This is the report given by the Private Investigator who was hired by a family to seek out the truth about what was happening behind closed doors at IHOP-KC. Their daughter had been involved in the movement and based on her experience and the things she shared with them, they hired a private investigator to seek truth. (If you would like to read the full story behind their reasons for hiring this team of investigators, read my blog entitled “A Mother’s Letter.”)
For obvious reasons the name of the Investigative agency must remain confidential to protect the people who actually conducted their research within the IHOP organization; research they believe should be conducted on an on-going basis due to the nature of what they saw happening inside.
The report in its entirety is twelve pages long and for the sake of space and time I’m only going to list their findings and not go in depth into describing every detail or the statistical data they produced. If you want the full-version, email me and I will send it to you.
We conducted research in a variety of venues at the IHOP facility in Kansas City, MO. Our client was concerned with what was transpiring in the youth summer camps as well as in the Forerunner School of Ministry. We sent a team of individuals to observe and gain insight in the various formats and facets of the IHOP dynamic. Our findings were disturbing, but we will start by documenting the minor observances first.
1. When entering a Christian establishment, one would expect to be greeted with an outward portrayal of friendliness and kindness; but it is exactly opposite at IHOP-KC. Each member of our team entered separate, some weeks apart in their assignments, and each member reported a negative experience at the initial onset. No one smiled or greeted them and there was a general aloofness toward their presence. Even when several members of our team asked for directional assistance, they were made to feel inadequate for not knowing the proper protocol.
2. There is a distinct insider lingo within the establishment and if you do not know how to speak it you are treated as an outsider. Instantly, it is known that other churches, other religions and other religious establishments are lacking. It is outright stated that IHOP is the way and is the new emerging church in the world.
3. There is a zombie feel to the place and by that I mean everyone looks, acts and speaks the same. There is no individuality, no exuberance of joy and happiness, but rather an outward expression of somber depression. The members are predominantly young people (early 20’s) but unlike your typical young person who is filled with excitement and walks the halls chatting and laughing, these students of the Lord appear low-energy, zoned out and lacking in all motivation.
4. Students in the FSM and those attending summer camps are required to journal and turn their journals into their team leaders on a weekly basis. Some of the journaling assignments were of a specific and personal nature that made many of the students feel uncomfortable. (i.e. Confess all of your sexual sin, confess your inner thoughts about sexual sin and how it makes God feel, etc.) Anyone who did not complete the assignment was isolated from their groups and punished with lengthier assignments, mandatory fasts and longer time services in the prayer room.
5. The students are assigned seating in the prayer room and not allowed to trade seating assignments.
6. The students are forbidden to have contact with anyone outside of IHOP-KC during the weekdays and if behavior warrants, they are allowed to contact their families on the weekends.
7. They are taught that their families will question them and even tell them what they are doing is wrong. They are told to isolate themselves from anyone who questions what they are doing at IHOP. They are told specifically that everyone who questions them does not, will not and cannot understand because they are not chosen as the elect seed in the ushering in of God’s kingdom, and are distracted by religious thinking.
8. If a student shows any sign of doubting what is happening, they are assigned leaders who follow them and keep close watch over them, so they do not distract anyone else, and they are forbidden to hang out with any of their friends.
9. If a student shows any sign of doubt, they are rebuked through an intervention of two or more leaders, forced to fast and to spend more time in the prayer room, and some are even forced to leave the IHOP program altogether.
10. If a student shows any sign of doubt, they are told it is from demons they have allowed to enter their thoughts and it is from the generational sin of their parents and grandparents.
11. The leaders take the journals, read them and then report special findings to the worship team who then, using the assigned seating, prophetically speaks over the person utilizing the information they learned from the person’s journal. I must elaborate on this item because my team tested this by writing false information inside the journal. A few days later that false information was then prayed over her in the prayer room, almost verbatim to what she had written within the pages of her journal.
12. Those in the Forerunner School of Ministry are taught techniques adherent to witchcraft and the occult, some of which include the summoning of demonic spirits, using touch to transfer power from one to another and the chanting of mantras.
13. All students are taught to pray inwardly and focus on the human spirit. They are taught how to meditate, pray to and ask the Holy Spirit for prophetic visions. Those visions are then to be recorded in their journals and given immediately to their leaders.
14. Summer camp for the youth consists primarily of meditative worship, fasting and journaling. This is not a summer camp where the child learns scripture from the Bible or where the salvation of the Lord is being taught. They feed the students a minimal amount. They force the students to spend hours in the prayer room with no breaks. They allow the children little time for sleep. They are forbidden to listen to music other than what is offered at IHOP, which only consists of meditative mantra meditation songs, they are not allowed televisions or computers or any device which will enable them to maintain a grasp on the outside world or reality. Cell phones are confiscated on day one of summer camp and are not returned until the last day.
During our investigative time there, several students wept and begged their leaders to be able to telephone their parents and were denied this right.
Several students became ill from the lack of food and lack of sleep and were denied the right to contact their parents for medication or medical advice. Instead, they were prayed over by their leaders.
One student was finally allowed to leave after maintaining a fever of 103 degrees for a 72 hour period. (We later learned she was hospitalized for dehydration.)
One child tried to leave the facility to walk to a fast food restaurant and buy food for him and his roommates and was discovered and punished by spending the next twenty-four hours without food and alone in a room to do nothing but journal.
15. People are afraid to speak up because of the punishment and guilt that is laid publically upon them.
16. One of my reporters stated that the negative force of demons being prayed out of people was so strong in the hallways she was actually afraid to leave her room.
17. The leaders are manifesting demonic interactions with these children, causing them to jerk, twitch, tremble, shake, fall on the ground and roll around, foam at the mouth and even vomit. They are teaching the kids that these experiences are the workings of the Holy Spirit and that they are experiencing God’s movement.
18. The Forerunner School of Ministry teacher (I’ll leave out names so not to personalize this information against any one particular teacher.) teaches the students that God shows up only when they empty their body and their mind of all thoughts.
19. All members are taught that the Holy Spirit comes to offend the thinking and offend rational ideas and offend everything they have been previously taught about religion and God.
20. Tactics of manipulation, deprivation (both sleep and food) and guilt by association are all strongly used against the members to solidify their need for more.
21. I had the pleasure of sending in a reporter to pose as someone conducting an interview to promote IHOP. His findings were eye-opening. Here are just a few:
· There is a particular method to worshiping and praying and meditation and there is no room or allowance for freedom within these things.
· Members are not MADE to fast, but they close down the only shop that offers food at the discretion of the leadership and don’t allow the students off campus to purchase food elsewhere; thereby instating a mandatory fast without saying it. When the reporter questioned this, the leader stated that “God works in mysterious ways and He helps us be obedient to His word and His word says we are to fast.”
· Everyone must attend classes to learn to meditate and to learn to prophesy. There is no personal preference or freedom here. Anyone who is not meditating properly will be escorted from the prayer room and taught the proper method. When the reporter asked how they could tell if a person was meditating correctly, the leader said it was “by the manifestation of the spirit” in that particular person. He went on to say, “we can tell if someone is for real or not through the discernment of the Lord.” That, and the fact that they have bouncers walking the room and various tiny viewing doors that leaders can open at random and spy on what is happening inside the prayer room.
· When the reporter asked if people could come to the prayer room and pray anytime, he was told that students are scheduled to pray at certain times and must adhere to that schedule. They match the worship team, the style of music and the students who respond most positively together and assign them particular hours.
22. IHOP is an extremely controlled environment. It is not a place of free worship or free prayer and it is not even really about praising God as much as it is about the guidelines toward spiritual revelation that is thought to be from God.
In the sixteen weeks my team was on the inside we heard very little scripture, very little about Jesus, and nothing about salvation through Christ, which is the fundamental teaching of Christianity. We were taught meditation, encountered demonization, witnessed severe sensory depravation, endured tactics of guilt, emotional manipulation and witnessed public humiliation. Our findings are conclusive that IHOP is not an establishment of the Lord, for the Lord, by the Lord. If you’re thinking of sending your child, think again. This is a cult group.