My first meeting with these people was at El Paso, Texas. I was hitch-hiking and had already decided to look for a group to this to join. I had already been with the Salvation Army, the Franciscans and had just left the Jesus People, whom I had spent a year with. It was as if these brothers knew when to show up.
They are totally vegetarian using verses from the book of Genesis to justify that belief. They are totally non-violent, celibate and believe that Jesus Christ walks on this earth in the form of a man. They wear white robes to signify purity. Although they do not work for monetary gain, they do work to help others. They justify the use of Marijuana for meditational purposes, also by using verses from Genesis.
The conversion took place at a truckstop. We spent several days in El Paso, witnessing that the Christ had returned. The spanish population was more recieving then their American counterparts. We left El Paso by train. This was the first time that I had ever illegally rode a freight train. This ride took us to San Antonio.
During this trip, the border patrol came on the train at one point looking for illegal Mexicans. They reacted to us as though they were used to seeing these people on their trains.
At this point, I had thrown away my glasses and destroyed all identification of any type which I had with me. I was totally dependent on God to provide that which I needed.
At San Antonio, we started walking north toward Dallas. My feet were bleeding all during that first week. Understand that in the non-violence, they included as a symbol of that non-violence the act of walking barefoot. My first encounter with the press happened during this part of the trip. It was during this encounter that I learned of their refusal to allow personal photos to be taken. No reason was given. I have since learned of the isolation philosophy of such groups and see this as another form of that philosophy.
At Dallas, we joined up with others of this group. When I first walked into that camp, it was like being joining one large family. I know that I needed and wanted that feeling and that has got to be one of the major attractions of groups like this.
We continued to travel north from Dallas.
At Nashville Tennessee, stayed at a Carmelite Convent. The acceptance of the Catholic Church was complete.
At Kansas City, the brothers which I was traveling with (myself included), were picked up by the police. I officially took the name of Malachi, denouncing in public and on police record all ties to my former name and identity. As it turned out, the police only wanted to know who we were.
Finally ended up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was at this point, two year later that I decided to leave these people. I could not accept all that they taught. I never saw the Jesus they claimed to follow. I was told that I had possibly met him without any recognition because I wasn't ready. I walked out at night while the others were sleeping to avoid any debates.
I hold these brothers and sisters no bad feelings or thoughts. They
did me no wrong. If anything, they are misguided and need to be prayed
for. It is the man that they follow who will be held accountable, as an
anti-christ, on judgement day. May God have mercy on his soul...