Shelley Lubben: Drug Withdrawal or Demons?

Shelley Lubben: Drug Withdrawal or Demons?

Story by Michael Whiteacre

Today on Facebook, Shelley Lubben attacked one of her former employees, a whistle-blower named April Garris. Garris is a Christian anti-porn advocate who fled Lubben’s cult-like Pink Cross Foundation and dared contradict and criticize the crazed “Rebel Prophet.”

Lubben wrote:

She has written distorted lies about me and Pink Cross and we have been very kind not to retaliate or expose her. I knew her and loved her for many years and have over 300 emails and facebook messages that tell a much different story. I would ask her to show us some of these messages to prove her claims.

Well, ask and ye shall receive, Mrs. Lubben.

After returning to the US following her disastrous appearance at the Cambridge Union porn debate of February 17, 2011, Shelley Lubben dispatched an email to her Pink Cross “team,” including Garris.  It is reproduced below in its entirety.

Sent: Feb. 21, 2011

It’s 1:23 am in the morning and Garrett and I have been up all night battling hundreds of demons. But the Victory is Christ’s. Garrett and I have committed to obeying Christ perfectly and so we will NO LONGER listen to words of doubt, selfishness or anything at all that comes to us from the pit of hell.

My health and my family and my anointing and my marriage has been battered by those around me and I NO LONGER will allow it. Period.

Tonight, I threw out all of my medications and came against every vile evil spirit from hell that has been tormenting my family for seven years, since we first began this ministry. And we are SO DONE with being tormented day and night.

So, you my dear loved ones have a choice to make. Either you are with us or against us. Either you are with Christ or against Him. Either you deny yourself and bear up your Cross and place your utter trust in Jesus Christ Who gave Himself for you to live and to live victoriously, or you give up and miss what the Lord Jesus has for you.

But as for me and my house, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD.

Anyone, who hurts me or my family or who becomes a burden to us will be released from Pink Cross.

I love you. I have labored in prayer for you. I have mentored you. I have given ALL of you my life, the Word of God, Wisdom, Encouragement, Love and more and so now I will no longer hold you up but you will hold my family up.

If you are unhappy with how things are going with Pink Cross, then you probably don’t belong here. Garrett and I have mentored you all so much and by now if you aren’t sure you belong, then you probably don’t belong. NO MORE DOUBTING!!. This ministry WILL trust in the Lord God Almighty Yahweh and the sacrifice of His Precious Son and we will fight the good fight and we WILL endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ! And anyone involved in this ministry will do the same. You have no excuse. You have been mentored. You have the Word of God. You have the sacrifice of the Precious Blood of Jesus. You have good Christian brothers and sisters. You have the INTERNET where you can listen to powerful sermons by powerful people of God OR you can waste your time facebooking and complaining to others on the internet about how hard your day was.

But make your choice. Choose this day whom you will serve. Will you serve yourself and continue in your infancy or will you RISE UP and be the Champion the Lord has called you to be. Then, once you have made that choice, we will hold you accountable for it.

Please send me back and email if you choose or don’t choose. We love you. We labored all night and are still laboring in prayer for you. We have prayed for years for all of you. But now you must rise up into your high callings and CHOOSE this day if you will run the race to win or allow satan to steal your destiny from you.

I am preaching to myself as I write this. But I am taking action and showing God I am DEAD SERIOUS that I trust Him UTTERLY and I threw out my medication that I have been on for five years. The devil has attacked my health long enough. The number one way satan has attacked my health is through faithless complaining negative people.

But no more. So, as I recover and walk in restoration, I will need my team more than ever to hold themselves up and to hold my family up.

THAT IS WHY YOU MOVED HERE AND JOINED PINK CROSS. TO HOLD THE LUBBENS UP. We are not to hold you up. That is not our call.

But that’s what we have been doing and we can do it no longer.

I don’t want to hear ONE MORE WORD about finances or any complaints. Either you trust in the Lord and obey Him or you don’t. He is MORE THAN ABLE to sustain your family and to provide for you. You only need to examine yourselves whether you are in faith and obedience to the Lord.

But my family WILL trust in the Lord and RELY on Him to provide. We will not rely on the Lubben Family to provide. The Lord can and WILL provide for all of us through Pink Cross and if you are having a money problem, GO TO THE LORD. We will keep our monetary commitments to you that we have all agreed on.

But no more than that. We can’t do it anymore. You all must rely on the Lord like THOUSANDS of other missionaries who literally have gotten on boats with seventy five cents and went to Hong Kong. Read missionary books to see MANY who have sacrificed even more than you have.

You are not alone.

So, things are going to change now. I will be stepping away from people as be consecrating myself unto the Lord for His service so I can continue in the work He has called me to do. You, also, separate yourself and BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY SAYS THE LORD.

It’s time to walk in maturity in Christ and realize your high calling and that you are called to be a LEADER in an international movement, in a world movement, in an Earth movement. Stop complaining. Stop grumbling. Stop doubting. There is no place for that here anymore.

Overall, this remarkable passive-aggressive screed speaks for itself, but one thing is particularly striking: Lubben admits that the foundation of her story, and the premise of her ministry, is a lie.

Lubben’s long-standing claim, as found on the website from which she solicits donations, has been (and remains): “The Lord has completely restored me. I am totally free from drugs, alcohol addiction, bad memories, mental illness, sexual addiction, sexual trauma, and everything from the old life… I am totally healed!”

That story of healing and redemption supposedly establishes her standing, and the validity of her personal mission. Yet here she is admitting that she has been on medication for five years – and not just any medication, medication that she felt she had to throw away rather than simply set aside.

Her entire myth — and now her livelihood — relies on donors believing that she is indeed who and what she says she is. But, the sad reality is that Shelley Lubben is a fraud and a train wreck of epic proportions.

The historical context of this email is also important.

Immediately following the Cambridge Union debate, the internet was abuzz with talk of Lubben seeming under the influence of something at the event. Then, Lubben reportedly had what could only be described as a complete breakdown following her flop at Cambridge, to the point that those accompanying her, including Garris, had doubts as to whether they’d even be able to get her on a plane back to the U.S.

Sindy And Shelley, at Cambridge

Upon her return, it was abundantly clear that people believed she was on something, and it would make sense that she would want to get clean.

Sindy, April (center) And Shelley, at Cambridge
Shelley And Gail Dines, at Cambridge

The other thing worth noting is that, at the time of this email, Pink Cross team members were having severe financial problems largely because of pay cuts that Lubben had recently placed on them.

As April recalls at her personal blog, The Healing Diaries :

In October of 2010, Shelley Lubben contacted me via e-mail and told me that Pink Cross wanted to hire me. This was no surprise. For several months beforehand, Shelley had tried to convince me several times to quit my job and move to Bakersfield to help Pink Cross. I had the desire to, but I had concerns about my financial situation and my daughter…. So, I continuously declined Shelley’s offer – but when she contacted me in October, offering me a salary of $25,000/yr., and a position as her “executive assistant,” I figured that this was God opening a door for ministry. Shelley promised me the world. She told me that I was training to take over for her as president of Pink Cross, and that I would eventually be making more money as Pink Cross became more established.

Shelley painted a rosy picture, but my main concern was reaching out to hurting women, and this is why I decided to accept her offer. I wanted to make a difference. I told Shelley yes, quit my job, and packed up and moved to Bakersfield. By this time, I had been ordained as a chaplain, by Shelley, and I thought I saw God’s hand in this situation. Although Shelley said and did many things that I did not agree with … I went along because I truly believed in the mission of Pink Cross, even though she often told me that a person should never question a person in leadership.

So, against my better judgment, I packed up my life and moved to Bakersfield. Things began to turn sour almost from the very beginning.

According to April, before the new year, Shelley Lubben reneged on her obligation to her.

Shelley e-mailed me and told me that she could no longer afford to pay me what she had promised. In an e-mail, she said that donations were down, and she had “not really put enough thought into”  what she agreed to pay me, and unfortunately had to cut my salary –  not only mine, but that of another Pink Cross employee [Roger Niccum – ed.] – by a substantial amount. For Shelley, it was no big deal, but for me, it was huge. I was already struggling financially with what Pink Cross was paying me, but this pay cut made it almost impossible for me to support myself. Because I was on salary, I was expected to work the same amount of hours. Shelley suggested that I get a part-time job in order to supplement my income, but this was not realistic. As her “executive assistant,” I was expected to attend ministry events, and accompany her to speaking engagements, which necessitated my being out-of-town for days at a time.

Indeed, when I was employed with Pink Cross, great emphasis was put on money. It was ALWAYS about money and donations with Shelley, and it put enormous stress on me. In December of 2011, Shelley sent an “urgent message” to the Pink Cross team, telling us that donations were way down, and that if we did not step up to the plate, and work harder raising funds, she would have to stop paying us altogether. I took this as a threat. She explained to us that our position as Pink Cross employees were impingent upon our ability to raise funds. This took me by surprise, as fund-raising was NEVER brought up as a requirement for employment in her initial e-mail to me. Now, she was telling me that fund-raising was an essential duty as a Pink Cross employee.… This now became the central focus of my ministry.

 I kept hoping that Shelley would see my financial situation and offer to help me, but that never happened. Shelley and Garrett lived in luxury, yet they could not afford to help me. We were told not even to approach her with our financial problems, but to trust God, as she was too busy battling Satan and “thousands of demons” to worry about our problems.

Shelley would continually boast about how the Lord had blessed her, and her family, because they were special to God and mighty warriors for Him. Meanwhile, I was contemplating going on food stamps. Eventually, I did.

In January of 2011, Jenni Case (one of the girls that Pink Cross reached out to and helped years earlier) re-located from Colorado to Bakersfield, California, [at her own expense – ed.] and moved into my 2-bedroom apartment with me….

In February, I accompanied Shelley on a speaking engagement to Cambridge. Shortly after we returned, I expressed to Shelley and Garrett my desire to go on a 2-week mission trip, reaching out to prostituted women in Israel. I almost didn’t ask, for fear of what Shelley’s reaction might be. Shelley was very controlling. I saw how Shelley went off on another Pink Cross employee, for over an hour, for wanting to go out of town for Christmas and New Year’s holiday, demoralizing him and telling him that he was abandoning her and Pink Cross. In spite of this, I asked anyhow. I figured that 10 months was adequate notice, and that the most they could say was “no.” So, I e-mailed Shelley and told her about the trip, and my desire to go. A few days later, Garrett e-mailed me telling me that they didn’t want to stand in the way of my “missions calling,” and decided to demote me from a full-time to a part-time employee, and paid an hourly wage “to be determined.”

It was at this time that they told me not to come to the office any more. Instead, they had Jenni come over there every day for training, which consisted of doing the duties that they previously had me doing. Without being told directly, I was basically being replaced by Jenni, who was now deemed the “Pink Cross Recovery Specialist.” I was told that I would no longer be reaching out to the women, as that was now Jenni’s job. This absolutely broke my heart, as this was my whole motive for moving to Bakersfield in the first place – to reach out to the women in the industry.

Once Jenni Case came on board as an employee, in March 2011, Case’s salary equaled about as much as had been cut from Garris’ pay.

Shortly after writing this email, Lubben was reportedly checked in to a psychiatric ward. It is now clear that her problems with booze and prescription medication continued until at least August 2011, when, according to Pink Cross refugee Michelle Avanti, Lubben quietly spent time in a deluxe rehab facility.

A final note about the financial situation of the good people of Bakersfield: while their employees were going on food stamps to make ends meet, Shelley and Garrett Lubben were preparing to purchase a second, larger, $480,000 home with all new furnishings. The plan was to retain their old house to use it as a “Recovery Home.”

More details of the questionable finances of Pink Cross Foundation and the Lubbens will be forthcoming shortly.

Shelley Lubben: Drug Withdrawal or Demons?
Shelley Lubben, The Face of Anti-Porn
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18 Responses to "Shelley Lubben: Drug Withdrawal or Demons?"

  1. Michael Whiteacre   April 19, 2012 9:29 pm at 9:29 PM

  2. Michael Whiteacre   April 19, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 PM

    Shelley’s Facebook assault today came on the heels of April posting blogs about her experiences at Pink Cross on the “Pink Cross Foundation Prayer Team” Facebook page.

    Lubben sought to stifle all criticism as she enters two days of spreading lies on “Porn Harms” online Facebook “discussions” — unable to successfully do that, she began attacking April and citing her criticism as proof that she is important and effective enough to be the subject of attacks. LOL

    Apparently the revelations have further damaged Lubben’s faltering reputation with the flock. Here are some comments April’s post inspired:

    1) “April, I read your story and I believe you are just speaking the truth! Why else would one waste their time writing such a lengthy and in depth statement if it was all false?! April, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your daughter as you both go through this difficult time. Hang in there, God has better things in store for you!!!!!”

    2) “Do you REALLY think $25K is an enticement for a single mother to survive on ANYWHERE, much less BAKERSFIELD???? Are you crazy?? That’s subsistence level. That was sacrifice, not enticement!”

    3) “April… I think you’re a brave woman and reading your account confirms many of the sinking suspicions I’ve had regarding the pink cross lately.”

    4) “I don’t know who to believe because this sounds exactly like what John Jacobs put the Power team thru. He led just like the blog describes. Here’s my suggestion. Make large scale changes across Pink Cross. Because now the perception is this ministry is shady. Both Christian and non Christian will believe the worst. Perception is reality.”

    5) “As someone who has been studying cults for a few years and the testimonies of those who leave them, April’s testimony looks very legitimate. Her discernment is spot on, as is her theology and reason for doing what she did. She is not working with the porn industry; she is working for Christ in holding Shelley and the ministry accountable for their actions and words. This is biblical, and commanded of us in the Scriptures, to hold our leaders accountable. When people start saying, ‘touch not God’s anointed,’ in order to isolate themselves from criticism, that’s a good signal to pack up your bags.”

    6) “I think Shelley is intentionally causing panic and misinformation. Even bad publicity is good publicity, when you ‘spin’ it the right way.”

    7) “It makes me sad to see ministries that are doing great things, but have poison in the pot. And because they insulate themselves from criticism, it becomes impossible for ANYTHING to change or be corrected. I have a signed copy of Shelley’s book. I love her testimony, and I love many of the things her ministry does. But there were things in the book that are really, reeeeally off Biblically. Her claim of hearing God’s voice and receiving direct Revelation from Him is a huge deal.

    If you study the seeker sensitive church-growth movement, pastors basically say the same thing. They claim to receive a direct vision and revelation from God, and then make everyone on staff and in their ministry get on board with his/her SPECIFIC vision. And if anyone dissents or questions they are labeled as an enemy. These ministers fall into a self-defeating trap. When someone claims to hear directly from God, it is then IMPOSSIBLE to question them; to do so is to question God Himself. I do not believe all of these ministers are deceivers, but they themselves become self-deceived, and this is a plague upon the visible church right now.

    So let’s hypothetically say that Shelley or Pink Cross move in a direction contrary to God’s Word, or SAY or TEACH things that are contrary to Scripture. An example of this could be using, as I cited early, verses out of context to advance one’s own purposes or isolate oneself from criticism: “touch not God’s anointed,” or quoting passages and claiming to be a prophet.

    I’ve spent a long time studying Word of faith/prosperity teachers like Benny Hinn, Paula White, T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyer, and anyone else on TBN. This is a misuse of God’s Word. But because these people claim revelation, or God “giving them words,” no one dares criticize them or hold them accountable for any misconduct. They gain immunity by calling themselves “prophets” and “ministers.”

    Shelley, you do great work in exposing the porn industry and helping girls, but a little leaven leavens the whole lump. If you are not a false prophet, you need to respond to criticism and allow yourself to be held accountable. Enough of the demons and Satan stuff, and telling people to ignore criticism. Unless you can provide evidence to back this up, claiming that April is working with a pornographer is paranoia and spin on your part. Provide evidence of this. April is still working to expose the porn industry, and based on what can be gleaned from her blog, her level of knowledge of the Scriptures, her commitment to lifting up JESUS, and her spiritual and biblical discernment are through the roof.”

    8) “Thank you for being consistent, April. I totally understand you wanting to have your voice heard, and many of us have heard it and been made aware of what is going on. Please continue to share your testimony and the truth. We will be listening. 🙂

  3. witega   April 20, 2012 3:26 am at 3:26 AM

    thank you, April, for having the courage and integrity to speak the truth. i wish you well. 🙂

    thank you, Michael, for once again putting evidence together without distortion, in a way that makes sense. 🙂

    Lubben will probably implode, eventually. people like that usually do.

    • Michael Whiteacre   April 20, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 AM

      She will go down in flames, for she is too deranged to ever bend her knee — even to accept good advice. It’s a tragedy for her family.

      Today, as Lubben begins two days of online Porn Harms events for the nearly-bankrupt Morality In Media, let us remind the world: Lubben Harms!

      “THAT IS WHY YOU MOVED HERE AND JOINED PINK CROSS. TO HOLD THE LUBBENS UP. We are not to hold you up. That is not our call.”

      Shelley has no concept of what ministry is supposed to the about.

      Don’t get caught upon the cult of Lubbeanity (as our friend Pastor Johnny Trejo has termed it), or else you’ll end up her slave.

  4. Firefighter Chaplain   April 20, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 AM

    “THAT IS WHY YOU MOVED HERE AND JOINED PINK CROSS. TO HOLD THE LUBBENS UP. We are not to hold you up. That is not our call.”

    Wow. I am almost speechless. I think she needs to look up the definition of “minister”. It is best translated as “servant”. She apparently has no concept of a minister’s calling. We are there to SERVE, not be served. This exact thing is the reason I do not accept any pay.

    • Michael Whiteacre   April 20, 2012 4:08 pm at 4:08 PM

      I’m tremendously appreciative that you shared your thoughts on this, Chaplain. Thank you.

  5. Sean TRPWL   April 20, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 PM

    yea, out of all that, the hold the LUBBENS up is the thing that really says it all…Its all about Shelley..

  6. Eric Miller   April 22, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 PM

    I think you are missing some crucial points.

    ALL Christians go through times of hardship and relapse, but that does not necessarily have any bearing on their overall character or ministry.

    Also, you can focus in on Shelley Lubben and her supposed failings, but that doesn’t make pornography any more of a legitimate business or a morally acceptable endeavor. It is common knowledge that porn harms marriages, in particular.

    The battle lines between sin and the Savior have been drawn, and the Winner has already been declared. I hope for your sake you are on the right side.

    Sincerely Eric Miller

    • Michael Whiteacre   April 23, 2012 2:22 pm at 2:22 PM

      Jesus did not come to end sin. We cannot end sin, and it is not our job to try. It is the purpose of Christians to try to help people turn themselves away from sin, with the help of the Holy Spirit. Mrs. Lubben’s entire crusade is not Christian, and this Word-Faith/prosperity BS is not just off-center, it’s satanic.

      Health, wealth, prosperity, the fulfillment of all your dreams and desires — that’s what satan offers; that’s called TEMPTATION (based on the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life). Jesus becomes a mere footnote that satisfies her critics and deceives her followers.

      It’s the whole pantheistic Joel Osteen routine: “The power to change your life is inside you. We are born for earthly greatness. You were born to be a champion! G-d wants to give you the desires of your heart.”

      It represents attempt to turn people’s sinful temptations into somehow honorable desires. The corrupt desires of sinners are appealed to.

      Yet, Christ taught we were to live humble lives, give to the poor, trials and tribulations would come and that our reward is in heaven

      When Mrs. Lubben does her “I have favor” routine, she reminds me of The Pharisee in Luke 18:11 “God, I thank You that I am not like other people…”

      Mrs. Lubben also admits that she does not even attend church. She claims Pink Cross IS the try church “We are the church! We take the church out!” She has no covering.

      Lubben calls herself a prophet — and has claimed that she is in fact the prophet Elijah.

      If the following verses detail the qualifications of an overseer/deacon, then how much more for a prophet!?

      1 Timothy 3: 1-7

      ?Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

      • Carrie   April 29, 2012 1:38 pm at 1:38 PM

        Also, many married couples enjoy watching porn together. They may use it to learn new things, inspire passion in their relationship, or they might just enjoy watching it together. Porn has many benefits that are overlooked by a number of people.

        Michael – Did Shelly really say she is the prophet Elijah?

        • Michael Whiteacre   April 29, 2012 1:43 pm at 1:43 PM

          She has said that directly to people around her, and she hints at it in one of her speeches (on video) where she talks about how the fact that she resided on “Elias” Ave (at that time) was some kind of sign or indication.

          These are the delusions she needs in order to rationalize her actions.

    • Anthony Kennerson   April 24, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 PM

      Sorry, Mr. Miller, but if you are trying to represent Shelley Lubben as the representative of the Savior, then I’m entirely with Sin.

      Forget about Scripture for a moment and just think about these facts.

      Yes, plenty of born again Christians relapse into the “sins” they repudiate, and it is a struggle to conquer demons that have affected them. But, most Christians I know do NOT attmept to place themselves above their humanness and attack others for not meeting their standards of resistance; they do their best to cope with their shortcomings and provide love and support to (and accept love and support from) others.

      And NO legitimate Christian that I know would EVER, EVER put him/herself as THE sole representative of God or Jesus Christ…not even someone who got her divinity degree from an online diploma mill.

      It is not Shelley Lubben’s faith that is the issue here. It is her ACTIONS and DEEDS. Just because she says she is a “servant of God” does not make her any less accountable for her actions….indeed, because she has taken on the powers of ministering the faith, she actually should be held more accountable than those of us lay people.

      And it’s not even about porn, either. It’s about how Shelley exploited and abused the people who turned to her for strength and rescue. You could say that she is a worse sex trafficker than even some pimps….especially since even some pimps treat their girls better than Shelley Lubben treated her “girls”.

      Maybe you need to redefine your concept of “Sin” versus “Savior”..because Shelley Lubben is none of the latter.


  7. sean   April 23, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 PM

    This isn’t really about porn being a good or bad thing. its about right and wrong..Lubben is the definition of fraud…Shes stealing money in the name of god..

  8. witega   April 23, 2012 4:12 pm at 4:12 PM

    What are you smoking? Pornography is a legitimate business. It is not illegal. It employs people, it meets a consumer demand, it generates revenue and it pays taxes. You can’t get much more legitimate than that.

    If you don’t like porn – fine. Don’t like it all you want. That is your choice, your right. But the right to create, distribute, buy and/or watch porn [by consenting adults] is equally valid.

  9. Michael Whiteacre   April 24, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 PM

    Matthew 7:15-23 — “Beware of false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

        “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in Your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

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