Friday, April 24, 2009

Xenos, Akron

This is right now a placeholder thread to allow for discussion of Xenos of Stow (blog) near Akron. I don't see a church discipline issue here so it is somewhat off topic but this blog has a Xenos following of sorts.

I'll replace this text with a real introduction to the church once I have a chance.

The news item that caused this activity is a newspaper article Ties that Bind (reposted here), (reader comments at newspaper) in a newspaper called the Akron Business Journal which repeated allegations by a woman about cult like activity with no attempt at meaningful verification. They also seem to be conflating a religious dispute, a personal dispute and a disorderly conduct arrest, to this is not quality journalism.

The woman from the article, an Anne Marie Smith maintains a blog: Parents against Xenos. I've read through the posts on it. It is difficult to piece together the story but what I believe happened was that she is a Catholic and allowed her son to join a Xenos youth group with a friend. At age 17 the son (Tom) decided he wanted a believers baptism, the parents were strongly opposed as for them this is a major sin (CCC 1121, 698) and the relationship deteriorated badly. At 18 Tom moves out into Xenos youth housing and she starts a protest movement. Tom is embarrassed and upset and the family is now estranged. She uses some rather extreme language, "devil" "cult" "brainwashing"... but so far everything she describes seems like mainstream evangelical Christianity. The son maintains his own blog as well.

There also according to the article is some related issue Jon and Brenda Roszkowski filing a police report about harrasement that was Xenos related but so far I can't find details.


There are two threads about Xenos, Columbus (a sister megachurch), primarily dealing with discipline procedures. The discussion on breaking away has to do with social pressure issues.

Breaking away
Interview with Dennis

Keith McCallum wrote a response on his blog: cult thing part1, part2 and I'm dialoguing there regarding tone related issues.


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