The Apostles and Transformation - Why They Are a Threat to Pluralism in Hawaii
[Also see Bruce Wilson's article and video of the ITN ceremony.]
Apostles and Transformation 101
Imagine that hundreds of leading Southern Baptists (or any other denomination) were running around the world smashing and burning artifacts; claiming to miraculously cure AIDS; taking credit for killing people with their prayers; labeling groups including gays and Roman Catholics (the unevangelized Catholics) as demonically controlled; "anointing" well known politicians; and loudly pronouncing their plans to take "dominion" over cities and states. I think we would be hearing about it in the press. But for some reason, perhaps because this network of apostles has no denominational label, or perhaps because this sounds too outrageous to take seriously, or simply because the movement is relatively new, the apostles and their "Transformation" entities continue to fly under the radar.
Apostles Lou Engle, Ed Silvoso, Cindy Jacobs, Jay Swallow and others have been in the news, but have failed to be recognized as an organized network. Engle led part of the "Prayercast" against healthcare with Rep. Michele Bachmann, Sen. Sam Brownback, Sen. Jim DeMint, and Rep. Randy Forbes. Engle also leads "The Call" events held around the world and has called for martyrs for the cause against gay rights and a woman's right to choose. Engle led The Call Uganda in May 2010 in the midst of debate over a bill that would execute gays. He anointed Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee in an internationally televised event on God TV.
Sen. Sam Brownback participated in reconciliation ceremonies with Apostles Jay Swallow and Harry Jackson, which are actually described as the movement as "identificational repentance" rituals for proselytizing minority groups. Apostle Swallow goes around the country leading ceremonies driving out so-called demons associated with Native Americans and smashing native artifacts.
Cindy Jacobs heads a Reformation Prayer Network, part of a 50-state project for communication and mobilization of "prayer warriors." Alaskan Apostle Mary Glazier's prayer warrior networks predated the current movement and included a 24-year old Sarah Palin. Glazer claims that God called Palin into politics at that time. Kenyan Apostle Thomas Muthee anointed Sarah Palin at Wasilla Assembly of God before she ran for governor and an apostle-owned magazine tried to claim that attention brought to this was solely an attack on Palin's failing to mention Muthee's role in the first Transformations movie or as a leader of the movement. (See the 2008 report "Spiritual Mapping and Spiritual Warfare - Muthee and the Transformations Franchise")
Apostle Jacqueline Del Rosario has received over 700,000 dollars in federal funds for abstinence-only training after testifying in favor of the programs at the 2002 Congressional hearings on Title V. One of Del Rosario's abstinence-only training entities was incorporated with Apostle Diane Buker whose Battle Axe Ministry attacks the "corrupt religions" of Roman Catholicsm and Mormonism.
In 2006, during her senate campaign, Katherine Harris was taped during a conference call praying to "bring the hearts and minds of our Jewish brothers and sisters into alignment," and talking about "Kingdom government," a call led by Florida Apostle Ken Malone. Apostle Tom Hess leads events for the Israeli Knesset's Christian Allies Caucus and Messianic Jewish Apostles (some using the title "Rabbi" despite their conversion) in the network are supporting proselytizing of Jews in Israel, Russia, Ukraine, Argentina and Brazil.
These and hundreds of other apostles are organized through the same network, with a stated agenda, coordinated training, and a unique shared theology. This is not about guilt by association.
Lt. Gov. Aiona and Transformation
Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, candidate for governor in Hawaii, has been featured in numerous promotional videos and brochures for Apostle Ed Silvoso's ITN and traveled to Argentina for their international conference. In 2004, Aiona was the focus of press across the U.S., including a Canadian publication (See page 19) which proclaimed,
"One of the most significant spiritual acts in modern times took place in Hawaii when on December 8, 2004, Lt. Governor Duke Aiona issued a proclamation dedicating Hawaii to the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a manifestation of the emerging transformation in the Hawaiian marketplace. Never before has such a high official publicly and without reservations turned an entire state over to Jesus!"
"Transformation in the marketplace" is a term used to describe taking "dominion" over sectors of society and government. Some apostles in the movement are designated as "workplace" or "marketplace" apostles. The biographical information provided for Toronto Apostle Pat Francis describes her as heading Kingdom Covenant Ministries, which includes a communications corporation, Elomax Oil and Gas, and Elomax Enterprises, and serving as a United Nations (NGO) “Transformational Activist."
At the last ITN conference, held in Hawaii in November 2009, Aiona told the audience that "we are all here to disciple the nations," which is movement lingo for taking control or Christian "dominion" over society and government, and placing leadership under the authority of the movement's apostles.
At the international conference in 2008, ITN leaders claimed to be discipling Uganda, stating that they were training 14,000 churches in "transformation principles" including the church led by the daughter of the president and first lady of Uganda. This church is leading the Kampala "City of God" program. Nevertheless, Carolina Oda, the wife of the global chairman of ITN Francis Oda, wrote this past week to a Hawaii newspaper, implying that ITN's involvement in Uganda was limited to charitable work at a hospital and anti-corruption training! For more on ITN and Uganda, see Bruce Wilson's video Transforming Uganda.
"We Put Our Foot on Hawaii"
At the same 2009 ITN convention in Hawaii where Aiona talked about discipling nations, Apostle Pat Francis joined Ed Silvoso in leading the audience in a prayer ceremony to take authority over the Hawaii and to evict demons, curses, false religions, and native spirits. Hawaiian candidate for the U.S. Senate, Cam Cavasso can be seen participating in the ceremony in the video below.
"We break generational curses, we break generational curses, we break generational curses, and we plead the blood of Jesus over every altar of demon, over every altar of ancestral spirit, over every altar of false religion, and in Jesus name we declare that you are the King of Hawaii, you are the Lord of Hawaii. We dispossess the gods of Hawaii, and we lift up the one and true God, Jesus Christ.
Pioneers of "Strategic Level Spiritual Warfare"
These ceremonies have been taking place all over the country and are led by apostles who sometimes smash or burn native artifacts, sign documents described as divorce decrees from Ba'al, or place stakes in the ground and spread oil (sometimes from airplanes) to indicate that the geographic area has been taken as territory for God. The apostles and prophets teach what they call strategic level spiritual warfare which is supposed to remove demons and generational curses and allow claiming of territory.
The original model for these techniques was an area of Argentina which Ed Silvoso claimed had no evangelical churches because it was controlled by a warlock, an account told hundreds of times in movement literature. The pioneers of these techniques included C. Peter Wagner, the founding apostle of the movement, Cindy Jacobs, and George Otis, Jr., producer of the Transformation series of movies. They began teaching these techniques internationally in the 1990s with a series of texts, training videos, and movies, showing prototypes around the world. Uganda is considered one of the greatest successes.
Apostle Pat Francis and Apostle Os Hillman, both ITN faculty members, traveled to Uganda in 2006 to join Apostle Julius Oyet for the National Transformation Celebration. Oyet was recognized by the Ugandan Parliament when the draconian "kill-the-gays" bill was introduced for his role in support of the bill. Oyet is the star of one of the Transformations series movie on Uganda in which he led "Operation Gideon" to destroy the altars of the rebel group, Lord's Resistance Army. Another movie in the series, Transformations II, features Ugandan leaders including President and Janet Museveni; Apostle Jackson Senyonga, tapped in 2004 by top U.S. apostles in order to "organize the apostolic government of the church;" and Joseph Serwadde, presiding apostle over the Born Again Faith Federation.
Senyonga, Serwadde, and Oyet supported U.S. Apostle Lou Engle's The Call event, a rally held in Uganda in May 2010 at which speakers, including Oyet, supported the proposed bill which would mandate execution of some gay Ugandans and possible imprisonment for anyone who fails to report homosexual activity.
Claiming the Seven Mountains
This is not just spiritualized lingo about other-worldly battles. The apostles are serious about the business of taking territory, including schools, communities, businesses, and government. Geographic territory. Literally. And they are talking about doing this in the physical world, in the here and now. Territorial apostles are to have authority over geographic areas while some apostles are to be specialists with authority over "mountains" of society, such as education, media, arts, and business. This agenda is promoted as the Seven Mountains campaign. All those outside of their belief system are considered to be working for the other side - the demonic Babylonian system, as Silvoso describes it.
These are not my personal interpretations of the movement's agenda. The leadership has published numerous books, texts, training and promotional media in the last two decades, much of which blatantly states their intentions. However, few people outside of the movement are paying much attention, even as the apostles have gained power in the Religious Right.
The Apostles and Prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation
Transformation Hawaii and International Transformation Network are both part of a larger movement called the New Apostolic Reformation (Link to a Resource Directory for NAR). It is a network of independent charismatics who submit to the authority of apostles and prophets. In short, the NAR believes that in preparation for the end times, the church must come together and denominations must cease to exist. They anticipate the end times, but do not believe they will be snatched from the earth (raptured) before it spirals to a brutal end. Instead they teach that they are going to be victorious conquerors and take the physical earth away from Satan and the Babylonian system.
The founding apostle of the movement, C. Peter Wagner, claims that this second reformation or New Apostolic age began in 2001.
The End of Denominations
The New Apostolic networks are nondenominational. Think of them as the Tea Party of the religious world. The Tea Partiers have an identifiable ideology and agenda although the movement exists outside the major political parties. Likewise the apostles and their Transformation enterprises have an identifiable theology and lingo and have numerous interlocking organizational structures, but do not belong to, or answer to, any denomination. Just as the Tea Party views the parties as corrupted, the apostles view the institutionalized church as corrupt. They view denominations as a temporary feature of the "church age" to be eradicated during the "Kingdom Age." Silvoso has stated that that "the church as we now know it, won't be the church in five years."
Their utopian vision of a world where Satan is conquered and where there is no crime, corruption, poverty, or illness might sound appealing if it weren't for one problem. Their vision of this Kingdom of God is extremely narrow. The process to make this happen involves eradicating all other religions and belief systems except their own, as well as all the things they believe harbor demon spirits - Roman Catholic statuary and saints, the Book of Mormon, monuments and buildings related to Freemasony or other religions, Indian mounds, and much more. Charitable enterprises are being used to get access and as Silvoso states, to "gain favor" in communities, and they claim the truly miraculous results can't be achieved until they have taken dominion.
Transformation is the brand name of organizations that have been planted around the country and internationally. Since 1999 they have been producing movies claiming numerous "Transformation" successes around the globe. Some of the locations in these promotional videos include Uganda, Fiji, communities in Guatemala, Kenya, Canada, the U.S., and more. They claim "prayer warrior" networks in all fifty states and are working by precinct in some areas. Hawaii is featured as prototype in promotional media, much of which features Lt. Gov. Aiona. Other prototypes claim the successful healing of AIDS and other diseases, reduction of crime and corruption, expelling of demons which they claim make people gay, and even instantaneous healing of environmental degradation and growth of enormous vegetables and crops, when a community is brought under the dominion of evangelical leaders and apostles.
The Transformations movies, produced by George Otis, Jr., and stories triggered numerous Transformation entities around the world which use these prototypes as examples of what can be achieved in their city. There are at least three major Transformation networks in the movement. In addition to Ed Silvoso's ITN, George Otis, Jr. and Sentinel Group, and Luis Bush's Transform World, have Transformation entities around the globe.
The apostles greatly exaggerate their claims of "transformation." I recently visited one of their advertised prototype cities, Elk River, Minnesota, only to find that most of the residents I spoke with had no clue what I was talking about. Those who did know of the local ITN-connected "Transformation" movement, found it laughable that their community would be used in promotions. Silvoso described Elk River as on of their top four "detonator cities." The movement was centered around a bank featured in a 2004 New York Times article and its founder Chuck Ripka, an ITN faculty member. who claimed that God guaranteed success for his investors. The under-capitalized bank failed in 2007 and the building sits in an area with numerous empty storefronts. Elk River and its mayor, Stephanie Klinzing, are featured in ITN promotional publications, and both the mayor and Ripka were faculty at the 2008 international ITN conference in Argentina, along with leading Minnesota Apostle Rick Heeren, author of The Elk River Story (2004). The local evangelical bookstore no longer carried copies.
Even if the "transformations" have been greatly exaggerated, the movement has been working in Hawaii for several years and has drawn the participation and support of political candidates from both major parties. Contributors at Talk2action.org have been working for over two years to reveal the ulterior motives of the apostles and some of this information has been picked up in Hawaii. Responses to Hawaiian press by Aiona and ITN have included denials that Aiona is involved with ITN; denials that ITN has been involved in Uganda's demonization of its gay population; and claims that ITN and Transformation Hawaii are about building bridges and performing charitable work.
It is true that some of the sources tapping into our documentation have jumbled a few facts about the movement. Some of the actions of the larger network of apostles to which Silvoso belongs, have been credited to ITN. For instance it is Apostle Harold Caballeros who has been reported as endorsing Christian death squads in Guatemala, not ITN. However, Caballeros is an apostle in the same network with Silvoso and other ITN leaders, is a star in the Transformations series of movies, and has served as faculty for ITN. Again, this is the problem with lack of recognition of the NAR and its apostles as a united movement with a common theology and agenda. As long as the public fails to recognize the larger interconnected network, the individual apostles can continue to claim that they are being accused of guilt by association.
The Transformation Brand Name
"Transformation" is like a brand name for the movement which, as the founding apostle the International Coalition of Apostles (ICA), C. Peter Wagner, states, has gained acceptance after trying a number of different terms such as "city reaching," "city taking," or "redeeming the city." The graph below from his 2008 Dominion! How Kingdom Action Can Change the World is used frequently by Wagner to demonstrate the apostles' vision of transformation.
The apostles teach that somewhere in this process of transformation there is going to be a "great wealth transfer" from the ungodly to the godly, that will help them to complete their mission. Wagner has formed special networks of apostles for the purpose of preparing for this wealth transfer. As Wagner states below the graph, "The Land" forms the arena on which social transformation will occur." The land is polluted and in need of redeeming before the people can be evangelized. This is why ceremonies such at the 2009 ITN conference take place, and why apostles and Transformation entities are prayer walking schools, pouring oil on the ground, and planting stakes.
One of the difficulties for those researching the apostles and their Transformation networks is that the coordinated movement and networking is relatively new. Their spiritual warfare techniques did not become popularized until the 1990s. As Wagner states in his 1998 Confronting the Queen of Heaven,
"Even ten years ago we did not have the vocabulary to describe what is commonplace these days, such as strategic level spiritual warfare, spiritual mapping, identificational repentance, and prayer evangelism."
Wagner has kept the movement fresh by constantly introducing innovative ideas. As the "spiritual mapping" craze began to wane, he shifted to an emphasis on "marketplace apostles." He claims that the failure of Transformation projects can be reduced by turning authority over to the territorial apostles instead of pastors.
Contributors to Talk2action.org have been collecting documentation on the New Apostolic Reformation and its Transformation entities for years and writing specifically about Hawaii politicians involvement with ITN and Transformation Hawaii since April. ITN and connected politicians claim they are being unfairly smeared and their faith attacked.
It is not their faith that I am attacking. I am working with others, like Talk2action co-founder Bruce Wilson, to expose this stealth attack on separation of church and state; their demonization of other faiths, including other Christians; and their claims that other human beings whom they disapprove harbor demons. The deceptive methods of Transformation organizations and so-called "reconciliation" ceremonies threaten to damage true interfaith alliances and the many charities that labor and give without strings attached.
Hawaii, it may sound unbelievable, but the apostles and their Transformations efforts are real and well documented.
For more information:
Compilation of Quotes
Compilation of Resources and Documentation
Also see these article on Uganda, a Transformation prototype that is farther advanced than Hawaii:
Links to "Transforming Uganda," a 20-minute video on the impact of the Transformation movement in Uganda and accompanying biographical sketches to "Transforming Uganda."
The Apostles and Transformation - Why They Are a Threat to Pluralism in Hawaii | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden)
The Apostles and Transformation - Why They Are a Threat to Pluralism in Hawaii | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden)