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Surviving a Cult / The Creation of Earth

Date Sunday - May 12, 2019
Host Richard Syrett
Guests Vennie KocsisHugh Ross

In 1973, Vennie Kocsis’ mother was recruited into a religious cult, Sam Fife's Move of God. Within five years, Kocsis and her family would be taken far into the Alaskan tundra to live at a compound monitored by armed men and surrounded by miles of wilderness. Now a cult researcher and advocate for cult survivors, Kocsis joined Richard Syrett in the first half of the program to share a harrowing first-person account of her ordeal inside the isolated commune of this ultra-fundamentalist religious cult. Her father was working for the military and was not home often when Kocsis’ mother was gradually drawn into Fife’s group. The parents divorced and the mother and children were moved to a compound in Massachusetts for indoctrination. They were split up and did not see each other more than a few times over the next four years.

During this time, Kocsis witnessed and was a victim of mistreatment, neglect, and even molestation at the hands of the cult leaders. As a twisted justification, one of the leaders once said that "children need to know evil so they can recognize it." Kocsis recalled that she was once made to sit in an ice bath and beaten so severely that she experienced a spontaneous OBE. Her brother ran away from the cult twice and was able to be placed in foster care. Kocsis says when she finally got out she "had missed a whole decade" of history outside of the cult. She warned that Move Of God still exists and still engages in the same activities. She concluded that "we are dealing with con men here."

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According to Hugh Ross, president of Reasons to Believe, an organization dedicated to integrating scientific fact and biblical faith, the more thoroughly researchers investigate the history of our planet, the more astonishing the story of our existence becomes. In the second half, he described his change from atheist to believer based on his studies and degrees in physics and astronomy. Ross emphasized his discovery that everything had to be "just right" to allow life to exist on Earth; from our position in the galaxy to the size of the sun to the thickness of Earth’s atmosphere and the influence of the moon.

The odds, Ross said, against life appearing at all in the universe are "ten to the 1050th power," which he compared to winning the California lottery 150 times in a row with different numbers. He also commented that the universe seems to be in just the right state to even allow us to observe it from our planet. He concluded that "it was made for us, and it was made for us to discover it." Since he sees humankind as a combination of incredibly rare circumstances, Ross has concluded that it is unlikely that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe. If it does, he added, the dangers of interstellar travel make it likely that would send machines rather than themselves.

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