As my two traveling companions and I get out of the car and begin to get our luggage, the man with the flashlight continues his barking tirade. “One man at a time, get your bags, and go over to that man…and MAINTAIN ESSENTIAL SILENCE!”
He pointed with his flashlight to a man standing in the distance. The only man we saw was a man, dressed in all black, standing with a large staff, glaring directly ahead. The driver was the first to go over, and he seemed to take forever, until he went down the hill to a spot that I couldn’t see at the moment.
Next was the man who forgot to give his wife the car keys. He went over to the man in black with the staff, stayed there for a few minutes, and went on down the hill.
I was next. The man with the flashlight motioned for me to go over to the staff-wielding man. I walked over and stood in front of him. All that man did was glaringly stare at me right in the eyes—for what had to be at least five minutes. He didn’t waver, he didn’t turn his gaze from me, he only blinked. I thought to myself, “Is this a joke? Why is this guy staring at me? Is this an intimidation game? Is this a test to see what I will do?” Honestly, at first, I had to keep myself from laughing—I thought I would have been in big trouble over that. However, it quickly became apparent that this was no joke.
The man finally broke “the essential silence.” He said, “Take your things, go down to the next man, stand in front of him, wait, and maintain essential silence.” So, picking up my things, I walked down the hill as my other two traveling companions did, and walked to the next man. He too was dressed in all black and wielded a large staff. I stopped, put my things down, and stared at him for awhile. After that, I was directed to go to the next man, and do the exact same thing. And the man after him. In all, I did this inane process with four men, all telling me to “maintain essential silence,” and be directed by the next man. So much for greeting “brothers in Christ” in love (sometimes, in that culture, a holy kiss) (Rom. 16; 2 Cor. 13:12-13; Phil. 4:21; 1 Thess. 5:26; Titus 3:15; Heb. 13:24; 1 Pet. 5:14)! Again, by this point, astute, discerning believers reading this series will not be surprised—Dare to Soar/The Crucible Project will set aside any biblical mandate for their manipulative purposes. My pastor/boss even admitted to me after the weekend that if the arriving men were greeted like they were at other Christian men gatherings, they wouldn’t take the weekend seriously. And this method does make them take it seriously?!
Judson Poling (online source here) is at the end of the line to further direct me. He takes me into the lowest level of the cabin, of which all of the windows were covered with foil/tarps in order to let ZERO light in (at this point, there was almost none to be had anyway). He tells me to place all of my bags on the floor and follow him into the next concrete walled room. I stumble in the dark, place my bags down, and follow him through a tarp-covered doorway into a dark room where dozens of men are already sitting. I am told I am beginning a “new journey” and that my life will be changed. I am to find a place on the cold, barren concrete floor to sit and wait. And wait I did. And the only things there were to look at was the barely visible faces of all the other men in the room and a single candle which illuminated a cardboard analog clock. This analog clock had no numbers, but in their place was the word “NOW,” and written above the clock were the words, “THE TIME IS NOW.”
I’ll continue with my journey tomorrow. I do, however, want to leave you with part of an undercover reporter’s account of the pagan men’s group’s Mankind Project initial weekend. I’ve linked to it before, and by the time this series on Dare to Soar/The Crucible Project is over, I will have linked to it many, many times. Anyhow, look at how he describes his arrival to the weekend. Do you see any similarities?
“As I enter, I am asked to line up with my fellow recruits and we are ordered to 'observe the sacred silence'.
This is all before we've been shown to where we're staying. It's all rather bizarre, as they begin a strange game where I am asked to walk up to a man who stares at me, with black camouflage paint on his face. The process is repeated again, and again.
Then I am ordered into a Dutch barn, where yet another confidentiality agreement is thrust in front of me, forbidding me to mention anything that happens over the weekend.
They seem to have a paranoid fear of anything getting out. This, I suppose, should have set even more alarm bells ringing.
Next, I am shouted at to hand over all the food I've been ordered to bring - any food, but enough for three men. I feel as if I'm on a military boot camp, although I suspect most of the participants are really just accountants from Slough.
We are all told that we are on a 'journey' and we 'will never be the same again'. Then we are led into a darkened room, where more people shout random words at us” (online source here).
Do you see the similarities? I thought so. It is obvious that, once again, Dare to Soar/The Crucible Project has taken these pagan practices from The Mankind Project, put Christ’s “name” on it, and make it seem to be a Christian ministry, when in reality it is just re-appropriated paganism.