How to help those in the message
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So how do we help those that are still in the message?
They probably don't want your help (or mine)
People in the message are fearful. Message ministers constantly preach fear to their congregations. They say, "Don't go on those websites!" or "Stay away from the internet!" or "Don't you go questioning the prophet or his message!" Fear creates anxiety and can prevent people from interacting with a former message follower.
So how do you deal with this fear?
It is important to take things very slow.
It is also critical to understand cognitive dissonance and to recognize it when you are confronted by it (and you will be).
Things not to do
Things you need to avoid with people who are in the message:
- DO NOT Tell them that William Branham was a false prophet.
- DO NOT Tell them that they are in a cult.
- DO NOT Tell them that they are believing false doctrine.
- DO NOT provide them with a list of all of William Branham's failed prophecies.
- DO NOT provide them with a list of all of lies that William Branham told.
Violating any of the above will likely cause cognitive dissonance. It is critically important that you have a good understanding of cognitive dissonance if you are going to help anyone in the message.
So where do you start?
This is especially important for spouses or family members that are in the message.
Imagine the following conversation with your mom/dad/wife/husband:
- I am having a lot of doubts. But in my heart, I just want to follow Christ. I love the Lord with all my heart but there are a few issues with William Branham and his message that are causing me to have doubts. All I want is to know the truth. Would you help me find the truth?
This last question is difficult to say "no" to. However, it is important that you ask the question truthfully. I think all of us want to find the truth and it is important to search for the truth.
If the message follower responds with a "yes", then they are potentially on a journey towards truth. It depends on their attitude but, if they are sincerely interested in helping you find the truth, this is a big first step.
The Socratic method
Socrates was a famous philosopher who died in 399 BC, over 2400 years ago. He developed a method of teaching that is referred to as the Socratic method which is still used today. It is simply using questions to get a person to find the proper conclusion for themselves, without having to tell them.
An example of the Socratic method
Q: If Bro. Branham was a prophet then all of his prophecies will have to come true, correct?
Q: I was doing some research on the internet regarding Bro. Branham and some people say that some of his prophecies failed.
A: But that's not true.
Q: So can you help me understand why these people are wrong?
Q: Bro. Branham said in sermon in 1959 that:
- I was playing marbles out with my little brothers, out in the front yard. And all at once I had a strange feeling come on me. And I stopped and set down aside of a tree. And we were right up on the bank from the Ohio River. And I looked down towards Jeffersonville, and I seen a bridge rise up and go across that, the river, span the river. And I seen sixteen men (I counted them) that dropped off of there and lost their lives on that bridge. I run in real quick and told my mother, and she thought I went to sleep. But they kept it in mind, and twenty-two years from then the Municipal Bridge now (that many of you cross when you cross there) crossed the river at the same place, and sixteen men lost their life building that bridge across the river. It's never failed to be perfectly true. 
So Bro. Branham said that 16 men died building the bridge across the river, correct?
A: That's what he said.
Q: So can we try to find the evidence that the 16 men died like Bro. Branham said they did?
From this point, you can use the facts which can be found in our article on the Municipal Bride vision.
Where do we go after we deal with the first question?
Only after you have had the message follower do the research themselves (DO NOT DO THE RESEARCH FOR THEM but you can do it with them), and after they have reached whatever conclusion they are going to reach (which may not be what the facts say), do you go on to deal with a second question.
We have a long list of questions which can be found in our article entitled "List of Issues with the Message". You can go through this list and deal with them one at a time.
WARNING: Do not deal with multiple questions at once as this is likely to trigger cognitive dissonance. Only deal with one issue at a time.
It is CRITICAL that the message follower be the one to do the research and to arrive at the conclusions. YOUR ONLY ROLE IS TO ASK QUESTIONS.
If you have concerns or run into issues while you are engaged with a message follower using the Socratic method, please feel free to send us an email.
A comment we received from a former message minister
In my personal experience in dealing with message believers, I found the shock almost overwhelming when they hit a cul-de-sac.
You may find the message believer going quiet or refuse to continue the discussion, but the seed has been sown.
Many returned months later to thank me for helping them open their eyes to the deception.
But, be warned, it takes a lot of patience.
- My Life Story, Los Angeles, April 19, 1959