Will the Internet Slay the Dirty Cult of Manalo?
The truth about Felix Manalo has been one of the world’s best-kept secrets. For decades it has been virtually impossible to raise objections about the character of Felix Manalo in the Philippines, for anyone who raised such objections would (following the example set by Felix himself) immediately be rebuked, humiliated, threatened, intimidated and excommunicated or even killed. Outside the Iglesia world, there has been little interest in this cult. But things have changed. Now many people are curious of this cult and members aren’t able to silence everyone. Moreover, with the rise of the Internet, it is now impossible to keep Felix’s life a secret. The facts about the founder of Iglesia are spreading very rapidly, and members are frantically scurrying to defend their faith. But the information superhighway is paving over the ignorance that has for decades been the stronghold of their cultic dogma. In the end, this cult will fall, for the entire structure is built upon the belief that Felix Manalo was the last prophet of God in history, and this belief is demonstrably FALSE.
Yes, the Internet is important in this struggle, but it is at least as important for informing non-Iglesia about the true nature of this cult as enlightening members, many of whom will be mentally immune to criticism of Iglesia. Some of them, however, can be reached. There are approximately 4-6 million nominal members in the world. How many of these are secret ex-Iglesia? Many has estimated that 20% – 30% of the members in the Philippines are actually apostates. Although only a growing minority of members around the world have access to the Internet, simple mathematics indicate that there are already hundreds of thousands of ex-Iglesia in cyberspace. This, as well as additional millions of members who already have at least some doubts, is the soft underbelly of this cult.
We’re now stuck in a race against time, and members know it. That’s why they are working so hard to shut down freedom of speech (Pls. google Ross Tipon’s case) and any mockery or rational criticism targeting Iglesia everywhere. Will Iglesia totaly take away freedom of speech in the Philippines before we spread the truth underneath this cult’s feet? Every time they threaten us with litigations, we should respond by increasing the volume of criticism of Iglesia in circulation on the Internet. Some would claim that this isn’t our fight. We are no longer just fighting against Iglesia ni Manalo but for our own freedom of speech, and thus democracy itself. Maybe we cannot slay this dragon, but we can certainly help the people who can.
Felix and his thugs went to great lengths already in the early days of his cult to shut up critics. We know the punishment for leaving or even criticizing Iglesia, a fact which has largely kept organized groups of ex-Iglesia from forming. Until now. With a significant Iglesia presence in the Philippines, we see elements of such groups forming for the first time in history. Secret ex-Iglesias around the world are quietly watching these developments.
Some are stepping forward.
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