Yesterday we introduced readers to the Texas-based charismatic/evangelical organisation ‘BRIDE Ministries’, where Angela Power-Disney states she received counselling for a year from an unqualified “biblically based coach” named Linda Craig.
Today we’re going to look a bit more deeply into the organisation, which describes itself as:
a 501C-3 non-profit organization who produces a number of ministry outreaches. We offer the Discovering the Truth with Dan Duval podcast, The Fire Place Church, Survivor Support Groups, Discipleship Classes, Conferences, Prayer Resources, Print Resources and more. We also underwrite the cost of DID coaching for survivors of Satanic Ritual Abuse and Government Sponsored Mind Control Projects. Your giving helps us to continue to underwrite the various ministry projects that are being established through BRIDE Ministries. All donations are 100% tax-deductible.
In the USA, a “501C-3 non-profit” organisation is one which has charitable status under their tax laws. Although they state that they “underwrite the cost” of DID coaching via donations, Executive Director Daniel Duval charges US$100/hour for his “coaching” services. A notation at the bottom of each “coach’s” page on the website states:
NOTE: BRIDE MINISTRIES CANNOT PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR YOUR BOOKING. PLEASE REACH OUT TO YOUR COACH DIRECTLY FOR SUPPORT.
It appears that this may be BRIDE Ministries’ way of bypassing laws which govern charitable organisations. While we’re not experts in such things, it seems to us that promoting the leaders of the organisation as providers of a fee-based service might represent a conflict of interest.
Christian community or cult?
As we looked into BRIDE Ministries’ core beliefs and structure, much of what we read set off alarm bells. As we’ve discussed here in the past, “cults” have certain identifying traits, such as:
- Accepting leadership of a person who claims special knowledge;
- Opposing critical thinking (which might contradict the group’s core beliefs);
- Isolating members (“shunning”) and penalising or berating them for leaving the group;
- Imposing excessive control over group members, and insisting upon loyalty to the group’s leader(s);
- Emphasising “special doctrines” which are particular to the group, and which outsiders don’t understand.
BRIDE Ministries, and its leader Dan Duval, seem to tick all of those boxes.
‘Dan Duval and the Spirit-Man heresy’: What are they teaching?
To understand some of the allegations others within the Charismatic Christian movement have made against Duval, we need to know that the Charismatic belief system involves an emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts, and modern-day miracles. According to Wikipedia,
Charismatic Christianity is diverse, and it is not defined by acceptance of any particular doctrines, practices, or denominational structures. Rather, renewalists share a spirituality characterized by a worldview where miracles, signs and wonders, and other supernatural occurrences are expected to be present in the lives of believers. This includes the presence of spiritual gifts, such as prophecy and healing.
The critiques we’ve heard of Duval have all emerged from other Charismatic Christians. We should note that belief in dissociative identity disorder (DID) and Satanic ritual abuse are rife amongst such groups. Duval’s critics are not upset that he is attempting to counsel people who have been diagnosed or self-identify with these issues, which we’ve identified as very problematic.
Rather, they claim that his approach moves beyond the bounds of Christianity, into the realm of “Christian witchcraft”. In this video, one of Duval’s critics accuses him of “straying into blatant occult practice and thinking”:
“The Truth is Stranger than Fiction”, the YouTuber who uploaded this video, says:
I was really taken aback by many of the things that I was hearing [two women who publicly split with BRIDE Ministries] say that were going on and being taught within BRIDE Ministries and Dan Duval that they did not know about until they had been there for a while….
And the way that they were treated once they started to raise questions and raised their concerns as to, like, if this is even, you know, this is Biblical practice, if this was Biblical teaching or not, and experienced a lot of the…you know, they were thrown under the bus, essentially, and they felt compelled to leave, and they were treated like they were questioning a cult, basically.
So it was extremely disturbing to hear the kinds of things that they said were going on in the name of Christian counselling, in the name of Christian teaching under the guise of spiritual warfare, and saying that essentially what it boils down to is ‘Christian witchcraft’.
That they are doing things such as astral projection. That they are engaging in a number of occult practices, and engaging with the spiritual realm in a way that is not of God.
After listening to a number of Duval’s older videos and podcasts, as well as a more recent live-stream on the “Fire Place Church”, where he heard Duval lay out some of his beliefs about the “spirit-man teaching”, the YouTuber says:
Essentially, what the spirit-man teaching is…is that first they lay down the groundwork of this very intricate teaching about the difference between the human soul and the human spirit and how as people we are three-fold, just like the Trinity, the Godhead is three-fold….
This is what they teach, that just like the Trinity is three in one, three persons in one, that we too are three persons in one, and that your soul and spirit are literally different persons with different…that within one human being there are different personalities capable of independent thought. …
So your spirit is in the spirit realm and is seated with Christ in the heavens, and is also connected to your soul, and so…somehow through the last few years of getting involved with this quote-unquote counselling, which the more I learn about it the more I don’t even think what they’re doing could even qualify as counselling, and in some way they’ve sort of been reverse-engineering a lot of the programming techniques originally done to these victims of ritual abuse….
He describes how Duval and his associates conduct their “counselling”:
They call it ‘system work’, right, because a programmed person has this inner person where they’re divided into all these alters, and then their internal psyche is organised into a system. A lot of times it’s in the form of a building or a house, and so different memories, different thoughts, different programming is organised into these different rooms, in different parts of the house.
So what they call counselling is where they do this system work where they’re going through this system, going through the programming, and basically using things like visualisation where they will visualise Jesus going through the rooms of this person’s system, which all of that I would say is incredibly suspect.
The bottom line is that as horrific as this is to even imagine that Dan Duval and other folks at BRIDE Ministries are using these counselling sessions, quote-unquote, to learn occult concepts, because they’re…basically using programming techniques themselves but calling it healing and calling it therapy, and so out of this has been born a whole host of really horrific false teaching.
So they’re saying that as part of our natural makeup…is that we have this spirit person that exists in the spiritual realm, who has a separate identity, you know, a separate consciousness, that you can actually summon, and talk to, and send out on assignments. Essentially, it is this Christianised version of a spirit guide. But you think it’s yourself.
You think this being that you are engaging with and talking to and learning from and so on is just a part of your own self, even though it’s a separate entity, you know, it has its own intelligence and its own personality. But you think you’re talking to yourself. And so you provide an avatar for a demonic entity, which is what all of the occult is all about. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re talking to ancestors, or aliens, or ascended masters, these are different masks that the demons wear….you know, they just will take on that persona.
And everything that I’m hearing is rife with this, and it’s just really really disturbing.
Let’s just pause to note that while we’re not wholly conversant with charismatic Christian beliefs and precepts, it does seem that what Duval is saying, and what he and his associates are doing as “coaches”, does not sound like anything we learned in Sunday school.
It’s easy to see how this sort of teaching would seem deeply dangerous and, yes, heretical to Christians, particularly those who believe in the literal existence of demons.
The YouTuber notes the “heavy use of coded language, just even things like ‘spiritual warfare'”:
They’re talking about spiritual warfare, and you think, well, that’s a valid thing…most people, that just means ‘prayer’. But really what they mean is going into the spiritual realm, they even call it ‘travelling in the spirit’, and they have different charismatic, seemingly Christian names for things….
They are engaging with what they believe are angels—they think they’re talking to angels and sending angels out on assignment, and doing all these things ‘in the spirit’—i.e., in the spiritual realm. And it’s just pure witchcraft. These people are practising witchcraft in the name of Jesus. …
They have all sorts of crazy teachings involving these ‘redemptive gifts’ and the ‘shining ones’, and the armour of God, and you name it, they’ve got some sort of code word, all sorts of coded language that is really talking about things that are straight out of the dark arts, but they’ve convinced themselves…that they’re talking to God, that they’re talking to their own spirit person, talking to angels, and doing all these things for the sake of God’s kingdom. They think they’re actually fighting the enemy rather than, you know, sadly, doing Satan’s bidding.
We wonder how Angela would feel if she knew that her “coach” was actually helping her to adopt beliefs which are antithetical to charismatic Christianity, and was enabling her to “do Satan’s bidding”?
‘Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth…’
A woman named Pam, who left BRIDE Ministries, describes Duval’s excitement at the prospect of setting up the “Fire Place Church”:
During our ongoing discipleship classes, Daniel announced his plans to start an online church, and talked about how he had seen, in the spirit, a room that was filled with gold and precious gems solely for himself. He said that he believed all of his ministry would be funded abundantly, and that he just needed to execute the mission.
He later asked me to be a group leader for one of the small group classes he had planned to offer, and to also consider being a teacher in the discipleship training courses. I understood that I wouldn’t be paid for any of these positions, and Daniel implied that it would be “my gift” to his ministry. …
I started noticing that he often shared how excited he was about how much money would flow into him, to allow “God’s” plans to be fulfilled, and he talked a lot about how much money was going to be given to him. Several times, I personally witnessed him freely and openly share his elation over “being told in the spirit” how vast amounts of money would flow into his ministry to further “God’s” kingdom. He called this “a supernatural wealth transfer.”
In addition to this rather non-Jesus-like preoccupation with earthly treasure, Duval is described as having some interesting ideas about power on earth:
He also put a great emphasis on ruling and governing realms before Messiah could return. This was part of Daniel’s “Kingdom Government/Sheep Nations” teachings that I began to realize are identical to the NAR/Seven-Mountain Mandate teachings.
According to GotQuestions.org, the “Seven Mountain Mandate” is an “anti-Biblical” and “damaging” movement which has taken hold in some charismatic Christian churches:
Those who follow the seven mountain mandate believe that, in order for Christ to return to earth, the church must take control of the seven major spheres of influence in society for the glory of Christ. Once the world has been made subject to the kingdom of God, Jesus will return and rule the world.
The seven “mountains” or “spheres of influence” are:
So…pretty much everything, then. Basically, it looks as though Duval and his followers believe in the need for a worldwide Charismatic Christian theocracy. Handmaid’s Tale, anyone?
‘As above, so below’
Pam also writes,
Daniel also promoted his book, “Kingdom Government and the Promise of Sheep Nations,” during the classes. He used selected information from that book in our “Kingdom” class, and it seemed very strange to me that he kept reciting “as above so below” in one of the classes, to try to explain a Biblicalconcept. This phrase was something that he also used in his book, when he wrote that this phrase is “occult, meaning they reveal hidden wisdom that utilizes demonic assistance to carry out certain things.”
This is a huge red flag! Why would Christians think that an occult concept can explain a Scriptural concept? Lies and truth will never mix!
Whatever one thinks of occultism or Christianity, that choice of phrase does seem very peculiar, associated as it is with Hermeticism and other occult traditions. Duval’s version of Christianity seems extremely unusual.
It’s not terribly surprising that some of his followers, who probably signed on thinking they would be immersing themselves in a particular brand of Christianity, felt confused and betrayed.
How BRIDE Ministries deals with defectors
One of the first things we noticed about Duval and BRIDE Ministries was this post, in which Duval excoriated two women, Carolyn Hamlett and Loren Grace, for leaving the organisation in 2016/17.
I, Carolyn Hamlett, have left BRIDE Ministries, The Fire Place Church, and everything associated with Daniel Duval and his ministries.
There is a parting of the ways because I find their new doctrines to be New Age, heretical and against the teachings in the Word of God and DANGEROUS!
Once this was brought to Daniel Duval’s attention, I discovered that he agreed with these heresies which are being pushed by some of the BRIDE Ministry and The Fire Place Church administrators.
BRIDE Ministries is now working in concert with some ministries that are teaching New Age and Luciferian doctrine disguised as Christianity. This is VERY dangerous! I will be coming out with information soon which will clarify the specifics.
In December 2016, she added:
I was not the first person who saw that Daniel Duval was teaching pure Luciferian doctrines and techniques. A few before me took this same matter to Daniel Duval according to the Biblical way to approach a brother in error. The consequence of these honest and well meaning people’s actions is that they were promptly ousted and lied about by Daniel Duval and Darla Carver Guerra which worked to discourage others from being in contact with those people and certainly not believing them if they were to contact those people.
I just happen to be the first victim who has a voice to speak the truth and for that truth to be heard.
The day after I posted my public announcement, Daniel Duval posted his own. It is no surprise that everything Daniel Duval said in regards to me in his announcement are complete lies. Why do people lie? To hide the truth! And as I just mentioned, I am not the first person who has been a threat to what he is hiding and probably not the last person either.
Many people have thanked me for making my public announcement as it was confirmation to them as to why they had not been able to listen to Daniel Duval for months and that they were not alone in their seeing that Daniel Duval was teaching heresy.
Others have condemned me for making the announcement public and accused me of some really terrible things.
This follows the traditional template for cult defectors: Carolyn and those who followed her out of BRIDE Ministries were shunned by the leadership, and others who remained within the group were encouraged to have nothing to do with them.
Rather than addressing their concerns, Duval states that he was “silent for a year and a half”, following which he published a long, vitriolic post and video about the women who’d dared to leave.
He accuses them of “attempting to take down a ministry through division” and says that Hamlett was “programmed” to infiltrate his organisation and destroy it. He lists both Hamlett’s and Grace’s “offences” against himself and BRIDE Ministries, and ends with “messages” from others within the organisation to the defectors.
The overall message is clear: dissent will not be tolerated, and defection will result in ex-communication.
It seems pretty clear that BRIDE Ministries falls well within the accepted definition of a cult—and that others outside the group are becoming aware of this. We have serious concerns about anyone, even Angela, accepting counselling…ooh, we mean “coaching” from this organisation. Even in the context of mainstream charismatic Christian beliefs about SRA/DID, with which we are in profound disagreement, BRIDE Ministries seems extreme and bizarre in its beliefs. We think it is more likely to cause harm to its clients than to effect any sort of “healing”.