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We Will Not Be Assimilated!

Two of Four

In the Star Trek series, Star Trek, The Next Generation, the main nemesis of Star Fleet was the alien-humanoid race known as the BORG. The BORG was a notorious enemy because it was not only powerful and difficult to defeat, its power was derived from the senseless drones which were wholly dedicated to the "Collective." Instead of destroying its enemies outright, the BORG simply collected species as it moved through the universe and converted them into drones. Once in, the individual was fitted with electronic implants and made part of the collective and no longer allowed to maintain an individual identity. Although the Borg called this process "assimilation" it was actually the outright theft of the individual mind, soul and body. The new drones would serve and protect the collective for whatever nefarious purpose. Resistance to assimilation was said to "be futile." Whoever questioned the BORG, or resisted them, were mercilessly attacked until they were assimilated or dead. To the drones, the Collective was supreme and infallible. Those outside the collective were to be assimilated at all costs or face destruction.

In recent weeks, there has been much to do about the continuing claims that Gianna Talone Sullivan is still receiving "messages" from the Virgin Mary in Emmitsburg. The most recent "message" claims that a "change" is coming and that "two suns" would appear bringing with them a cosmic cataclysm that would result in weather pattern changes and the near destruction of the Earth. According of Sullivan's "vision,"60 to 70% of us would die outright while another 60 to 70% would die later of hunger and disease. As in her previous "visions," Mrs. Sullivan claims that only she has the authority to receive prophecies from God's mouth, through Mary, to our ears. While the new "message" does contain some common threads of Church recognized visions, this latest one is very dark and very disturbing. The Sullivan vision is not the usual message of peace, prayer and the Love of GOD for mankind that we have become accustomed to from HER over the centuries. It is a message of death, destruction, starvation, and disease.

Throughout world history, "visionaries" have offered countless stories of supernatural encounters that claimed the end of time was near. There has been Nostradamus, the Maya, early Christian theologians and heretics, and many others, just to name a few. Just watching the History Channel during sweeps month will show you just how many of these have actually made their way into our collective psyche. In the Bible, believed by Jews and Christians to be the infallible word of GOD, stories of doom and end times for those who do not seek a relationship with GOD or come to Christ form the basis of the Book of Revelation. However, it is the Four Gospels and the writings of Christ's Disciples that we find the messages of hope, forgiveness and a Heavenly paradise from the lover of our souls, Jesus Christ. But, contrary to Christ's own words of redemption, the recent claims of Gianna Talone Sullivan suggest another message, one of doom at the hand of an angry GOD. But, this message is no more from GOD than the placards carried by those men and women you see on city streets urging you to repent for the world will soon end.

Although the end of the world will someday come, Christ tells us "we will not know the day or the hour." That is why the latest "messages" from Gianna Talone Sullivan are simply out of character of the Virgin Mother of GOD as we know her and counter to the teachings of Christ himself. Instead of the sharing with us the Love of the Father for his people, as Mary has always done before, Sullivan characterizes the Blessed Virgin as the angel of doom warning us of the pending destruction. By using very specific allusions to how and perhaps, even when the world will "change," usurps Jesus' very dominion over all of creation.

So what is the harm in these so-called visions and why should we be concerned? For one thing, the Archdiocese of Baltimore and the Vatican itself has disavowed the claims made by Mrs. Sullivan. For two thousand years, the Church guided by GOD, investigated claims of Holy encounters and new prophecies. Most have been exposed as false and heretical, but some genuine. In the same way, Sullivan's visions were thoroughly investigated, her messages analyzed and those who hold these to be genuine interviewed. No evidence was found to support Sullivan's claims of visitation.

In reaction to mounting criticism, Sullivan and her followers formed a community of believers that continues to hold to the belief that Mary was still visiting their leader, Mrs. Sullivan. So devoted are these believers that the expression of any doubts of their veracity spark a harsh reaction. Recently, Emmitsburg.Net published articles by local writers and well respected members of the clergy. While these articles did criticize Sullivan, they were done with tact, facts and an abiding faith in GOD and the teachings of Christ. Instead of honest debate, the response was nothing short of hate speech and even overt threats.

It is this lack of tolerance and blind devotion to Mrs. Sullivan that should be a cause for concern. This "visionary" seems to have a hold on her followers that defies logic. What power does she have over them? What does she offer them in return for this devotion? Is she really seeing the Virgin Mother? Or just saying so to get attention? Is this a new cult as suggested in recent articles ?

In the history of cults, there are distinct patterns of behavior, especially in the development of cult leadership. First, the leader identifies a problem and uses it as a rally cry to attract supporters. Second, the Cult leader instills in his new followers a kind of siege mentality from which he/she can galvanize loyalty and recruit more supporters. Third, the cult leader creates enemies against whom the cult should fight, like the Church, the government etc. or face extermination. Fourth, the cult leader sets himself/herself up as the one "savior," who will lead his/her followers to salvation. Most often, this coincides with a claim to be in direct communication with GOD, or even assume godhood him/herself. And fifth, anyone who challenges the cult will be labeled an "enemy" and therefore become the target of the cult.

In the case of Gianna Talone Sullivan, her-so called visions have created a cult-like following that encompasses believers in all sectors of society. While there is no telling what is in the heart of Mrs. Sullivan, she seems to be following the same path that other cult leaders have taken. For one, she claims an intimacy with the Mother of God, intimacy that moves well beyond that of the common believer. Second, she claims that this relationship has given her access to the will of GOD and a glimpse at the future (or lack there of) of mankind. Third, she claims knowledge of the end times, as indicated in her visions, and that only through her intercession, can we avoid the fate which she claims has been told to her. Fourth, when under pressure by the Church or other skeptics to explain these visions and their veracity, Mrs. Sullivan lashes out with accusations of infidelity and a "How Dare You Question my authority" attitude. Her recent claim that Mary has told her not to trust the Church and only place our trust in her (Ms. Sullivan) is the last piece of the cult puzzle.

The attacks on the Church and individual critics of Sullivan are very telling. While the "Church" is not perfect, and never has been, it was established by GOD himself. Jesus, the Son of GOD, told Simon "You are Peter, the Rock upon which I will build my Church." In spite of Peter's challenges of faith, like his sinking when called from the boat to walk with Jesus on the Sea of Galilee, denying knowing Christ three times after Jesus' arrest and countless other times, Jesus still chose Peter as the foundation upon which his Church would be built. Through centuries of challenges and wayward stewards, HIS church still stands. Why can't we trust GOD's church? Why is Mary telling Sullivan that HIS Church is hiding secrets from the faithful? To dismiss the Church out of hand, as the Virgin Mary appears to do in Sullivan's "vision," absolutely contradicts the will of GOD, something MARY would never do. By nature, the Church is an institution of GOD and directly responsible to HIM. As such, it retains the authority on Holy matters as commissioned by Christ. Do you remember Jesus telling his disciples that "Sins you forgive are forgiven?" While the human institution of the Church has had a troubled history, it has and will always right itself through God's constant intercession. Therefore, it is not likely that Mary would ever disown the Church established by her SON, as Mrs. Sullivan would have us believe.

SO what are we to believe? Is Mrs. Sullivan the new Church? Is she the new authority on GOD's will? This is heretical. The visions offered by Sullivan are simply the work of an active imagination, one created through learned appreciation of centuries of end time predictions. Like David Koresh, Jim Jones, Heaven's Gate and the thousands of other cults throughout history, Sullivan is claiming Divine authority by appealing to the hopes and dreams of those who want to believe in Divine intervention and playing them to satisfy a still unknown agenda. Although she has been denied support of the Church, Sullivan and her followers continue to lash out against the Church, the Government and those who have questioned her integrity on this matter.

For the true believer, Christianity is a religion that is in constant search for the truth. GOD has given us the power of discernment upon which we build our one true faith. The Bible is the infallible word of GOD and remains the basis for all we believe. If the "visions" of Mrs. Sullivan contradict the Bible, they, by nature, usurp the authority of Christ. Mary's previous visits to the Saints have always come with calls to pray, messages of hope and the LOVE of GOD for his people. Things we expect from a Mother to us all. As a human, Mary is our champion in Heaven with the unique relationship to GOD that no other can have or will ever have again. But, she cannot be the new authority as Sullivan tells us. Sure, we ask for her intercession with the Heavenly Father and hold hope in her love for her brothers and sisters on Earth. What Mrs. Sullivan has done would change the Motherly nature of our Lady and turn her in to the harbinger of doom.

Unfortunately for Mrs. Sullivan, we are not BORG and she is not the Collective. GOD has given us the power to determine what is true and what is heresy. Our authority on what to believe comes from GOD and from the true Church he so graciously bestowed upon us. Messages which contradict the Bible and the teachings of the Church do require criticism and study. Without such, we would surely be doomed when Christ chooses to return. Therefore, we must challenge the words of Sullivan, absorb the attacks of her wayward followers, and continue to seek the truth.

ON a final note, there has been much study on cults and false teachings. It is suggested that the reader seek information from such websites as the Christian Research Institute's and many other reliable and Biblically sound resources. As Christ told us, "NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME." So, prayer and preparation for the second coming is prudent behavior. "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be a world without end."

"No one can go off and start up his own church and call it Roman Catholic."

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