George Geftakys a former Baptist minister has led an obscure group based in Fullerton, California called “the assembly” since 1971.

In 1992 this relatively small group, which has been called a “cult,” received attention within the book “Churches That Abuse,” by Ronald Enroth. Enroth is a professor of Sociology at Westmont College.

Geftakys drew his followers largely from college and university campuses within California. Many members stayed on for years raising their children within the group.

However, over the last three decades assembly members have been excommunicated, many walked away, while some were professionally “deprogrammed,” when concerned parents intervened.

Enroth quoted one member that concluded, “You don’t have a relationship with George unless George dominates.” And according to a “written code” the assembly’s work “is not conducted on the basis of democracy.”

George Geftakys effectively became a dictator. And the assembly in many ways became the Geftakys family business.

Then came the troubles.

First, George’s son David Geftakys, who had been given a comfortable salaried position in the group, was exposed as a wife beater and abusive father. Eventually, this behavior became a police concern and a matter of public record.

Geftakys struggled with this situation amidst escalating controversy within the group. It became increasingly difficult for the assembly leader to simultaneously uphold the group’s rigid rules, while his son broke them.

But far more serious concerns regarding George Geftakys’ own conduct are now an issue. Geftakys, who is married and in his seventies, has been exposed for what appears to be adultery and seeming sexual misconduct.

According to a posted statement attributed to assembly “elders and leading brothers in Fullerton” the fallen leader has now been excommunicated.

Their statement says, “The excommunication is for initiating, encouraging and engaging in immoral and unseemly relationships with several sisters for over the past 20 years.” And that Geftakys “repeatedly lied …and deceived …with regard to these relationships and continues to deny any responsibility for them.”

According to the statement “George Geftakys…is not welcome at the Lord’s Supper or at any assembly meeting or gathering until there is a full and complete clearing of these matters.” And “Due to our brother’s spiritual condition, we are also withdrawing all support for he and his wife’s personal needs.”

Can followers so easily dispossess and dethrone a “cult leader”?

Last year another purported “cult leader,” Kip McKean of the International Church of Christ, resigned from his role in what looked like a palace coup. But McKean is still receiving “support for…his…personal needs” and continues to work within the organization.

What will happen now to George Geftakys?

Will he accept his “excommunication,” or simply excommunicate those who have dared to question him?

And what will be done with any assembly assets? Is George entitled to something if he walks away into forced retirement?

A website run by a former member that was “excommunicated” himself keeps track of events within the assembly and allows former members to network through a message board.

It will be interesting to see how this story develops.

That is, what changes actually occur at the assembly and will some new form of leadership eventually replace the old regime? Will there be a new dictator, or will democratic reforms produce meaningful accountability? Maybe the group just fold?

Stay tuned.


no comment untill now

Sorry, comments closed.