Titus 1:9 - Holding to the faithful word, which is according to the teaching of the apostles, that he may be able both to exhort by the healthy teaching and to convict those who oppose.

A Statement by Lyndol Butler

"A False Witness... and One Who Injects Discord Among Brothers"— Proverbs 6:19

Over the past three years, a small group of former members of the local churches have banded together to use the Internet to spread many false rumors against the co-workers serving in the Lord's recovery. While it saddens us to see those who were once among us mired in such unhealthy speaking, it should not surprise us. The fallen human mind under the influence of the father of lies (John 8:44) has a nearly inexhaustible ability to manufacture false accusations. The Lord's word in Matthew 16:18 that "the gates of Hades shall not prevail" against the church clearly shows that the church is the ultimate object of Satan's attack (see also Eph. 4:12-16 and notes). This attack is carried out by spreading death through speakings that produce questionings (1 Tim. 1:4). We therefore need to discern whether speakings bring us into life or into death (see Brother Bill Lawson's contribution entitled " Scriptural Points of Fellowship—Reviewing the Crucial Need to Abstain from Death and Partake of the Tree of Life" on this site). May we all choose life and flee death (Gen. 2:9; 3:1-6; Num. 6:6-12; Deut. 30:19; and notes).

It would be both impossible and unprofitable to rebut every slanderous allegation, either on this site or in other forums. What we present here is merely an example to help the saints be enlightened that they should not read or listen to such reports. In 2008, Jane Anderson, a sister who left the Lord's recovery thirty years ago, posted a narrative in which she claimed that Titus Chu had been made the subject of "behind the scenes" accusations because Benson Phillips “was maneuvering to bring” a local church “under the control of his region.” According to Jane's account, the brother who told her this was so offended that he left the church life. However, the following statement from the brother she claims as her source belies her account of accusations, maneuverings, and personal kingdom building on the part of Benson Phillips:

September 1, 2008

Dear Brothers,

My name is Lyndol Butler. I recently became aware of the following report posted on the Internet by Jane Anderson concerning an event of which I have direct knowledge. In it Jane says:

I still remember being surprised to learn in the late 80s about the struggle between Benson and Titus over the Local Church in Cedar Rapids. Benson placed an elder there from OKC (an LC in his region containing a lot of Texans) and was maneuvering to bring that LC under the control of his region. There were some in Cedar Rapids who were being helped by Titus.

The brother who was sent there by Benson later told my husband and me about the struggle he witnessed and the things he heard behind the scenes that were said about Titus. He was totally repulsed by this and by the competition for control over that LC. He left the LC shortly after this.

I am the brother referred to in the second paragraph of Jane's account. I can say with certainty that her account is factually wrong on nearly every point:

  1. There was no group meeting as the church in Cedar Rapids; there were a few saints living in Cedar Rapids who met with the church in Iowa City.
  2. I was not sent to Cedar Rapids by Benson Phillips; I moved there for a job.
  3. I did not move there from Oklahoma City; I moved there from Kansas City.
  4. I never witnessed Benson maneuvering to control Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, or anywhere else.
  5. I did not witness any struggle between Benson and Titus; in fact, Benson called me with concerns that Titus had expressed to him about me while I was in Cedar Rapids.
  6. I did not leave the church because I was repulsed by things that were said behind the scenes about Titus. I did not hear such things from Benson or others. Rather, I left because of an offense related to the distorted report Titus had given to Benson concerning me.

During my few visits with those associated with Jane Anderson, I witnessed gatherings that were full of profitless, negative talk. It is clear to me that Jane's deep personal bitterness over her perceived mistreatment may have caused her to invent this false "history" and to falsely ascribe ulterior motives to Benson Phillips. Even though she did not directly name me, I do not want my silence to lend any credence to her fabrication.

I have since returned to the church life, for which I am deeply thankful to the Lord. The brothers received me without reservation.

Praise Him,

Lyndol Butler

Jane Anderson's account of Lyndol Butler's experience is typical of many Internet posts concerning the local churches, brothers in the churches and Living Stream Ministry. While they claim insider knowledge of much import, they can be charitably characterized as propaganda advancing their authors' varied agendas. In these posts the authors' own subjectivity is often presented as objective fact. In Jane Anderson's account, the "facts" are wrong and the conclusions she draws based on her errant history are more than false. Yet posts like hers pass for truth in certain Internet circles and her allegations are uncritically accepted by like-minded proponents of unfounded and sometimes fanciful conspiracy theories. The tragic outcome of these posts is the deception of innocent ones. Sadly this can be the result even when brothers who know the truth speak up, as Lyndol has done.

Jane Anderson has harbored personal enmity against the local churches in general and against Benson Phillips in particular for more than 30 years. She has a history of distorting events to fit her own imaginative narrative. In this post, she freely assigns maleficent motives to brothers' assumed activities even though her portrait of events is fabricated and she obviously has no direct knowledge of the motives of anyone involved. Anderson inveighs that the brothers leading the local churches regularly engage in a global power struggle and that Benson Phillips sent a brother to Cedar Rapids to further his personal interests in this conspiratorial tale. As Lyndol Butler's testimony demonstrates, nothing could be further from the truth. Jane Anderson should not be considered to be a credible source by any objective observer.

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