Another Indianapolis-Based Cult?

This blog written by Jeff Brailey was downloaded on 13 October 2018 from

[Editor’s note: Almost all of the links below and in the reader’s comments are no longer functional as of 2018.]

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Another Indianapolis-Based Cult?

Indianapolis Magazine has an interesting article in this month’s edition. It is the story of Mike Peters and the Church in Indianapolis, a controversial and fairly secretive alternative religion that has been in the city for some time.

Some former members who have left the organization say the leader of the organization is dictatorial and controlling. They have a website that allows dissident members to give testimony to their experiences in the group.

This website warns visitors that home churches or house churches, traditional church meetings, fellowship groups, bible studies, and home schooling groups across the country are falling into cult-like teachings. The leaders in these cult are buying up domain names like and others to draw people to themselves.

I read the magazine article a couple of days ago as I sat in a dentist office waiting for my wife. It was an excellent piece of journalism that was made difficult to write due to the apparent phobia all the church’s leadership and members have towards the media.

I hope everyone considering joining a nontraditional church or religious group will read the website listed above. To be fair, here is the Church in Indianapolis (CII) website:

What do you say, reader? Is CII a cult?


Anonymous said…

It is a cult for sure. Check out

June 21, 2007 at 5:24 PM

Anonymous said…

I have interacted with the group and Mike Peters in public places and such. They’re definitely eccentric and are always pushing they’re books… kind of like moonies or or Jehova Witnesses. Then they brush you off like you don’t exist if you don’t accept their mantras.

June 22, 2007 at 12:58 AM

jen elslager said…

My husband was very briefly involved with this group many years ago, and to this day they attack and lie about him — and many other former members, which is why many choose to stay anonymous. I’ve only been involved with this group from the outside, and I can say that I have never before seen such people who act the way they do.

And I’ve seen some lovely, godly Christians attacked and vilified for speaking out against their practices.

I truly hope that the Indianapolis Magazine article is useful in exposing this group.

June 22, 2007 at 4:28 AM

Tora Anne said…

I caught your blurb over at FACTnet. You mentioned a church of Yahweh (or something like that) out of Amarillo. I believe our friends are involved in something such as that, and with them although they are in Waco. I would be interested to see if they are in fact the same group. My husband and I stopped fellowshipping with them some time ago. Feel free to email me or stop by my blog. or

June 23, 2007 at 1:24 AM

Anonymous said…

This is group is very dangerous. They are close to the Jim Jones organization. God will not
let them last.

June 26, 2007 at 7:45 PM

libertyinjesus said…

Hello everyone!

I just have a few thoughts about what Jeff wrote. First off, I am an ex-member of the Mike Peter’s group. I am actively involved in praying for the deliverence of current members and praying for healing for their hurting friends and families. With that said, I want to say that I don’t think home church, house church, bible studies, or homeschooling is the problem here. Not that Jeff is saying that it is, it is just that making a statement that these things lead to cult membership is very general. I do believe that certain people are prone to be involved with a bible based cult if they are fearful, legalistic, and if they don’t have a healthy revelation of grace. Also, I disagree with the statements about Mike Peters have sexual problems. This is conjecture and reaching. I think we need to be careful, unless there is proof. Yes, Mike Peters lies, and has unhealthy relationships with married women, giving them advice and support sometimes against their husbands. Mike Peters does this very often without speaking to the husband at all. I am writing this because I believe in having the integrity to tell it like it is without exaggerating because that is what this cult does. They exaggerate and embellish. I have seen them lie outright about people who speak out against them and their practices.

June 28, 2007 at 1:09 PM

Jeff replied…

LibertyinJesus, I appreciate your comments. I must say that while my statements regarding sexual activities within the CII is conjecture, it is based on the Indianapolis Monthly article and other articles and comments written by former members. I think it is important to note that Jim Jones’ ministry started out to be wholesome and proper but later became perverted and paranoid. Some former members of CII feel this group could become another Peoples Temple. While I don’t necessarily agree with that assessment, I will admit, many of the elements are in place that could lead a mentally ill leader to do something dangerous.

June 28, 2007 at 2:49 PM

Anonymous said…

When determining how similar this group is to Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple, remember 3 things:
(1) Both Jim Jones and Mike Peters set up their “churches” in Indianapolis, Indiana.
(2) Both Jim Jones and Mike Peters set themselves up as “prophets of God” — telling followers that God had given them a new message.
(3) Mike Peters group has now been OFFICIALLY labelled as “Indy’s Scariest Group” (by the magazine, Indianapolis Monthly).

Is it really hard to believe that Indy’s Scariest Group could become a Dangerous group?

November 6, 2007 at 10:55 PM

Anonymous said…

I can see some of the Jim Jones and Mike Peters similarities. The scariest part was having the massacre videos next to the blogs. While I read and listened, I wondered if Mike Peter’s could get to the same mind set. “because a handful of people have lied, we now have to die”.(not a direct quote) Mike Peter’s and his group have accused many people of lying about them. What pushed Jim to the point of giving up? And that he could not allow only himself to die, but all his followers too. He had such control over them as Mike has over his church in Indianapolis. This was really scary.

December 31, 2007 at 9:11 PM

Anonymous said…

The sad thing is that there are many cultic groups springing up all across America. Have you heard of Denny Kenaston’s cult? They call themselves the Remnant and think they are the only right church, though won’t admit this when they first meet you. They lure the already conservative minded, Christian families with a free, seemingly innocent set of tapes on how to have a Godly home, and play on people’s fear of worldly influences on their children. But it’s not long before you are love bombed, told to move to their community. And little by little, more and more is expected – change your everyday clothes for Amish attire (can’t be any modest dress, has to be “their style”, men must stop wearing a tie, extreme measures. They also promote deceitfulness and secrecy between family members, and set you up to believe that anyone who lovingly approaches you about your extreme changes are “persecuting you for righteousness’sake” and call them “apostates” and “worldly friends” with whom we should no longer communicate. They also warn new converts not to listen to radio preachers (the chance to be confused and taught the truth, see?). Recently they banned internet use! If you have children who are saved, they “unsave them” until they are in their teens because they believe children can’t be saved. They even point to similarly styled, conservative churches and say, “Nope, not good enough.” They use guilt, and “church authority” not God’s authority to manipulate.
personally affected

March 11, 2008 at 5:51 AM

Anonymous said…

Will the last person that posted the comment about Denny Kenaston and charity ministries please email me. I am somewhat also personally affected by this “ministry” and would like to talk to someone.

July 27, 2008 at 1:52 AM

Anonymous said…

The Charity group is not a cult by any means. Firstly, they have not in anyway “banned” internet use. I still am in communication with members of Charity over email. The claim that they “unsave” children is ridiculous. It is true that they believe that a five year old or a seven year doesn’t truly understand the gospel of salvation- but how can a 5 or 7 year old really understand something like that? Understand that they are a sinner in need of a savior? I think that is a biblical concern. They don’t expect you to “cut off worldly friends” at all. I was close to joining a Charity church, and I was in no way told not to interact with my friends and family. In fact, I was encouraged to bring them to church, to witness to them, etc. They don’t believe they’re the only right church, even the pastors and leaders of the churches will time and time again say that they have many brothers and sisters in Christ at many different churches, with many different ways of living out a Godly life. They don’t expect all Christians to look or act exactly like them. And to say that they promote “secrecy and deceit” between family members, I just don’t understand. The intense focus on the family is characteristic of them. I think at Charity you’ll find, more than in many churches today, earnest Christians desiring to follow Jesus with all of their heart, EVERY day of the week, and not just on Sundays. As a long-time visitor of Charity, I would encourage anyone who was interested to visit and see the church for themselves.

August 20, 2008 at 2:45 PM

Anonymous said…

Charity under the Kenaston strongarm, is a legalistic movement at best. The above commenter is correct. Speaking from two years of personal experience, when I first started wholeheartedly attending and believing based on their loving and acceptance and not on doctrine, the elder told me to stop listening to the radio and to stop listening to the preachers on the radio, so I would not become confused. His exact words. You point out a serious problem – maybe you haven’t had these problems – each church has a slightly different flavor because it is hard for Denny and Mose to have strict oversight and they probably classify churches with freedoms as “weak and struggling” . They confronted my friend b/c of her video monitor and plaster guilt if you, once you choose to attend seriously, don’t want to give up enjoyable, non-issues like CHristian Music other than hymns, for instance, or wearing things besides their amish double layered long sleeved ankle length dresses. THey stole my joy and replaced it with guilt, under the guise of “practical application of Godly principals”. Don’t be fooled, they really mean ” our interpretation of Godly principals”. Example: modesty. Women are not modest unless they are wearing (and they built a modesty-suit for me too! several) a tent styled double layered dress. I asked an elder’s wife why we can’t wear SKIRTS and she said they weren’t modest enough. Red Light! They are too narrow, disguised in sheep’s clothing.
Loving God and loving others has nothing to do with the number of pleats in a man’s pants (another detail they like to point out at the church i went to), Jesus never sang any of those hymns as they were written over a thousand years after his death and resurrecction, and he will continue to save people on and off the beaten path, praise God!
Written by,
Saved by Grace in the Midwest

December 12, 2008 at 3:35 PM

Anonymous said…

I am writing in response to all of the other things wrote on this page. I have family member that are to going to this place (church, cult) whatever you want to call it and was so happy to find this sight and know that i’m not alone in my thinking. This is a very strong group of people that can destroy anything good in your home or marriage etc. They believe very strongly that there way is the right way and the only way, weather it destroys marriage, pulls apart familys they do it all in the name of God because that’s what they believe they are suppose to do. I would not get involved with these people and would stay away from there church,cult

January 16, 2009 at 5:59 PM

Anonymous said…

“I would not get involved with these people and would stay away from there church,cult”


January 29, 2009 at 10:23 PM

Kimsay said…

Many people would not even venture out into these groups if there was accountability in our churches today. Too many people are being harmed and not getting what they need, so, they leave.

May 2, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Anonymous said…

Are you saying that they now wear long dresses? I used to belong to that group but left. I still have family there that I have not seen nor spoken to in 10+ years. They have put up a wall.

June 4, 2009 at 7:24 PM