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Monday, November 26, 2012

Another Broken Family in IHOP's Wake

I want to share an email I received from a woman named Julie.  She wrote:

Dear Susan,

I read your book House of Lies and I was in tears part way through because my son is in IHOP in Kansas City and I haven’t spoken with him in over a year.  He stopped returning my calls after telling me he was advised to ‘fast from his family.’ He believes that IHOP is his true family and that his life’s focus is to pray in the end of the world, to be in God’s end time army.  He’s left myself, my husband and his two little sisters behind, not to mention all of his friends.  I’ve gone to the IHOP campus and I’ve been in the prayer room.  The buildings aren’t as you described in your book, but the people are.  They speak in their own language and the aura of arrogance is more than troubling.  When my son first got involved, I went to pray in the prayer room often and it is exactly as you described it in the book.  The repetitive chanting and deep mantra meditation, the swaying and often twitching, it resembles videos I’ve seen of mass hypnosis, and I never thought I believed in demons until I saw what is happening there.  The last time I tried to see my son, (which was last March) he waved to me from down the hall but refused to talk with me.  I was then asked to leave by a man I can only presume to be one of the leaders.  Because my son has cast us aside voluntarily and he is over 18 years, I have no legal recourse.  Mine and my husband’s hearts are broken.  But at least my son is still alive, which is more than what Bethany Deaton’s family has to hold onto.  I pray for them every day and mourn their loss from one mother’s heart to another.  Let no one tell you IHOP is not a cult, it is.  Anyone who speaks otherwise is deceived.  As I read your book I related to the character of Sally and of the McCulley’s, both with children trapped inside, both willing to do anything to get them out.  Maybe your book is prophetic.  Maybe someone will have the strength to blow up the place and save all of our children.  I pray it would be so.  God bless you and thank you for writing House of Lies.  I know it’s fiction, but for me, it affirmed my heart and told me that others see IHOP for what it really is.  Like you wrote, it’s a spiritual heroin. Your book made me realize I’m not alone and when others are ready to stand up and fight against this, my family will join in the battle. 

In HIS love,



There are many cult groups in our world and, though they all have their own agendas, there is one thread of commonality.  They destroy relationships, kill friendships and leave families utterly broken.  These things are not of God. 

Sadly, Julie’s letter is not the first I’ve received that has expressed these things.  She is one of many who are suffering because of IHOP and other cult-like organizations. 

Please, study every group from the foundation up before getting involved.  Just because something looks good and feels good doesn’t mean it is good for you.   ~


  1. Dear Susan and Julie,
    What you have described regarding this young man and his relationship with his family is heartbreaking. Something is desperately amiss. Not only does IHOP not teach or condone seperation from family, if you care to listen to the copious teaching content publicly available, you can hear Mike Bickle speak to thousands of people in Kansas City and around the world about the characteristics of a cult only a few weeks ago. Listen for the part where he says "if ANYONE tells you to cut off contact with your family, not call your mom and dad, RUN!!!". I can assure you that this young man is NOT being told to cut off his family. In fact, please contact IHOP with your concern, and the name of the young man, and ask for a leader to contact his family. I can assure you that it will be looked into. If he is a student, an intern, or a staff member, I assure you IHOP wants to know that he is cutting his family off. Absolutely not OK. Now, if he is someone who lives in KC, and comes to the prayer room to pray, and has made a personal decision to do this to his family - but is not a part of the staff or student body, that is different. I'm sure they would still want to know in order to encourage him to reunite with his family, if anyone knows who he is, but obviously there is a different level of involvement with staff/students vs. the general public. Please reach out - you will be surprised by what you find. Again, IHOP does not, would not, will not EVER encourage or suggest or ask students or staff to distance themselves from their families. Blessings to you both, An Informed Reader

  2. Anonymous do you have the link to the teaching on cults?

  3. Sure do :) Here is a recent teaching. The notes on the 7 characteristics of a cult have been on the IHOP website for years. Go to www.ihopkc.org, and it's on the front page.
    (for some reason this comment box won't allow me to edit my sentence above or paste the link I copied for you, but if you go to the ihopkc.org website, you will see it. The odd thing about IHOP being accused of being a cult is that literally every teaching - multiple a week - is posted online for all to see, and the prayer room is broadcast free 24/7...every moment can be observed. Cults are secretive. IHOP is an open book.). I hope this info is what you are looking for, and is helpful, On Da Road. :)

  4. This is not the same "Anonymous" who posted before, as I have the opposite view. There are many documented cases of young people at IHOP who have cut themselves off from their families. Do an internet search and you will find parents longing to be reunited with their children. The story of "Sadparent" comes to mind. She created a blog about what was going on with her son, but chose to take it down. It was a condition her son gave her to renew some contact. She was earnestly trying to warn others, but gave up in an effort to just have the hope of reconciliation with her son. (I pray that it has happened for them.) Of course, none of the leadership would ever say outright to cut off family members, but once a person has been indoctrinated and is kept in a highly suggestive mental state, it's quite easy to manipulate him/her, especially when the suggestion appears to be "from God." I am aware that IHOP looks good, like an open book, with a (semi)solid statement of faith, but I know from my own experience that it's a facade. Spiritual elitism and very little biblical fruit is what's going on there.
    Original "Anonymous," I know you may want to "dialogue" with me about this, but it's not my intention to engage in any discussion. Not becasue I can't defend my position, but because I've been there too many times with people who want to defend IHOP. We would most likely end up having circular arguments. I do ask that you would consider reading your bible WITHOUT the allegorical interpretation that IHOP teaches. This is how God opened my eyes to what I was into through the influence of IHOP. I know He will bless all those who sincerely seek the truth.


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