Article in KC Star - MISQUOTES

Published on the Front Page of the Kansas City Star - November 29, 2015

Religious ‘martyrs’ face fight over plans for village, cave in Clay County

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article46952265.html#storylink=cpy

BY DONALD BRADLEY
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CORRECTIONS

And our response

By DOUG PERRY
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Deep inside a cave in the wooded hills of Clay County, Doug Perry stands on thick wooden planks and looks out over a mishmash of old theater seats.

There in the chill and damp, Perry, a big man with a bushy beard and ponytail, sees his new church. This is where they will come to him.

He bends and points through the cracks in the planks that run above strings of Halloween lights and a smoke machine.

“When I preach about the devil in here, I can really make it happen,” he says with a chuckle.

He’s kidding. The floor is a holdover from when the limestone cave served as a haunted house.

OK, first of all, it's not "Doug's" church.  This is God's thing and what we have here is a bunch of folks chasing Jesus with all their heart, not following a man.  You think I'm kidding?  Ask any of them.  All I've ever done is point them toward Jesus and help folks hear God better - so that HE can direct all of their paths.

I grew up in "church" with people telling me about "the priesthood of the believer" but then always sticking a "priest" in between me and God and telling me what to believe.

Yeah, the orange rope lights and fog machine in the floor joke is pretty funny if you're going to preach about hell. But mostly they don't work anymore.

 

But neighbors don’t see anything funny about Perry, 48, and his Fellowship of the Martyrs taking over the cave northwest of Excelsior Springs.

If they knew about Gregory Weiler II, who stayed for more than a year with Perry and then allegedly plotted to blow up churches in Oklahoma, Perry’s quips would fall even flatter.

 

 

 





 

 

 

 

First of all, people don't understand that we have several different entities. The Church of Liberty is buying the farm. Liberty Disaster Relief is the community helps arm (pantry, thrift, emergency relief, etc.). Fellowship of the Martyrs is just a website talking about what Christianity USED to be like, what it ought to be again and urging people to sing "I Surrender All" on Sunday instead of "I Surrender Some."

The neighbors aren't laughing because practically NONE of them know me, get my sense of humor and know what a loveable harmless fuzzball I am. And it's not for a lack of inviting them over to meet us.  I think they're scared of me.

Greg was drugged up and unstable and a judge found that to be the case. Whatever he had considered doing, they found in the dumpster behind the hotel because he had already sobered up and decided it was a stupid idea. No person or property was harmed.

Can you imagine if you got the names of everybody that had stayed at City Union Mission in the last ten years and then tracked them all to see what bad things they had done after they left there?!  Is it really fair to blame that on on City Union Mission?

For years, Perry and his flock of admitted lost souls congregated and lived in a working-class townhouse complex in Liberty. Police knew the route well. The city, Perry acknowledges, will not be sad to see him and his bunch leave town.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISQUOTE-

I never once said, and would NOT have said, that I have a flock of "admitted lost souls."  We have two things here; A) those who are a part of the church and NOT "lost souls," and B) those who needed a place to stay at Liberty Disaster Relief and might be "lost souls" - but aren't a part of my "flock."  Jesus talks about the sheep and goats - and we love them all, but I would have never said what Don wrote in that sentence.

The people that have come here from all over the world to be a part of the ministry are professional "religious" people that have dedicated their lives to the service of God, just as monks or nuns would. They are some of the best, shiniest, most loving, most honorable, most selfless, most Jesus-like people I've ever had the honor of walking alongside. They are NOT "lost souls"! And if the neighbors took the time to get to know them, they would realize how much of a BLESSING it will be to have these people nearby, praying for the town, serving the poor and minding their own business.

The police know the route well because this was the armpit of Liberty and one of the worst areas in town for crime, vandalism, drugs and gang behavior when we first moved in. Now it's NOT. Anyone around here can tell you that it's WAY quieter and cleaner than it used to be. I have often called the police on drug dealers, turned people in to bounty hunters, and walked people down to the station to turn themselves in, if necessary.  We have prayed for this neighborhood for a long time. And crime stats are WAY down.

The City of Liberty will not be sad to see us go because the City of Liberty is determined to pretend that there are no homeless here and to scrub all "problems" out of town. Ever wonder why the homeless fly a sign on the OTHER side of I-35 by Walmart, but you NEVER see them on the Liberty side? It's because they will IMMEDIATELY get picked up, run for warrants and dropped off downtown at City Union Mission. Liberty wants to turn a blind eye to the very real needs right HERE. And doesn't like us because we cared for our neighbors, invited the needy into our homes, fed them and clothed them (Isaiah 58) without asking for permission from anyone or getting a permit - which we would have NEVER got because nobody wants a homeless shelter in their backyard. Yet they all say they are "Christians."

The hope is to move to these woods, where the cave will serve as a sanctuary. Worshippers will live nearby in a “tiny house” eco-friendly village, and they will flourish on God’s bucolic grace, cash donations and cave-aged cheese.

That’s the plan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides a tiny couple thousand square feet for a multipurpose sanctuary/fellowship hall/chapel, the cave is being used for warehousing of disaster relief supplies, just as we used the 16,000 square feet we were renting in a cave off of 210 Highway before this. The cave will also be used for ministry offices, home for our computer servers, vermiculture (worm farming), aquaponics (closed loop fish farming), raising mushrooms (shitake, morrels, etc.), for working on vehicles, and potentially other uses as allowed under our current C-3 Zoning. And, yes, for cave-aged cheese.

Besides that, the water inside the cave, which is saturated with lime will be great for irrigation of crops, for use in our greenhouse and for the giant waterfall we have planned for out front.

There's also the pond with a waterfall where people can bring their kids, borrow a pole and catch native fish without a license and take them home to cook, if they like. And the stand out front where folks can buy organic fresh produce, eggs, milk and more on their way home.  And if the young guys don't stop pestering me, their might even be a zip-line.

(bucolic  byo͞oˈkälik adjective - of or relating to the pleasant aspects of the countryside and country life.)

And as plans go - what's so bad about that?!  Sounds pretty nice to us.  Or we could slave away for the Man to barely afford housing and Obamacare.

But first they have to get past those neighbors who have formed a flock of their own and plan to show up a hundred strong Tuesday night for a public hearing at the Clay County Planning & Zoning Commission. They want the commission to reject Perry’s rezoning application.

The matter was tabled at a Sept. 1 meeting. Back then, Perry’s plan was not to connect to a sewer system, but to compost human waste.

“They wanted to use buckets,” said opposition spokeswoman Gail Colvin, who insists the stance has nothing to do with religion.

“We’re all Christian people out here. We just don’t like that he’s using his religion to get around codes and zoning laws.”

Later she acknowledged, too, that neighbors have concerns about the wayward members who come to Liberty from all over the country and a few foreign lands.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's intersting that people think numbers should win. Like property rights don't matter. Like religious freedom doesn't matter. You can just trump all that with enough angry voices.

My wife and I went ALONE to the first Zoning hearing because I didn't want it to be a zoo. We feed HUNDREDS of people every month. Over the years, we've helped LOTS of people. Plus there's all of our residents. If we wanted to, we could get HUNDREDS of our own to the hearing to say how great we are. But none of that should be necessary - and I doubt the Commission will tolerate it. How would you like 100 angry neighbors when you go ask to add a room onto your house or build a barn?

All over the world, including right here in Missouri, there are groups doing humanure composting. NGO's like Peace Corp teach it, it's proven, it's cheap and it works fine. Here's a video about it - Humanure Composting.  It's not weird, it doesn't stink, it's not unhygenic, it's scientifically proven and it's safe. It is NOT "pouring poop on the ground."  More than that, we're a TEACHING farm trying to learn stuff to duplicate in Africa or Thailand or other places - and I can't very well just tell people in Africa to connect to the city sewer because that's all we know how to do.  Look up "Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage" - they've been doing it successfully for 20 years and have WAY more people than we do. The reason people are objecting? Raw naked ignorance and prejudice. 

Nobody, and I mean, NOBODY was trying to get around the law. We presented our case for humanure composting to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources back in May. In September we finally got a response that they wouldn't approve it for the number of people in our "village." BUT ... the State Health Department WOULD have approved it if we hadn't crossed the 3,000 gallon a day threshold and bumped up to DNR.  We asked permission through all the right channels, they said no. Fine, so we hired engineers and spent more money that could be used to care for local folks in need.

Nobody at ANY point has tried to use religion to get around zoning codes. We have played by the rules every step of the way. That's a totally bogus argument. The reality is that they are scared of us because they don't know us and have heard we're "dangerous". The truth is they are Christians who listen to gossip and hearsay and aren't showing the mercy that they should. You're supposed to love your neighbor - AND your enemy.

On a recent visit to the cave, several men spoke openly about drugs, alcohol and misspent pasts. But mainly they talked about being lost in a spiritual darkness until being rescued by Perry’s charismatic preaching on YouTube, including one in which he faced off on TV with Dr. Phil.

“Last night I went out and prayed that God would kill everybody on the planet,” Perry says, smiling in the video.

Perry claimed McGraw took the quote out of context; he said he was talking about spiritual death. In another video, in which Perry calls for the destruction of the institutional church, he equates American Christianity with an aircraft carrier and says only a really big bomb can change its course.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISQUOTE -

OK, I was right there for all these conversations and NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM said they were lost in spiritual darkness until they found Doug on YouTube. Not a one.  Ransom is in his seventies and he'll confess to his mis-spent youth and alcoholism, but that was over 30 years ago.  More on Matthew and others below.

Yeah, I was on Dr. Phil. Here is my response to his big "gotcha" at the end of the show - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWNRvL1jFH8.  He quoted less than HALF of ONE SENTENCE and it was ALL he could find out of 1200 videos. The exact quote is, "But I'm praying that the Lord would do to me whatever He has to do to me so that I would be a useful, contrite, broken vessel useful for His purposes.  In fact, last night I prayed that God would kill everyone on the planet - that they would be dead to self and useful for His purposes or take them wherever they're supposed to go."

He said it was "offensive to his sensibilities" but he says he's a Christian and he HAD to know the context of that quote!  So he's just a liar for ratings. That entire video was about Romans 8 and dying to self - a belief that is absolutely CENTRAL to a real Christian faith.

As for the aircraft carrier video, even Dr. Phil brought that up and knew what I meant by the context (so he IS able to account for context).  What I said there is that the "Church" is a giant institutional monolith. Like an aircraft carrier, it takes a really long time for it to drastically change course, where a little speed boat can turn on a dime. You either need slow incremental change over time or something like a big bomb hitting it in the side to spin it around. That's what real revival does - not a slightly better music program, or better coffee in the sanctuary, or changing your name to something like "Relevant Church" or "Epic Church" or whatever.  Revival smashes into a place and spins things around QUICK. Read about Wesley or Finney or Etter or Whitehead or the Great Awakenings.  My whole discussion was a scholarly talk about Macro systems and that you can only move institutions either incrementally over long periods of time or quickly by some tremendous shock.

I think that's what the Tribulation in the Book of Revelation is about - it's about putting the Church on her knees by force. I tell people that the pastors in New Orleans stopped fighting about doctrine and dogma and denominationalism - they just fed the poor, clothed the naked, did the things on Jesus' heart - and all it took was Hurricane Katrina!

I dare you. Watch that video yourself and see if you think Dr. Phil was dishonestly using something out of context for ratings. And then see if the KC Star didn't just reframe it and reuse it for the same mercenary reasons. My prayer was that people would wash each others' feet, would put their own needs last, would sell all they have and give it to the poor (as I did), would be broken hearted for the hurting and dying - and they spin it to make me look like I want the whole world dead!  Would YOU find that insulting if it were done to you?

Oh, wait, now he's about to connect back to Greg to make it look like I suggested he blow things up.

Weiler came to Liberty in 2010 after seeing a Perry video. After leaving, he allegedly plotted to blow up a series of churches in Oklahoma with Molotov cocktails. A federal judge last year found Weiler, 25, to be mentally ill and ordered him to a facility in a federal prison.

Perry said that he knew Weiler was mentally ill but that he bore no responsibility for Weiler’s actions and is angry that he’s been tied to the crime. Weiler’s family has blamed Perry for what happened.

“I’ve spent all I have to care for the poor, to feed the hungry, to plead with pastors to be more like Jesus, but I’ve never ever suggested to anybody that blowing things up was a good idea,” Perry said this past week.

He added that Weiler would be welcomed back to the group because he is loved.
 

 


 

 

 

 


 

This kid had both of his parents commit suicide before he was sixteen. He bounced around from foster homes to extended family (most of whom are disappointed that he was found not-guilty because they wanted to see him locked up forever). Churches threw him out because he was a walking wound. Nobody ever really cared for him. We tried really hard. He is a very sweet young man who feels very bad about how his "malfunction" has affected this ministry. I have him on audio accepting full responsibility and apologizing for however it might have affected us here.  And it has, it's had a VERY bad effect, mostly because of people (mostly "Christians") who want to connect the dots in such a way as to destroy and discredit people.

Greg has decided he's a satanist and is spending his time in the Federal mental hospital writing dozens of books about the dark arts and the occult. He and I disagree on practically everything, but he calls me "Dad" because he knows I've loved him as well as anybody in his whole life. And he'd like to come back here when they finally let him out, because he knows that this is a place where we will love him - even if he's a full on Luciferian. That does NOT mean he's part of this congregation - it means we hope to have another chance to shake this nonsense off of him and get him back to Jesus Christ.

It all comes down to whether you take wounded people and wad them up and throw them away or nurse them back to health and take the shots that come when you're blamed for having associated with wounded people with pasts. Which do you think Jesus Christ would do? And plenty of "religious" folks gave Him trouble for hanging out with "sinners" too!

Perry knows what people think — that the Fellowship of the Martyrs is a cult, it disavows legal marriage, there’s talk of demons, Perry ridicules traditional churches, and everyone lives together as in a commune.

“Catholics move into the woods and people think its great because they’re going to make wine or fruitcake,” he said. “But when evangelical Christians do it, everybody thinks Waco.”

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First of all, "cult" is a completely useless and offensive word and is just as insulting as "nigger."  There's no defense against it, it's loaded with all kinds of horrible baggage and it's instantly prejorative and mean. They called Jesus' followers a "cult," too - but they mostly meant "sect."  In today's world people using the word mean baby-raping, woman-molesting, people-kidnapping, money-stealing, leader-worshipping, gun-collecting, multiple-wife, government-overthrowing, compound-living, suicidal Kool-aid-drinking nut jobs. Yeah, people like to throw that at us - despite absolutely NOTHING that we do that looks like that. There have never been ANY charges, no kids hurt here, no guns here, no Kool-aid.

Let's run down the list. About 800 million Charismatic/Pentecostal Christians in the world believe God talks to people, believe in the gifts, talk about demons and deliverance. We're not at all unique there.

BIG MISQUOTE - First of all, Don never once asked me about marriage or my views on it. I would have NEVER said that I "disavow" legal marriage!  Just the opposite, I believe marriages before clergy, witnessed by two witnesses, documented in a family Bible and by a certificate from the Church ARE legal marriages. That's how everybody in this country was "legally" married until after the Civil War. That's how everybody that signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution was married.

My beef, along with thousands of pastors all over the country, is with needing a LICENSE to do something that is a human right and that the state has no business being in the middle of in the first place. I refuse to raise my hand and say, "By the power vested in me by the State of Missouri, I pronounce you man and wife." I'm NOT an agent of the State and don't want to be. I believe Holy Matrimony is the pervue of the Church and that the State has lost all moral authority to have a say in what is and what isn't "holy."  I don't care who the State wants to connect and give them rights and tax breaks. Marry the same sex, marry your dog, marry a robot, marry twelve people if you like - the State can do whatever the State wants - it's the WORLD being the WORLD. But that doesn't make it HOLY. Only God can do that. We have couples that feel strongly to go through the "system" for their own reasons. Some see the danger of a "license" that makes the State the owner of the fruit of that contract and refuse. It's not a dodge or an excuse to get out of marriage or make a light thing of marriage - it's a reasoned, thoughtful, legal decision.  Watch this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vfx9QXcNkJ8

I also don't "ridicule" traditional churches. I weep for them. I'm irritated with all the things that people think are necessary that are, in fact, pagan additions to the simplicity of the Gospel - like steeples, robes, candles, Easter, Christmas, the current role of the pastor, temple worship at all, liturgies, confessionals, popes, and more. And I'm FAR from alone in that. Read "Pagan Christianity" by Frank Viola.

Someone is going to have to stand before God some day and explain WHY they felt a million dollar chandelier or organ in the sanctuary would please God more than feeding the poor. There is NOWHERE in the Bible where it says, "Go into all the world and build giant cathedrals covered in gold." No, the first century church was just the opposite - believers living together, worshipping together, playing together, sharing with each other in humble ways. A lot of Christians are going to have to stand before God and answer for how they treated the "least of these" that came in His name. And we're some of them.

And, yes, I do think that if we had wanted to start a monastery on that property we wouldn't be seeing this fight at all. Because people have a picture in their head of quiet, contemplative Catholics in robes, chanting Gregorian hymns in bucolic settings making wine and fruitcake for the neighbors. But there is no Evangelical Christian equivalent for most people - despite the tremendous gifts the Shakers left the world, or the Quakers or the Moravians or a zillion other Christian intentional communities that never once drank Kool-aid. In fact, you can't find a Christian suicide cult ANYWHERE in history.  Jim Jones was a Communist.

And we're not a "commune." That's implies no one has their own property and shares all things. That's not what we do. We believe in property rights - each person has a key to their room, some have cars, cell phones, computers, whatever. No one is obligated to pour everything into the "collective." Many have secular jobs. It's just NOT a commune, it's an intentional community. Go visit this page www.ic.org.

The parcel of wooded land that Perry’s church is buying is 70 acres.

But it’s mainly six acres that are stirring trouble. Clay County zoning documents show the request for “Liberty Farm” is to have the land at 14518 Old Quarry Road rezoned to residential so the church can build its village of tiny houses and bunkhouses.

“A place where people can come to get prayer or rest, a working ecologically friendly farm, a place for a small community of believers to share costs and live together,” the application says.

 

 


 

MISQUOTE - I told him it was 67.72 acres. Maybe he rounded up, but the truth is it's 67.72 on the surveyors report and the deed.

We call it "The Liberty Farm" not because it's in Liberty but because the Bible says that "where the Spirit of God is, there is Liberty." We want people to know the Liberty that comes in Christ, the freedom from addiction, from sin, from despair, from unforgiveness, from fear, from hunger, from poverty. We want to farm that. We want to grow it big and tall and harvest it and feed it to the world. We want to have "Liberty Farms" all over the world that provide for those around them, that preach about our inheritance in Christ, that raise heads that are too long looking at the ground.

We want people to come here and be encouraged, sit under a tree for awhile and see if you can't hear God better here than in the megachurch down the street. We want to live and work and play with folks that agree with that idea.  Yeah, that's what we want. Why is that so bad?

Perry says the issues of water, sanitary sewer and a traffic study will be dealt with, but he thinks the opposition is more about himself and his followers.

Perry, the son of a preacher, grew up in the area, graduated with a double major from William Jewell College and later received a master’s degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He ran a furniture store for a while and enjoyed success, but he knew something wasn’t right.

“I was running from God,” he said. “He wanted me to quit and work for him.”

Soon he was holding prayer meetings in his furniture store and feeding the homeless.

 

A lot of it is a misunderstanding about who we are and what we want that farm to be. I have said over and over, it's NOT a rehab. It's NOT a homeless shelter. We're not going to go get hard cases pushing shopping carts from under the bridges and bring them out there and loose them on the neighbors. There was a time that we DID go find those folks. And many that are clean and sober and working and have their own house now - that would tell you straight up that they would be dead now if not for Liberty Disaster Relief. But that season was some time ago and God's been changing the face of the ministry.

And another thing, believing God wants you to stop secular work and serve Him full-time hardly makes me unique either. Nearly every pastor, priest, bishop, presbyter, apostle, monk, nun, imam or whatever could say the same thing, regardless of denomination.

He walked away from his business, started his Fellowship of the Martyrs, began posting videos on YouTube and soon had viewers knocking on his door. One of the first to arrive was Rusty McAlister, who came several years ago from Birmingham, Ala.

“I left behind a good job and brought enough clothes for four days and I’m still here,” said McAlister, 57. “I came to get my deliverance from Doug.”

Funded by donations from people all over the world who watch the YouTube videos, Perry’s flock operated a thrift store, a soup kitchen and an agency called Liberty Disaster Relief.

 

 


 

MISQUOTE - Nobody ever said that Rusty was one of the first to arrive, just that he had been here the longest of the group that was there for the interview. We'd been at this for nearly three years before Rusty arrived. He was a LONG way from being "one of the first."

MISQUOTE - Rusty NEVER said, "I came to get my deliverance from Doug." And I've known him for eight years now and he would NEVER say that. He came for Jesus and Jesus told him to stay here, so he did. Not for me.

MISQUOTE - We don't operate a soup kitchen. It's a food pantry. I know that may seem picky, but it's not the same thing. We don't serve hot meals occasionally. We give out thousands of pounds of food per month. To date we're somewhere around four MILLION pounds that we've distributed in the Northland to YOUR friends and neighbors and cousins. And our Thrift Store is more like a Free Store because we consistently lose money. It's mostly there to warehouse donations and get them to people in need. We give away a lot more than we sell.

Some troubled souls appeared.

“We know Mr. Perry and, yes, we’ve had interaction with his group over the years,” said Liberty Police Capt. Andy Hedrick.

Perry has called police himself. Bounty hunters, too. Even child welfare authorities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wait, what?  No, no, that's not the way it went at all.  Wonderful, sweet, Jesus-loving Christians appeared - and then we went out and FOUND the troubled souls and brought them home. 

And, yeah, we've had lots of interaction with the Police. They know if there is a problem, they can call me and I'll take care of it. They know that if they release a prisoner on Christmas Eve after dark with no shoes, that I'll take them in and help them find a place (True story). They know that if a hard case we took in gets drunk and is standing in the middle of the street waving down cars and telling people that Jesus loves them - that they can call me and I'll come get him and put him to bed (True story). They know that if there is a 19 year old young lady who has been abused by her father that came here to be safe, that I'll stand in front of the door no matter what threat before I let that guy into the house (True story). We've had to get to know them when we've filled out permits for food giveaways in the park when people would line up and block the streets to get some of 20,000 pounds of groceries. Or when we had free Christian concerts in the city parks and had to get permits and insurance and all kinds of stuff. We have ALWAYS played by the rules and asked for all the right permissions ahead of time. And the cops know me from times we've stood in front of churches with signs like, "Jesus hates denominations."  Or when we stood on the street corner at Halloween reminding people that Christians probably shouldn't encourage extortion and vandalism (Trick or Treat) from their children and celebrate satan's high holy day. And we've been within our First Ammendment rights, standing in the right places, not obstructing traffic, just trying to get people to think more about Jesus. I really like the Liberty P.D. They have been nearly universally professional in all my dealings with them. They know that I know my rights as a citizen - and that I have a pastoral responsiblity to juggle as well - and we dance the dance pretty well together.

And, yeah, if someone comes here and they are wanted, we walk them in or turn them in. And if I see someone not doing right by their kid, we hotline them. Because that's our DUTY. As a pastor, I have resonsibility to protect and serve, too.

There was also the married couple who came from Texas and heard Perry’s take that legal marriage was meaningless. Their marriage ended, and the woman ended up with another church member.

The couple’s story appeared in The Star in 2013.

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can't say this is a misquote because Don never once asked me about this. But it's twisted FOR SURE. Do you see how that sentence is written? Like my view of marriage ended their marriage and she swapped to another guy. And that's SO not what happened! That couple was in my office for counseling, on the edge of divorce, a month after moving here. We prayed and counseled and they were together for another year or more after that. He was warned MANY times by bunches of people that he was selfish, was ignoring her, was a jerk to their kids, and there was trouble on the horizon if he didn't change his ways.

There isn't hardly a pastor anywhere that hasn't had SOMEONE in his congregation get a divorce. It's a sad and horrible thing, but that doesn't make it the Pastor's fault.  Eventually, she got fed up with him and started talking about divorce. In the middle of the night, he bundled up their four little kids (8,7,6,and 2 - as I recall) and took off with no word or warning. Also he locked her out of the bank accounts, leaving her here in their own house (not a ministry house) with her son by a former marriage. He did it to force her to change her mind, to coerce her into coming back to him. Then realized that it was Parental Kidnapping, was a Federal crime because he'd crossed state lines, and was facing 4-7 years PER kid. So his only defense is that he HAD to do it because the kids were in imminent danger. Of what? Of the crazy suicide cult.  He starts calling all the media hoping to get sympathy and support. That's where Dr. Phil comes in. But it's just a nasty custody battle played out on TV, not a religious thing. To play it for ratings you have to spin it into something scary - like a cult that wants to kill everyone on the planet.

Well, he lost the fight for custody. But she insisted on the kids knowing their father. They have all since moved to Houston and everyone seems to be doing better than they were before - except the stinker who still blames other people for all his problems.

Oh, yeah, and we're still chewing on whether or not to sue the Kansas City Star for the libel in that other article. It was WHACKED.

Perry, not one to be shy about criticizing government and the church establishment, found himself ostracized.

“Several pastors would throw me out if I showed up on a Sunday morning,” he said. “I have more than once had parents of young people coming to visit who called the police and were told that we are a cult.

“But I believe demons are real. And when you try to do something beautiful, someone is going to try to stop you.”
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISQUOTE - Don never heard me criticize the government. In fact, I haven't voted since 2004 and have no intentions of doing so ever again. I don't rally voters or try to influence elections in any way. My calling is NOT to fiddle with the world, but deal with the eternal things. I can't think of any governmental issue, other than marriage licenses, that I've ever commented on. Frankly, I don't think it makes ONE IOTA of difference if a Democrat or Republican is elected. This ride is on the rails and headed for a melt-down. Read the Bible.

MISQUOTE - Don places this in the article as if the marriage that fell apart above is what "found Doug ostracized."  In fact, that's not true at all. I was ostracized WAY before that when I first started seeing the problems we have in Churchianity and started asking questions nobody wanted to answer - like, "Did we really hear God tell us to build a new gymnasium?" or "Where are denominations in the Bible and why is it OK that we start a new one every 48 hours?" or "What happened to real repentance and people that don't look just like the world?" or "Do they have classes in seminary on how to have faith like a child or is it just faith like a belligerent, know-it-all teenager?"

That last one really pushed some buttons.  :-)

I've probably visited 400 different congregations of all kinds. And I can tell you, it's bad. Really, really bad. There's nonsense and heresy rampant all over the place! And they can't seem to see it. That's why I wrote my book "The Red Dragon: the horrifying truth about why the church cannot seem to change." Read it free online here - The Red Dragon.

Jesus Christ said that if you were trying to be like Him, that you would be slandered and lied about and people would even try to kill you. (Matthew 5:10-12) And that you were supposed to rejoice! So we try to do that. And it explains why there is so much hostility to folks just trying to do the right thing.

That talk doesn’t warm up the neighbors near the cave.

“But if they stay on their side of the fence, I won’t have any problem with them,” said one man who asked that his name not be used.

And his wife?

“That’s something else,” the man said with a smile.
 

 


 

I'm thrilled with the folks that are just willing to see what happens. That's grace. And you will be pleased to find out, sooner or later, that we truly are really good neighbors.

And you know what? I'm pretty sure that particular neighbor met me and shook my hand.

And his wife?

Didn't ever get to meet her. She's making decisions based on the noise, not the reality. But it's OK. We love her anyway and she'll work it out eventually. Things get bad enough, you're going to want a neighbor with a cave and lots of food - and who loves people, doesn't have guns, and lives and breathes to share with others.

A yellow metal sign at the entrance to the cave on Old Quarry Road says: “Remember … Jesus said to love your neighbors.”

“That’s directed at us,” Gail Colvin said on a recent day.

She and her husband live on a nearby hill. It’s old family land. Her husband, Jim, grew up there. Like most nearby, their place is neatly kept.

“Have you seen that place down there?” she asked.

The dirt lane dips low before coming up to the cave area. Clutter abounds. Old cars and tractors, pieces of a discarded greenhouse. Perry said a pile of heavy plastic McDonald’s billboards will be used to line a pond for exotic fish.
 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MISQUOTE - It's not metal. It's cardboard with hand-cut letters. The rain is starting to get to it, so we may make one that says, "Remember ... Jesus said to love your enemies."

Well, Gail, not just you, but, yes, it is.  I'm not feeling the love. I'm feeling lied about and misunderstood. And I'm a Christian, too. We're supposed to be brother and sister. I'd love to sit down and talk to you and clear up some of the misunderstandings. Give me a call anytime.

And Gail, you know as well as I do that there's been a lot of vandalism in that cave and it's been neglected.  When you were building your house was the construction site as neatly kept as your house is now? Does anyone really expect that when we're demolishing $250,000 of haunted house plus other messes inside there that there aren't going to be truckloads of piles while we sort it out and make runs to the dump?  Besides which, the cave is a COMMERCIALLY zoned property, not a residence. We're PREAPPROVED to have trucks and tractors and stuff without anybody's permission. The Zoning hearing is not about ANY of that.

The reality is that we're doing this late in the year and the weather isn't cooperating. The rain washed out the road to the back of the cave. We had to borrow a Bobcat. The forklift that we have that can navigate inside the cave is broke down. We helped a sweet Christian man who was getting thrown out of his warehouse in the West Bottoms so they could build lofts and he had to store some stuff with us. But we had to drop it outside under tarps until we could fix the road and the forklift. We get cars donated. Some we work on and get running and give away, some we scrap. We have old tractors because that's what we can afford. It's irresponsible to buy a $30,000 new tractor when I can get a $1500 one that will pull a brush hog just as well.

MISQUOTE - And that greenhouse is NOT discarded. We have had a very large (100'x80') triple peak, hard shell, commercial greenhouse donated - if we take it down. And the pile that is at the farm is a LITTLE piece of that. And we will be putting it back up in the Spring, back farther in the property where no one will see it, so that we can grow avocados and bananas and pineapples in Missouri. So our neighbors can get beautiful tomatoes in January.  And farm-raised catfish.

Our vision for this farm is NOT clutter - but I'm not going to apologize for a box truck that's too tall to fit in the cave or for old tractors. Look up and down the road. Drive another 1/2 mile North and look to the Right and count the tractors and equipment sitting out. Look at the aerial map for Clay County of that area and see how many folks have 50 scrap cars behind their tree line.

It ain't Bel Air or Beverly Hills, Gail.  It's Excelsior Springs.  Anybody we bring into town is going to IMPROVE it.  I say this with love, but there's plenty of problems already that aren't being dealt with in this area without you having to poke at US.

Ransom Hohorst, 76, sauntered up, helped with his walking stick. He came three years ago from Louisiana.

“Cajun country,” he said.

His life had been empty. Then he came across a Perry video. He called and got Perry’s wife, Cindy, on the phone.

“I started crying,” he said.

“Come, Ransom,” she told him.

“It was God speaking through her,” he said.
 

MISQUOTE - His life had not been "empty."  He was a saved, Jesus-loving, sweet Christian who was having a hard time finding a good church.  He liked the videos and found someone that he resonated with. 

And if you met Cindy and knew how sweet she is and how much she loves people, you would start crying too.

Ransom is a very sweet old gentleman who would have a hard time living out on his own, but by living in community he gets friendship and help and purpose that he might not have in some "retirement community."  He doesn't get around too well, but he's a mighty prayer warrior, awesome mentor and is really good at taking apart broken household goods from the thrift store for us to recycle the component parts.

Matthew Clary, 32, came from Texas. He drove a tank in the Army, about died in a fire, sank into a coma, woke up blind and knew he had to get to Liberty.

His vision is back.

“This is where I’m supposed to be,” Clary said.
 

 

 

 

 

 

MISQUOTE - He didn't "about die in a fire."  He slept with a heater on and the cause is still unclear, whether overheating or some emissions, but when they found him he was in a coma for several months, then was paralyzed and blind for some time until those faculties returned some weeks later. He still walks with a limp from muscles that atrophied during the coma, but expects a full recovery in time.

He DID NOT "wake up blind and knew he had to go to Liberty."  While I would like to claim this healing, there is a gap of several YEARS in there!  He's one of the sweetest, kindest, most sincere young men you'll ever meet. And I wish Don would have paid more attention to his story.

He is committed to the work in Liberty, to prayer, to preaching the Gospel, to caring for those in need.  You should come meet him and see for yourself.

James Mead, 31, came from Ohio. Drugs and alcohol about did him in.

“I was in the darkness and the Lord told me that if I drank again, he’d kill me,” Mead said. “I knew I had to leave because if I stayed in Ohio, I’d go back to the world.

“People here don’t look at me like I’m loony.”

In a video, Perry says of Mead: “We’ve had spies and witches come to do harm — and they could talk a good game, but they wouldn’t wash feet. James will lick the dirt off your feet if the Lord tells him — without hesitation.”
 

 


 

James is from a family of hard cases.  He wasn't seeking God really. He was on his way to get a pizza when God showed up, convicted him of his sins, flipped him around and cleaned him up. It was so dramatic a change from who he had been that his family all thought he was nuts. He's been clean and sober ever since.

Now he is an amazing young man who will do anything that God tells him. His heart is for prayer especially and he's often stopping people asking if he can hold their hand and pray for them. And he prays HARD and means it all the way.

Last week he got married in Virginia to a beautiful sweet girl - with a marriage license. His call, not mine. Hopefully soon they'll be moving here and you will get to meet them both. I'm honored to be around such wonderful people.  And it hurts my heart that people would call them blind followers or lemmings or cult members. These are NOT people that can be talked into stupid stuff.

Others come and go.

Cindy Perry looks over the bunch like a mother hen.

“It’s a great feeling to watch them grow,” she said.

The women mind the thrift store in Liberty.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yeah, they do. This last weekend we had a conference and we got to meet: 

  • a professional IT executive single mom with her 6 year old son from New York;
  • an over-the-road truck driver from Oregon who scheduled a load through here so he could visit;
  • a married couple from Wisconsin with their 8 year old son;
  • a pastor from Northern Idaho and a young couple from his home group that were as sweet as they could be;
  • a single lady physician's assitant from New York;
  • a young street preacher from Montana that hitchhiked here;
  • a young man from Chicago that drove here;
  • and a young man that flew in from Florida.

They aren't riff-raff or "lost souls."  While here for a long weekend, they spent about $600 at local restaurants, about $550 at local hotels, about $2500 in airfare and rental cars - and between them left behind about $14,000 for us to spend with local businesses to build the farm.  No one got drunk, none of them are addicts, no neighbors were bothered.

Why would they do that?!  Because they got help with some issues they'd been struggling with. Because they left hearing God better than when they got here. Because they know that this is someplace special and it will be even better when the farm is working and people are out there and more people can be helped. Because they know LOVE when they see it.

Because they didn't listen to hearsay and gossip.

Both sides now await Tuesday’s hearing. Perry hopes to convince the commission that his group can meet all the requirements.

Colvin and other opponents think Perry will try to use religion to skirt the law. Attorneys have cautioned her and other opponents that the case is not about religion.

“We didn’t even get to talk last time because it was tabled,” Colvin said. “Doug Perry did talk. And after all the emphasis that this was not about religion — that’s all he talked about.”

Donald Bradley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actually, the hearing got postponed another month. It won't be until January 5th now. We didn't get approval from DNR on our sewage plan before Thanksgiving as we had hoped. Everything else is in place. The neighbors hired a lawyer that couldn't be there so the Commission postponed it since we were still waiting on DNR anyway.

I'm ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE that we have done everything asked of us. We have not tried to skirt the law in any way.

Yes, they didn't talk. Yes, I did answer the questions asked of me by the Commission. And, no, I didn't just talk about religion.  And I wish it weren't so hard to try to do something good and have to drag so many people kicking and screaming along behind me.

You need to understand, Gail - and anyone else listening - that we're a church and we're approved to be on that land and we're not going anywhere. The Zoning hearing doesn't change anything, even if we lose. Then we're just going to have to adjust, pick a different part of the property and file a rezoning for twice as many houses. 

Or maybe we could put in a QuikTrip or a hospital or a college or a hotel - we're already zoned for that anyway without asking for permission from ANYBODY.

There's going to be a church on that property. That's not even up for debate. Better get used to us.  :-)

Doug Perry