In the previous part of this testimony, we have seen that TPM has used lies and deception to trap the bird, Teju Robin. Now in this part, we are enumerating how TPM has perfected the art of deception. For a perfectly oiled system to work, the machinery needs to be thoroughly trained by people who have deceived themselves.
while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.2 Tim 3:13
Some birds in the cage are kept just for their beauty. However, the others are there for their talking skills and the tricks they can perform. But whatever be the target, all of these birds need to be trained by the experts within the system. So let us hear from Teju Robin about his training journey.
Transported in the Cage
I was forced to move out from my home in haste without properly bidding adieu to my tearful family. I belonged to the Coimbatore Center but the Incharge Brother Job made me go to TPM ministry as a candidate from Trichy Center. I guess that he had some issues with his Coimbatore Center Pastor Johnson or he wanted to do some favour to Pas Gunaseelan, the Center Pastor of Trichy. Anyways I was soon handed over to Pas. Gunaseelan in Trichy. A bird in the cage is easy to be transported.
No sooner did I reach Trichy that Pas. Gunaseelan made me do all kinds of work including electrical work and plumbing work along with other worker brothers. I enjoyed doing that work in the so-called “House of God”. The TPM workers in the Center FH encouraged me. They said that I had done the best thing in discontinuing my studies and surrendering for the full-time ministry. They further told me that I will be blessed henceforth. It’s a different matter that the brothers who were tapping me for quitting my studies were mostly school dropouts. But to my surprise one worker Brother Stephen chided me for coming to the ministry. He told that since I was from a medical background they will only assign me duties of nursing sick Center Pastors and not allow me to do any gospel ministry.
Life of a Masseur and Initial training
I was retained at Trichy Center Faith Home for about a week. Though all my work was sandwiched between two Praisings (One at 4 am and another at 10 pm), there was a topping to this “sandwich”. It was in the form of massaging (full body) the Center Pastor Gunaseelan every night after 11 pm with olive oil while he lay in his undies. I would like to say that after night 11 pm most of the TPM faith homes simply transforms into SPA Centers. One will find juniors massaging seniors invariably. I was doing all the assigned work with due diligence but after about 5 days of my stay at Trichy, Pastor Gunaseelan caught hold of me while I was massaging him, just as Potiphar’s wife caught hold of Joseph. He made me hold his erected penis. I was too shocked to react but soon rushed out of the room and told a Worker Brother named Joel (Now in Adyar Center) outside his room. This incident was the crescendo of me listening and doing everything for Pas. Gunaseelan. He used to make me shave the hairs of his legs too…Yuck…disgusting.
The next day Pas Gunaseelan saw me but he had no remorse on his face, he was conducting meetings in his usual self. This nasty fleshly minded Pas Gunaseelan used to misbehave even with sisters. He told the singer worker sister Sweetlin Brinda the following
“Submit yourself to me and I will make you the Queen”.Gunaseelan to Sweetlin Brinda
During one meeting the carnal minded Gunaseelan was heard telling to the workers,
“If you have come to serve Jesus you cannot be here, if you are in this house you have to serve the saints of God”.Gunaseelan
Seeing the mask coming out of these wolves I was perturbed. I came to serve Jesus but here it was all different. However, I was delivered from the clutches of Gunaseelan as I was informed that I along with three other newly recruited worker sisters were to be moved to Irumbilyur, Chennai for training. The cage is being moved again.
Pas Gunaseelan and the Center Mother accompanied us to Irumbilyur and took us to the Chief Pastor N. Stephen. Pas Gunaseelan gave me an envelope with money (the amount I don’t know) to give to the Chief Pastor. Let me inform you that while I was in Trichy Center Faith Home my Grandfather visited Pas Gunaseelan and gave him some money on my behalf. In TPM, brothers and sisters, invariably, when they join TPM ministry, are supposed to give money to all the who’s who of Irumbiliyur. Though nobody acknowledges this in public, it sure is a requirement. After meeting the Chief Pastor, I was handed over to the Training Incharge.
The Training Schedule
Irumbiliyur Convention ground is an eerie place when there is no convention or meetings. Suddenly I was feeling lonely and homesick at Irumbiliyur- the “mecca” of TPM. I spoke with some senior workers, whom I already knew, about my condition. They told me “You have now put on white juba and mundu so don’t even think of leaving”. Soon I adjusted with my circumstances and fell in line with the TPM Training Schedule for the new entrants as mentioned below:
|3:45 AM||Wake up|
|3:55 AM||Report for Morning Praising at Meeting Hall|
|4:00-5:00 AM||Morning Praising|
|5:00-5:15 AM||Bible reading at the Meeting hall|
|5:15-5:45 AM||Nature’s call/Freshening up / Coffee|
|5:55 AM||Report for the Morning Prayer session|
|6:00-9:00 AM||Morning Prayer|
|9:30-11:00 AM||Get Together Praying Session at our Staying quarters|
|11:00 AM-01:00 PM||Assigned duty such as Sweeping, Watchman, Construction work, Motor room duty, Kitchen duty, Serving duty, etc|
|1:00 -1:30 PM||Lunch break|
|1:30 – 5:55 PM||Continue your Assigned duty|
|3:00 – 4:00 PM||Accounts and Hindi Classes|
|5:55 PM||Report for an Evening Prayer session|
|6:00 – 8:00 PM||Evening Prayer|
|8:00 – 8:30 PM||Dinner|
|8:30 – 9:55 PM||Revelation Note, Pending works if any from your Assigned duty, Washing Clothes, Self-hygiene time|
|10:00 -11:00 PM||Night Praising|
|11:00pm – 04:00 AM||Shift wise Chain prayer. Shift changes every one hour|
The training worker staying quarters was the balcony area in the Main Convention Hall. We were given only mats to sleep and the gap between two mats should not be less than 1 feet.
Life in the TPM Concentration Camp
SLEEPLESSNESS, STARVATION AND FEAR EMPLOYED TO CONTROL THE RECRUITS
A quick look of the aforesaid packed training schedule will reveal that a training worker hardly gets a cumulative 3 hours and 45 minutes to sleep. Only when our night chain prayer timings are from 11:00 PM to 12:00 PM or 3:00 AM to 4:00 AM do we get the luxury of sleeping continuously for 3 hours and 45 minutes. Senior brothers on watchers duty are assigned to wake up the training brothers at 3:45 AM and also for their respective chain prayer shifts. Being woken up forcefully is the worst part of the training. It’s not that we love sleeping, but the tired, sleep-deprived body hardly responds. Even God was gracious when he commanded a day of rest in
Deut: 5: 14 (…..that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou).
But now I can correlate and confirm that through SLEEP DEPRIVATION they intend to brainwash the new entrants into submission. Sleep deprivation method is used by most of the cults to push in their doctrines and TPM as a cult is no exception. All the recruits are bound to arrive for all the meetings 5 minutes in advance. Any delay will be noted as “absent” by secret observers.
Arriving late for any meetings and disobedience to seniors is dealt in a strong way. You will be called by the In-charge and most of the time scolded in public very rudely and loudly. I have witnessed many such dressing down in the dining hall in front of all other recruits. Maybe it’s a psychological move to instil fear in others too. The In-charge workers behaved like the taskmasters who made the life of Israelites miserable in Egypt. There is also one more punishment which is like the BOX IN THE PRISON. In this type of punishment, you will be sent to 24X7 fasting prayer room and forced to take fasting. I can never call it “fasting” as this fasting is not voluntary, but forced. Hence this 24X7 Fasting prayer room punishment is simply punishment by starvation but covered under the garb of prayer. Based on the mood of the in-charge and the severity of one’s “crime” one may be cast into the 24X7 fasting prayer room ranging from 1 day to 7 days without food and sleep. I REPEAT WITHOUT FOOD AND SLEEP 24 X 7.
An Overdose of Standing on Knees
The Bible tells us how the saints worshipped and praised God on their knees but nowhere does the Bible say that it was forced upon God’s people. God loves a cheerful giver. But a trainee worker is forced to stand on the knees for approximately 6 hours and 15 minutes daily. (Morning Praising: 1 hour + Bible reading: 15 mins + Morning Prayer: 1 ½ hour + Get Together Prayer session: 1 ½ hour + Evening Prayer: 1 ½ hour + Night Praising: 1 hour). My knees used to bleed but soon my body adapted to the stressed condition. But I can tell you that all were enduring the pain because of the fear of punishment and not out of devotion. The In-Charge workers used to say that we should die in the ministry and dying while kneeling is glorious. I am still trying to find a supporting verse for the same from the Bible.
Falling down like a pack of cards during praising
Imagine the ordeal of getting up after hardly 3 ½ hours of sleep and standing on your knees at 4 o’clock in the morning and similarly at 11 o’clock in the night after a daylong work. The spirit indeed would be willing, but the flesh totally weak. During praising we were just tuned to say continuous “Praise the Lord” for the points told by the In-charge. The repetitive “Praise the Lord”s were mechanical and from semi-conscious minds. The funniest part while kneeling down used to be the falling of one trainee because of unbearable sleep on the adjacent worker and just like a pack of cards all the workers in that row used to fall down one after the other like a pack of cards. Well, this used to happen in the same hall where the entire “Zion bound” were jumping and rolling during their Ordination in March convention in front of the public.
Bible studies all pointing to their saints
There was nothing theological about the Bible studies for the trainees. The studies given to workers are totally different from what they preach to believers during Bible studies and Sunday service. To the trainees the preaching was all about TPM doctrines, TPM Saints, obeying TPM saints, how to preach TPM doctrine to people. All the preachers including Pas Kesavan used to praise TPM workers during their preaching sessions. No one used to highlight Jesus in their preaching.
I still wonder how one In-Charge Brother named K. Samuel told
“Inside TPM you have to be led by the saints and not by the Holy Spirit”.
K Samuel (TPM in-Charge Brother)
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”Rom 8:14
Maybe they are inadvertently speaking the truth that they are NOT the sons of God.
Account Classes for the Educated
Account classes used to be held for trainees who are 10th pass and above. School dropouts are not eligible for this class. The classes used to be conducted by Sis Selvi or Sis Kavitha. The main aim of these theoretical classes was to prepare the trainees to handle money when they become In-Charges in various faith homes. The basic things that they taught were as follows:
- Accounts to be maintained under two heads- Local Church account and Centre account. Tithes and offerings to be maintained in Local Church account. Donations and rich offerings under Center account.
- Maintaining bills and vouchers
- Money flow should be unidirectional i.e., all money after basic expenses should be given to Center Pastor. No one ever spoke about giving any money to the poor in charity.
Sickroom for the privileged
I grew up hearing all about divine healing and anything related to medical as evil from the pulpits of TPM. I thought that since I joined TPM ministry I would never be associated with anything related to the medical stream. However, my medical background found its own value at Irumbiliyur. Once I was called to the Sickroom (a special room where the sick is nursed) to clean the wounds of a worker brother from Nepal. To my surprise, the sick room was stocked with cotton, medical gauze, spirit, surgical forceps, surgical blades, scissors, knives and many other things required for surgical procedures. However, I didn’t find any medicine, syringes or tablets. But one believer who was a Doctor by profession, from Medavakam (Locality in Chennai) used to visit the sick room with his stethoscope and box containing medicines, etc. He used to apply for medicine and treat some cases. Though this exercise was done clandestinely, it will be wrong to say that these things were unknown to the Chief Pastors, Sis Kumari and Training In-Charges.
Being from a medical background I never thought that it was wrong to treat the sick in the best possible way but the double standards infuriated me. All trainees from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh could observe the partiality in providing sick room access to them. While trainees from North India, Kerala, Nepal and Abroad got easy access to the Sickroom but the same ease was not visible for TN and AP trainees. Since the restrictions on taking medicines are strict in TN and AP, we spilling the beans to our family and friends might be the reason for their partial behaviour.
Remember the rule that the gap between mats should not be less than 1 feet? Well, it’s a leash! I will not explain in details but let me tell you there are umpteen cases of the sin mentioned in Romans 1: 27 (“…Men committed shameful acts with other men,…”) among the senior and junior brothers at the training centre. The reason is also mentioned in the same verse “In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another”. If these “man-made eunuchs” are allowed to go out and marry and not threatened with curses then I am sure no one would indulge in such acts. When you stop NATURAL RELATIONS as mentioned in the Bible, UNNATURAL RELATIONS are bound to arise.
Zero Effect of Ironfisted training on my seniors
I could visualize the effect of the year-long training on my seniors who were there in Irumbilyur. Since they were allowed to go out and conduct meetings in nearby local faith homes, many possessed mobile phones and money secretly. I observed that whatever we were taught NOT to do in the training was just thrown out of the window in their case. Again it’s not about keeping money or using mobiles but doing it as a thief perturbed me. Many used to hide their pint-sized mobile phones inside their underwear.
The real behaviour of Bro Teju Kurien Exposed
As mentioned in the first part of my testimony, Bro Teju Kurien was my Idol. He played a big role in me opting for this TPM ministry. But I was in for a shock after I became a TPM minister and started wearing the same uniform (juba) like him. When I saw him and made efforts to meet him in the Recording studio he refused to meet me and passed instructions not to allow me into the Studio to meet him. I was appalled at his behaviour which was very different and honey-laced when I was a believer. Somehow once I gathered the courage to meet him and told him that I am not liking to do this ministry anymore. He simply replied “You have come inside, don’t ever think of going out. Period”. Though he didn’t speak to me he spoke very nicely with North Indian and Foreign Trainees (Mostly believers from Kerala who came to ministry from the Middle East). I was happy that the Lord showed me the arrogant nature of my former idol.
All my perception of the TPM full-time ministry collapsed like a pack of cards. There was nothing spiritual. It was all RULES AND REGULATIONS. I failed to see the LOVING JESUS mentioned in Matthew 11: 28-29
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.Matt 11:28-29
The workers who were so friendly when I was a believer were very grumpy during training. I was trying hard to convince myself to stay in the ministry. I feared that if I left the ministry, I will be cursed and cast into hell, as repeatedly hammered into my subconscious mind through different preachers in the training.
Failed attempt to flee the cage
I was nearing almost three months of my training at Irumbiliyur. I was totally disillusioned with TPM ministry. They were practising the opposite of what they preached. The torture was unbearable. I thought that I was a misfit for this ministry and it will be better if I remain as a believer in TPM. One day I was doing watchman duty at the Kitchen Gate of Irumbiliyur. I just walked out of the gate. But as soon as I travelled from the Kitchen Gate to the Main Gate of Irumbilyur, I was again bogged by the thought of being forever cursed and ostracized. My heart started beating heavily. I changed my mind and rushed back to the Kitchen Gate. By this time I was missing for almost one hour from the suspicious eyes of the seniors. I was taken to Pas Kesavan, who gave me a long lecture and frightened me with curses for me and my family. As punishment, he told me to go and be in the 24X7 fasting prayer room (Remember the BOX in the prison?) for 1 day. This meant NO SLEEP AND NO FOOD for the next 24 hours. I went to the 24X7 Prayer room. However, I could not control my hunger. I slipped into the dining hall and had some food. Soon this news reached Pas Kesavan. Again I found myself in the court of Pas Kesavan. Like an evil taskmaster, he pronounced the punishment for having food, without trying to understand my pain and agony. This time the punishment was 7 times more severe – 7 days in the 24X7 fasting prayer room. And a brother, one year senior to me, was deputed to keep a watch on me so that I don’t go and have food. This brother used to follow me even when I was going to the washroom. This brother used to designate some other brother to watch over me when he went to eat or sleep.
But I would like to inform everyone that God helped me in these starving times. Some of the Serving duty brothers took pity on me and gave me food secretly. However, I was deprived of sleep.
During my days in the fasting prayer room, I read the four gospels carefully. I thought even if I complete the training here in one year, they will transfer me to a Center faith home and I was not sure how I will be able to handle Pastors like Gunaseelan. I thank God that He gave me the courage and finally, breaking the shackles of slavery at Irumbilyur, I walked out through the Main Gate on the 7th day of my punishment during the Morning Praising time. Three months of training at Irumbiliyur had mentally dragged me to the Stone Age.
I knocked on the door of one of my MBBS friend in Chennai. I called my parents and informed them of my decision. Soon pressure was exerted from Irumbiliyur to my local Faith Home in Coimbatore, where Bro Job and Sister Sheeba were still doing their so-called ministry. Sis Sheeba who bombarded me with invitations for joining the ministry was literally shouting and cursing my family for my action. My grandfather came rushing to the hostel and conveyed to me that the higher-ups at Irumbiliyur had given me 24 hours grace period to return to Irumbiliyur. When I turned down the offer he left. Soon my Father and younger Brother (who stopped going to TPM when he saw the extracurricular activities of the TPM workers in our local FH) came to Chennai and took me to my home in Coimbatore district.
The next Sunday Bro. Job, who had pushed me into TPM ministry with love laced words, was literally shouting at my family. He debarred my family from attending meetings at the faith home. My mother was in tears. We had never attended meetings of any other denominations because we were told that TPM with its deeper doctrines was the only way to heaven. For around six months we were at home without going to any fellowship. In January 2018, both Bro Job and Sis Sheeba were transferred and another set of workers came. They knew us well. They called us and told that you can attend meetings at the local FH. We were happy and started going to the FH regularly. But no believers spoke well with me. As there was no one to play the Keyboard in my FH, I was given that assignment. Soon I found myself assisting the worker brother of our FH in visiting and translation.
Though things seemed normal, I was sad, depressed and helpless. I had quit studies and my future was uncertain. But God had a plan for me. I started to read the Bible and soon I got a sober mind. I started hearing messages of non-TPM Pastors such as Pas John Piper through Youtube. I also stumbled upon the articles from the site fromtpm.com. I understood that the celibacy ministry of TPM is the biggest deception on the youths. Please go through the numerous articles on this site. Now it is more than 3 months I stopped attending TPM meetings. IT’S A CULT. BEWARE!
Merciful God helped me to join back my studies and by the grace of God, my studies are on track now.
I know my testimony is too lengthy but if I don’t mention the torture that I faced inside this cult it will be unknown to the outside world. My aim is that no youths should get trapped in this monstrous organization. The TPM workers are trained to play and act in front of the believers. Their talk of holiness is very shallow. The chief Pastors get full information about the abuse done by the Center Pastors but they will act blind. The most they will do is just give them a transfer. Will, they ever thrust out the perverts as St. Paul mentions in 1 Cor 5:13?
13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you1 Cor 5:13
The few who are good and maintain their chastity are silenced or are mute spectators to the manipulations and abominations happening inside this cult. Many know the evil deeds of TPM but having lost their heydays within this cult they are worried about their future outside the comforts of TPM.
Please pray for me fervently. I am expecting a firm reciprocation/retribution from the workers who know me. TPM can go to any extent to save their golden calf.
All glory to God for saving me!
Click here to read the Tamil translation of this testimony section 2