Written by Kent Pete
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Topics: Religion

Sunday, 11 January 2009

image for Church goers forced to talk in tongues

Speaking in tongues is a controversial practice to many Christians, but others consider it a gift from God.

And many people who attend the Our Lady of Much Weeping Pentecostal Church in Camden Town, North London, pray for that gift.

However recent reports suggest that the religious practice is often not quite what it seems. Former Church member Paul McNulty claims that he felt intimidated to speak in tongues and that he would often talk a lot of nonsense for half an hour just to avoid the consequences of not joining in.

Talking to our Home Affairs correspondent Mr McNulty said: "As I walked into the Church I was greeted by the Senior Pastor Gerry Malone. He welcomed all parishioners with a gentle kiss on the cheek, however at the same time he whispered in my ear that if I didn't join in with the speaking in tongues there would be serious consequences. He was smiling as he said it, I felt extremely intimidated"

"As the service reached its climax people started babbling and making what appeared to be nonsensical noises. Having said that I am sure the man next to me was reciting the West Ham F.A.Cup winning team of 1975. At first I remained quiet, however I could see the Pastor making the cut throat sign at me so I threw myself on the floor and spoke with a Geordie accent for 15 minutes. Nobody seemed to notice".

McNulty is not the only parishioner to have claimed intimidation from the Church. Indeed Mrs X, 43 from Orpington in Kent, who wishes to remain anonymous, told our reporter that she actually witnessed a man being savagely beaten by two high ranking Church officials outside Trinity Road Christian centre in Bromley for not participating in a 'Toronto Blessing'.

The Toronto Blessing refers to the supposed outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the people attending the Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship church. On January 20th, 1994, a Pentecostal pastor named Randy Goodman spoke at the church and gave his testimony of how he would get drunk in the Spirit and laugh uncontrollably. In response to this testimony, the congregation erupted in pandemonium with people laughing, growling, break dancing, barking like dogs, and some even being stuck in positions of total paralysis for up to six months. Goodman later tested positive for cocaine.

Mrs X told our reporter :"Once a month an American faith healer would come to our Church and call the congregation up one by one for what they would call a 'spiritual cleansing'. I would see the people go forward, the minister would appear to touch their forehead and they would fall back and wriggle around the floor for a few minutes".

"As the healer placed his hands on my shoulders I felt nothing and I told him so. He then put his head close to mine and head butted me with such force that I shot back 10 feet and lost consciousness for, I am told about 5 minutes. A Toronto BlessingÂ…Â….more like a Kirby Kiss".

"I remember people around me wailing and shouting 'the mark of Christ, the mark of Christ' as they pointed at the blood pouring down my face. The Minister lent down and whispered, 'tell a soul and I will set the dogs on you'".

"I would advise all people going to a Pentecostal Church to take part in all the rituals. It can even work in your favour. I have started speaking in tongues when I am in particularly difficult situations. For example when the inspector asks to see my ticket on the bus, when I'm caught smoking in a toilet on a plane or when my husband asks for sex".

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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