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of a Cult
Visit to The Overcomer;
G. Stair’s Socialist View of God’s Kingdom.
By Mark Murtomaki
A Visit to The
Overcomer January 1995.
title: Diary of a Cult. A Visit to
the Overcomer; Ralph G. Stair’s
Socialist View of God’s
Kingdom. June 1995
printing: March 1996
by Mark Murtomaki; El Cajon, California.
portion of this book may be used out of context for any reason.
This book may not be copied within the first two
years without written letter from the author which will be obtained by writing
for one to insure you have the latest copy..
Xpa, NY. 12020
to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, even God Almighty, who created all things in
truth as preserved in the Authorized King
James Version exclusively.
thanks to those who helped with this project.
This book is strictly educational.
In the total scheme of the events which are occurring in this troubled
world, this story is among the most insignificant. It is because of my knowledge
of the current and tragic events unfolding in world history that I found myself,
like many others, seeking to understand the forces capable of orchestrating such
a massive world conspiracy against all that is decent. Too, I found myself confused about the extreme apathy of the
populations of people who, when told of the dangers which await them, turn their
heads toward those who preach of peace and safety and defame the bringers of
truth and warning.
It is God who brought me to the truth.
It is God who showed me that his Word will be fulfilled. And it is God who brought me through the events about which I
write; though the story is of minor import, it is still valuable as a witness to
This story is about a visit I made to a “Christian’ community, called
the Overcomer, headed by Ralph G.
Stair. Located in a picturesque
little town of Walterboro, South Carolina, the Overcomer
ministry has become world known over the fantastic influence of Short Wave radio
broadcasts - acknowledgeably the last harbinger of truthful world news.
My visit with the Overcomer
people lasted only a week. Granted,
not much can be learned about an entire organization and its people in such a
short time. My story is one sided;
from my point of view; but told as truthful as I can possibly tell it.
It is not my intent to attack anyone by this writing, though I am sure
some may accuse me of doing so. It
is my hope that those who this tells of will also find a positive help in it as
to make them better representatives of Christianity than they currently are.
Whenever possible I used the true first names of the characters.
A few individual’s names escaped me, or were not learned.
Substitutions are indicated. No
sir-names are revealed so as to protect the identities of anyone choosing to
leave the Overcomer community.
I kept a personal log of events as they happened from day to day, so none
of the events or conversations are exaggerations.
I only wish I had had a tape recorder along. It was not my intention from the beginning to write a book,
but I had the feeling from the beginning that I should keep a notes.
I’m glad I did.
In late June of 1994, after much consideration over the passed six
months, I made arrangements to move to East Texas where, in a small town called
Gladewater, I joined “Brother Ben” on his twenty-four acre forested
property. My plan was to leave
California for good, to live on and
help farm Brother Ben’s land, and help him with his ministry effort Seventieth Week Magazine. At
the time, Brother Ben had a short-wave radio broadcast on WWCR, and I wanted to
encourage that as well. However, those plans changed due to some unforeseen
circumstances and I felt I had to leave Gladewater after six months..
Since I didn’t want to go back to California, I thought hard about my
next move. (Brother Ben’s
magazine Seventieth Week can be
ordered by writing P.O. Box 771, Gladewater, Texas, 75647.)
For more than three years I had conversed with a fellow named Ralph G.
Stair (“Brother Stair”) who has a short wave radio broadcast over WWCR (of
Nashville, Tennessee) out of Walterboro, South Carolina.
Stair is the head of an organization called The Overcomer.
Attached to the Overcomer’s outreach program is a fully operational diversified
eighty acre farm and “Christian” commune.
I telephoned Stair and told him I would like to come and see his
operation, and possibly stay and work on the farm for three months to learn
about Christian living and farming. He
accepted this idea with one stipulation; “As long as you behave yourself ,”
I was not completely ignorant of Ralph Stair’s personality.
I had some concern about a personality clash between us, but I reasoned
that good Christian folk could always work out their differences over a period
of time. I made the decision to
make the 1250 mile trip, said good-bye to my friends in Texas, loaded up the
Volkswagen Vanagon and Datsun long bed trailer, and was on my way by December 6,
It is no easy trip across
country in an “81 Vanagon towing a trailer, and I knew it was a big decision.
I wanted the journey to be worth the while, not to mention the expense,
for prospect of returning the 3000
miles to California didn’t appeal to me.
I became excited about learning all I could about diversified farming,
and I felt very strongly that God was sending me in this direction.
I put all of my concerns onto God’s shoulders.
In retrospect, everything that occurred on this trip had a purpose.
Overall it turned out to be a great test of faith.
My purpose for going to the Overcomer
was kept secret from me and revealed only when the entire experience was over. From the first day, by God, I knew to write everything
down. The following is the shocking
account taken from my personal notes of that short seven days visit to the Overcomer.
Other than spelling and sentence syntax corrections, the following is
just as I originally wrote it from my notes.
Please excuse any roughness in the writing.
A Quick Lesson
from our Past
In 1620, the Pilgrims Fathers of America landed at Plymouth rock to start
a new community on the new land. Divine
providence had given them an enclave of relative safety in a hostile land.
They first set up a society based on communal sharing.
It was their plan from the beginning to have a “communist” society. In many ways it was set up under the most favorable
conditions. They were isolated from
outside influences, and they were desperately motivated to survive due to that
isolation. They also had a strong
religious conviction and were fraternally inclined toward one another.
They were young and industrious people.
Their leader was Governor William Bradford.
Here is what Bradford wrote of this experiment in communal living:
“This community... was found to breed much confusion and discontent and
retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort.
For the young men that were most fit for labor and service did repine
that they should spent their time and strength to work for other men’s wives
and children without any recompense. The
strong... had no more division in victuals and clothes than he that was weak and
not able to do a quarter the other could. This
was thought an injustice... and for men’s wives to be commanded to do service
for other men, as dressing their meet, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed
it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it.”
Yes, even in devout Christian societies, communism always turns into a
dictatorship where some will be slaves to the commands to others. The colonists would have continued to endure this socialistic
society if it had been productive. However,
severe problems arose. The
involuntary servitude which developed caused many to act harshly and dishonestly
toward one another. The weak were
mistreated and the strong became unwilling to work without threat of force.
The colonist soon faced starvation!
Bradford continues, “At length, after much debate... the governor gave
way that they should set corn every man for his own purpose and in that regard
trust to themselves... and assign to every family a parcel of land according to
the proportion of their number.”
In other words, the community discontinued the communal style of living
and set the law that every man would have to take care of himself if he were to
survive. In the course of one
year Bradford was able to report:
“This had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so
that much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been... The women now
went willing into the fields, and took their little ones with them to set corn,
which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would
have been thought great tyranny and oppression.”
Governor Bradford had discovered a great human secret; that a man will
compel himself to go much farther than he will permit any one else to compel him
to go. He continues: “...the
experience that was had in this common cause and condition, tried sundry years,
and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit
of Plato and other ancients - applauded by some in later times - that the taking
away of property, and bringing it into a commonwealth, would make them happy and
flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.”
The foregoing is exactly what I found being nurtured within the Overcomer
Community. The men and women were
so contentious, so untrustworthy amongst each other, so oppressed by their
leader(s), that I found the living there intolerable even for the short time. Does Ralph G. Stair, the professed “Last Days Prophet,”
think himself wiser than God? I do
truly believe he does at times. If
the Overcomer community is to survive,
they will have to make great and drastic changes.
Its members are intelligent and will only stand their servitude for a
time. Members will continue to
splinter off with discontent and bitter feelings, and possibly with a destroyed
faith in our Lord Jesus Christ - God forbid.
This community serves as a direct example of the fact that those who
refuse to learn from the past are destined to repeat it to their own
four-hundred years ago our founding Fathers found out that the human spirit is
not fit for the confinement of communal service.
Anyone who thinks that God has this in plan for his soon to come Kingdom
is grossly mistaken!!
Return to Index Proceed to Chapter 1