks for speaking out to give us the information we need to see how the pieces of the puzzle fit together.’ You are most welcome!

  18. David S says:

    Sorry to post another comment – this is directed towards those with first-hand knowledge of IHOP (possibly ex-hoppers):

    Do you think that Mike Bickle, Misty Edwards, and anyone else in leadership actually knows what they are doing? In other words, do they know that they’ve effectively created a cult that uses hypnotic techniques to attract and retain people?

    • Ariel says:

      I believe that considering how many times and how many different leaders (as in stable, truth-seeking, biblically sound leaders) have brought loving correction and reproof to Mike and he has discounted it over and over again and claimed that G-d would judge them for opposing him (see Ernie Gruen report for more detailed accounts) I believe it is beyond the point of pleading ignorance. I believe that to willfully continue in activity and doctrines that have been heralded by the body of believers (and more importantly by scripture) as being heretical and dangerous that to continue to defend it and participate it in shows a complete disregard for walking in truth and rather a favoritism of their pet doctrines. I don’t think that necessarily everyone sat around before IHOP’s conception and said “let’s start a cult and use mind control techniques and manipulation to get people to join and financially support us.” I think that a pattern of decisions made over the years has led them to this point and that at each crossroads, truth was not the choice made so they have become blinded and desensitized so as to fall into greater degrees of deception. Now I believe they are running a full-scale cult but have such a long pattern of this kind of behavior and teaching that they have just been given over to it as scripture warns. A pursuit of truth is protection from deception. (2 Thess 2:10)

      Eph 4:17. Therefore I say this – indeed, in union with the Lord I insist on it: do not live any longer as the pagans live, with their sterile ways of thinking. 18. Their intelligence has been shrouded in darkness, and they are estranged from the life of God, because of the ignorance in them, which in turn comes from resisting God’s will. 19. They have lost all feeling, so they have abandoned themselves to sensuality, practicing any kind of impurity and always greedy for more.

    • truthspeaker says:

      David, I would say yes, maybe Bob Jones knows what he is doing. and as Ariel pointed out, Mike has been warned and corrected many times and disregarded it,…….. Don’t forget, it’s become a cash cow now too. Why do you think they keep trying to get Todd Bentley back on the circuit?

      I saw Misty on a recent video and she looked like she was in a trance. I would say she’s a victim.

      • cheaperdozen says:

        OK, I’m gonna go there. I know, from an extremely reliable source, that back in the late 80’s, a man encouraged Mike to preach the cross. Preach the gospel loud and long. Mike didn’t agree – he believed that you can’t continue to preach on only the cross. The man confronting Mike quoted Paul when he said, “And I professed to nothing but Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” Mike responded in anger and threatened the man to “watch it.” I have asked this person over and over again if he may have been mistaken. He was visibly shaken by this encounter and cannot understand the reaction he received. Now that, in my opinion, is demonic.

  19. David S says:

    On the specific subject of IHOP, I note that Mike Bickle had Bill Johnson and John Arnott on stage last year. This should ring very loud alarm bells.

  20. wow.thanks for sharing your testimony. it truly is an eye opener. benny hinn also uses hypnotic music.

  21. David S says:

    Good article and one that is relevant to lots of other groups and movements. I know a fair bit about psychology and it’s definitely the case that hypnosis takes place in some branches of charismatic / pentecostal christianity, through music as you say, but also through preaching. Both can be monotonous and repetitive.

    Hypnosis also reduces pain, which is why some people appear to be healed for a short time, but then the pain comes back, so they have to return to the revival – contributing to the addiction. Also, your body gives off endorphins when hypnotised, which can also be addictive. We’ve seen it at Toronto and Lakeland, and the perfect example is Benny Hinn, who is really a hypnotist masquerading as a preacher.

    James Jones mentioned the demonic, and this is something I’m still working through. The vast majority of strange “manifestations” undoubtedly result from crowd dynamics and learned behavior – I’ve seen secular hypnotists produce similar things. Equally, sometimes you see stuff that may be too extreme to have a natural explanation and I do wonder if there are demonic forces at work.

    • Ariel says:

      Some very good points David S. You are correct that hypnosis often appears in both speaking as well as music. I appreciate the point you made about how hypnosis numbs pain which definitely feeds the addiction. This works because when you get away from the source of hypnosis, the numbing effect wears off which makes you feel the “pain” of withdrawing from an emotionally charged, ultra-sensory cult environment (like IHOP). So you convince yourself that the antidote to your pain is to “go back to the prayer room”. Thank you for contributing!

      • David S says:

        Thanks Ariel,

        Do you (or anyone else) have any thoughts about my last paragraph on the demonic? I’m really not sure of this – while I do believe in the supernatural, I don’t want to start seeing demons everywhere like certain hyper-charismatics. As an example, take Rodney Howard Browne. If you research him, at one end you’ll find people saying he carries and imparts a demonic “kundalini spirit”, and at the other, people say that what happens in his meetings is just “nuremberg-style crowd manipulation” and it all has a perfectly natural explanation. Perhaps there’s a bit of both, but I don’t know for certain.

      • Ariel says:

        I agree that a lot of demonic activity is explained away as being a “manifestation of G-d”. It requires discernment and watching for fruit to see the difference. Plus, if I don’t see a standard laid out throughout scripture which clearly proves it to be an activity of G-d I tend to take it with a grain of salt.

  22. Sam says:

    Thanks for the blog post. I have a friend who is very into IHOP and is always trying to drag myself and others with him to it. I have been skeptical for a long time about it, and as a Bible college student I have been trying to get advice from fellow students on IHOP’s statement of faith and whether or not it is Biblically sound.

    Tonight, my roommate and I were watching the live telecast via the internet of their IhopU program or whatever its called. My friend had brought a few other students with him and we were curious to see them on screen. But during worship and a man began to speak in tongues in song and repeat certain things. It literally make my hair stand up and I had to cover my ears. I felt the spirit was telling me this was evil. I dont know how I feel about all of this but I am glad I read your hypnotism theory. I think you may very well be right!

    • Ariel says:

      Thank you Sam. When you start to notice the power of mind control, hypnosis, etc. alarms do start going off. I’m glad to hear that you are starting to recognize the warning signs. It’s very important not to ignore or disregard red flags and it sounds like you are seeing the veil lift. Blessings to you Sam and thank you for sharing your experience.

  23. truthspeaker says:

    Excellent post. I would add that the repetitive music actually changes the brain waves and it is real physical hypnosis, as well as spiritual. When the brain waves slow down it bypasses the part of the brain that filters critical thinking and that is how the power of suggestion, or mind control comes in. Whatever is told, or sung over us goes in as truth and we do not have the warning signal turned on to filter out any lies or Biblical error. This is one powerful way that cult leaders gain control of their followers. So, add to that all the controls and manipulation….. well, there you go.

  24. cheaperdozen says:

    Misty Edwards is a talented, and highly promoted musician. Yet, whenever I hear her stuff, it’s unsettling to me. I have tried, and tried, to give it another hearing, but it still affects me the same way. Some of Hillsong’s music, the dreamier kind of stuff, is also unsettling.

    • Ariel says:

      Agreed. She is…and sadly, talent is often propagated as ‘anointing‘.

    • truthspeaker says:

      The last time I saw Misty was on the One Thing ad-vert video she did with Mike Bickle and she looked completely mind controlled.

    • Laura says:

      Misty Edwards does have talent but she, like many other so-called Christian artists, mimic a worldly style, a sensual, breathy, moaning sound that I feel is inappropriate for worship.

      I find that uncomfortable.

      • priscastent says:

        Laura, Misty breaths like that because it is spiritual. The whole “passion for the bridegroom” is sexual in nature. And many people I know that get involved with contemplative prayer wind up with weird sexual ideas about God.

  25. smilesback says:

    Thank you for posting this. I believe music to be very powerful in affecting one’s mood, and I have found it often being used to manipulate. As far as the repetition… good grief…! I can hardly stand it! There are so many wonderful worship songs in the world; so why do we have to have each one sung for over ten minutes each?! Can’t we sing each verse just once and then go on to another song? I have wondered this for over 20 years of being in mildly to intense charismatic churches, and in the last several years I’ve been finding out why. It’s because the counterfeit spirit is trying to seduce everyone through altered states of consciousness –of which multitudes are becoming spiritually addicted to, as you say!


  26. James Jones says:

    Very good article. However I would mention the demonic power behind the hypnotic, mind control. No one is smart enough to go this far with out an evil intelligence behind them, and truly probably unbeknownst to them, don’t you think?
    Heavenly Versus Demonic Wisdom
    Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.
    But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in you hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
    This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.
    For where envy and self seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
    James 3:13-16

    • Ariel says:

      I agree with you. One can only plead ignorance for so long and after many, many have sought to bring loving reproof and leadership is still squawking back with “don’t touch me…I’m the L-rd’s anointed” then you start to see the veil of denial and blame-shifting that is used to cloak the control.

    • truthspeaker says:

      Very good point Jim and one we should not forget!

  27. ester says:

    Ariel….yet another confirmation through your site. Bless you. I am an ex-hopper and I threw out all my ihop music. First it was rough but then after being away from it for awhile ….after I heard it again it gave me the creeps.

    • Ariel says:

      It helps to know that others have been where you are and experienced the same doesn’t it? It helps to combat that lie when you think “maybe it’s just me and no one else feels, sees, this…maybe I’ve missed it.” It’s refreshing to be reminded that no, you didn’t miss it. There was a reason you discerned and heard what you did.

    • Polly says:

      Dear Ester and other ex-IHOPers-
      Please share how you came out of IHOP. I have a family member who is in KC right now with the support of her mother. I have tried to show her mother the contridictions to the Bible. She just doesn’t see it.
      I appreciate your posts! God bless you and keep you!
      Thank you for your post