J. Gordon Melton has made a substantial income over the years by selling himself as a “cult apologist.” His list of clients has included the notorious “Children of God” (COG) known for its fund raising through prostitution and child sexual abuse.
As CultNews previously reported Melton received $10,000.00 from a charity controlled by COG members, now known as “The Family.”
He has also defended the existence of “Ramtha” — the 35,000-year-old spirit from the “Lost Continent of Atlantis” allegedly channeled by Judy Z. Knight for her follower’s edification in Yelm, Washington.
Melton was hired by Knight to “research” her claims and concluded that she is “not a fraud.”
It seems that no matter how bad or ridiculous a purported “cult” may be Gordon Melton can come up with an apology, for the right price.
This same “researcher” also traveled to Japan after the cult Aum gassed subways in Tokyo and surmised quickly that the group “was a victim of excessive police pressure.” Aum reportedly paid for all of his travel expenses.
Now Mr. Melton offers up his apologies for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In an article published by the Grand Rapids Press, largely skewed to the Witness point-of-view, the supposed “religious scholar” and former UC Santa Barbara library worker claimed the controversial religious organization is “very benign.”
Melton apparently chose to ignore the many Witnesses that have died due to their religion’s rules regarding blood transfusion. And he likewise neglected mentioning the frequent court interventions ordered by judges around the world that have at times saved the lives of Witness children. Kids that needed blood who would have otherwise become a needless sacrifice made by Witness parents through medical neglect.
Melton also ignored the countless families that become estranged because of the undue influence exerted by Jehovah’s Witnesses and its leaders. A seemingly endless stream of child custody battles that trail in the wake of Witness divorces, when one spouse won’t follow another into conversion, prompted by the door-to-door proselytizers.
And then there is the Jehovah’s Witnesses sexual abuse scandal, a series of allegations concerning the church’s inadequate handling of reports regarding child molestation made by its members.
Never mind about all these very serious issues.
Mr. Melton says the Witnesses should be thanked for “some of the basic rights we enjoy today [which] they won for us.” He means like the right to pester people at their homes repeatedly through unwanted visits with redundant prophecies of doom.
Mr. Melton is also reportedly fascinated with vampires.
Maybe there is something about people dying over blood loss that makes Melton a fan of both Jehovah’s Witnesses and the mythical predators of the night?
Perhaps Gordon Melton sees himself as something like a familiar, the people who according to some stories guard the vampire’s lair during the day when they are confined to coffins. Protecting their “Master” while the sun shines, so that he can crawl out safely at night to prey upon humanity.
In much the same sense Melton the “scholar” can be seen as a protector providing cover for his “cult” patrons that exploit others. He offers up apologies about how supposedly benevolent they are, thus shielding them from “persecution” so that they can continue to recruit unsuspecting potential victims.
Sound a bit over the top?
Jim Jones was responsible for the cult mass murder-suicide of more than 900 people in Jonestown November 18, 1978. However, Mr. Melton said, “This wasn’t a cult. This was a respectable, mainline Christian group.”
Whether it’s Dracula or a murderous cult leader like Jim Jones, J. Gordon Melton apparently sees something “respectable.”