A History of Sam Fife’s Move of God Cult

Click here to purchase “Cult Child”.

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Sam Fife was a former Baptist minister who started his ministry in Florida in the early 1960’s.   He considered himself an apostle by way of a five-fold ministry concept based on the scripture in Ephesians 4:11 which states: So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers.  Sam used very erratic methods in his sermon deliveries, sometimes calm, sometimes angry, raising his voice and screaming, then lowering his voice in these charismatic tactics to keep people rapt into his message.

Project MK Ultra, sometimes referred to as the CIA’s mind control program, was an abusive government program involved in behavioral experiments. It phased itself out as the cult era began to swiftly rise.

Download this 178 page .pdf document of The Select Committee on Intelligence, Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the Committee on Human Resources Project MKUltra, The CIA’s Program Of Research In Behavioral Modification, investigativion held Wednesday, August 3, 1977. Present were Senators Inouye (presiding), Kennedy, Goldwater… well, you get the drift.

The behavioral modification tactics of the MK Ultra Project are mirrored in the abuse tactics used on us children in Sam Fife’s cult.   Sleep deprivation of us children.  Extreme beatings.  Demon possession casting out rituals consisting of being screamed at and beaten at the same time.  Ice baths that lasted hours.  Being forced into cold showers and sometimes beaten naked in the showers. Sexual molestation.

Left in some of our minds is the question of whether this cult and the cult era in general was simply a transition into religious mind control testing.  It takes an incredible amount of mind control tactics to convince hundreds of parents to not only allow, but participate in the violent abuse of their own children, more that the average little old southern evangelist preachers should know.

Sam’s recruiters set up what they called, and still call, body houses, which were basically churches being held in people’s homes.  They used these body houses for the cult recruitment.  They used fear of the end of days as a key component of their recruiting, messages such as the Communists were coming to invade America, using The Cold War as leverage. The messages were coupled with a inferences of love and ego stroking, telling adults who were in the group were chosen by God to live safely in the wilderness communities.  It was also a very Zionist based theology hailing the Jews as God’s chosen people. To date the cult is a big believer of the Abrahamic religion.

This was all going on when the United States was in a very tumultuous time, racial tensions were boiling and a lot of citizens were angry over the Vietnam War. By 1977, Fife’s group was reported in a California newspaper to have around 44,000 followers, after one of Fife’s ministers, Bill Grier, was arrested for performing exorcisms on high school children.  Sam preached that he would never die and if he did, his death was an indication that the end of the world had arrived.  It was reported to us cult members in 1979 that Sam Fife had been killed in a plane wreck in South America, and allegedly no one could ever find proof of this plane wreck.  

After Sam’s death, his teachings lived on through his understudy minister, Buddy Cobb, who revered Sam Fife and continued on with his teachings.  Sam’s teachings are still referenced today by this cult.  Buddy ran his ministry out of Florida and Bowens Mill, GA, which still exists as well.  He travelled around to various compounds preaching and spent a lot of time in Delta Junction, at the cult I was on.  Buddy is elderly and allegedly has Alzheimer’s but many, many abusers are still alive.  So Buddy Cobb’s eventual death does not put an end to the existence of this very intricate and multi-layered cult.

Now that I’ve thrown a skeleton of back information out there, I’d like to take us back a few years to 1972 and talk about the land purchase history of the Ware compound I write about in Cult Child.

On January 3rd of 1972 three men named Donald McClain, Robert Crowell and Leanord Banassek purchased 128.5 acres of land from a man named Fred L. Zajac.  Zajac owned land in other states, like Nevada, where Area 51 is, as well. Before Zajac’s purchase of the Ware, Massachusetts property, there’s not a trail of who owned it prior.  The record drops off to nothing.  I did some research through the Ware Historical Society as well as a personal military friend.  We came to a plausible conclusion that the deed to the land was most likely held by the Army Corps of Engineers and was possibly land that was a former secret military instillation.  During the 60’s and 70’s, some military bases were being privately sold since they were of no more use to the government.  However, they were not up for public auction, so there was an inside connection that had to be held by all of these parties to even know that the land was available for purchase.

Four months later on May 3rd, 1972, McClain, Crowell and Banassek sold the 128 acres of land to Sam Fife’s Mt. Bether Bible Center for one dollar. Crowell is still connected with this cult, and as I understand it is a leader of one of the compounds or churches in the Midwest.

Donald McClain’s son, Doug McClain was a traveling minister with the cult, and also a major player in regards to orchestrating the buying and selling of much of the cult property in Alaska during 1980. His business partner was a man named George Harris.   At this time, Alaska was gearing up to start giving out pipeline dividends to its citizens, so through McClain and Harris, the Sam Fife’s ministry amassed numerous deeds from individuals in Alaska and began building compounds there.  As I’ve been able to research, there were years where Harris and McClain would sell the deeds back and forth to each other for 10 dollars, possibly to avoid tax payments for the church. There are more compounds in Alaska than anywhere else that I know of, and I believe it is specifically because having most of their residents in Alaska allows them to continue collecting on the pipeline dividends since the cult members give over most of their income to the cult leaders’ church associations.

So buying up this land, they were preparing to move as many people as they could up to Alaska to establish residency in preparation for the dividends to start dropping.  We were told that Alaska was a safe place to be if the Communists should invade. However, my estimate is that at about 1000 a head, with over 100 people on each cult compound in Alaska, which were at the time around five, Haines, Hoonah, Edgerton, Sapa North and Living Word Ministry in Delta Junction where I ended up, these cult leaders were at a base, raking in around 500, 000 a year in members’ Alaska pipeline dividends.  That’s a lot of money for a business in the 80’s, and that is just touching the tip of the iceberg in regards to the financial structure of this cult.

The land buying in Alaska specifically seems to have been a very strategic financial move on the part of the cult.  To add on top of it, we were right in the middle of military training and testing installations and frequently were taken to Ft. Greeley. Still today, on Whitestone Farms, Delta Junction, Alaska’s website summary of their history own history, they proudly proclaim how a man named Doug McClain, along with Toby Williams, who was an elder on the compound I was at in Alaska, bought the parcels that Whitestone stands on today.

My reason for sharing all of this information is that I find it is important to build the background of how Sam Fife’s cult compounds were created, how some of the land was acquired and how they have a very, very long history of questionable connections and criminal behavior that has been going on for over 50 years.


“Wilderness Blues” is a book by T.B. Botts that goes deeper into the actually living conditions on some the compounds.

“The Still Before Dawn” by Suzanne McConnell is the only other book besides my book, Cult Child, that I know of which address that actual child abuse in and of itself.  Suzanne McConnell video story.

Move Forward is a non-profit dedicated to exposing this group and helping survivors.

Sam Fife Cult Survivor Jacqueline Jarvis’ hub page. 

2005 there was a letter written to the Father Ministry addressing the methods and abuse, but it was never answered.  Read it in its entirety.

“The Jane Tapes” are a recording of an actual supposed exorcism of legions of demons.  Sam Fife performed this exorcism on a woman named Jane Miller.  These tapes really show the psychotic aspects of Sam Fife’s personality.  I find the most interesting part to be the very beginning of the alleged exorcism when he uses a bit of a different, more solemn voice to introduce himself and then goes into this very elaborate description, talking about himself in the third person.

Pictured below, the men in the black suits, from left to right: Joe Lane (or Joe Ingles), Phil Martin and Sam Fife with Sam’s private plane (photo from 1968)

Sam Fife and Plane

The intent of the post is to, in the least, consider abuse methodology which mimicked military style torture, the great con of keeping Alaska money going in a circle from a cult to their businesses and back to the cult.

About Vennie Kocsishttps://venniekocsis.wordpress.comI am the author of "Cult Child", a memoir detailing my abusive childhood growing up in Sam Fife's Move of God cult. I am a poet, artist, advocate and pedophile hunter. If you know, then you know. MILAB EMPATH HYBRID HAARP POKERFLATS

24 thoughts on “A History of Sam Fife’s Move of God Cult

  1. Wow, I had no idea of this connection. The Move of God cult also established a location outside of Palmer, up on Lazy Mountain, off Clark Wolverine Rd in the late 70’s early 80’s. Long gone now. It was a huge dairy building with member accommodations in the same building that housed cows below.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Vennie, I believe you’ve made a good-faith effort at ferreting out the facts, but there’s a lot you’ve gotten really mixed up. The farm in Palmer was never bought, but leased from a local man who still lives in the area. You are mistaken about government involvement and other conspiracy theories.


        • I never mentioned Palmer, and I know all about you, Jane Giraldo Guillermo. You are an apologist and an abuser who I will not sit and engage back and forth with. Your students at Sapa have a lot to say about you, and it’s not good, I can tell you that. Stay the fuck off of my blog. If you think for one minute that I will ever stand by and allow you cult apologists to try and come discount the truth on my page, you are dead wrong. When you and the rest of you Sam Fife Move of God cult members decide to tell the truth about how disgusting and abusive you are, take accountability for your evil, then I’ll give you the right to a human existence in my life. Until then, go back to the line to hell, where you will most definitely be… before you even die. Hell doesn’t await you in your imagined afterlife. Your death will be a slow, rotting hell, just like Andy Trotter’s and Buddy Cobb’s. That’s what happens to abusers. Now please, with sugar on top, fuck off.

          Liked by 1 person

          • The immediate volatile presence of highly distasteful language is always but always what must awaken a reader to more-than suspicious writing. It is a case of the Apple Does Not Fall far from the tree, and the fruit enabling any and all to identify, without error, the tree it falls from. The language, and the ‘F’ bomb, tell you in cases like this, the writer has little connection with the Creator. Bitterness is no sign of Godliness. Unforgiveness is no sign of one having moved on. I personally almost wept in discovering and reading Miss Vennie’s accounts of life on a “cult farm”. Those believers I knew back then, four decades ago, were the most beautiful and generous Christians I was blessed to ever encounter. Many of us today would gladly tell you the ‘Move of The Spirit’ wonderfully changed our lives and deepened our relationship with Jesus Christ for life. If there were, in honesty, bad apples….that is sadly human nature. But to be deeply hurt and not be able to recover is not of Christ. To accuse key men of any church (without exception) to be antichrist, with great bitterness, speaks upon where the writer is today. Not of or for Jesus Christ. I pray Miss Vinnie finds a road back to Him before her final day.


            • James Pettitt, the fact that you call child abusers, swindlers and human traffickers “beautiful and generous Christians” is a perfect example of how Sam Fife’s doctrines and abusive teachings create mental illness in the human brain.

              I’m allowing your comment on my blog so that readers can see firsthand the level of sickness we children had and still have to deal with growing up around people like you in this cult.

              Thanks for the example of the criminal abuse denial.

              Your god tells you to love your enemies, but if you disobey him, you will go to hell. He told you that what you do to the least among you, you do unto him. Every time you all abused us or saw us abused and didn’t protect us or report it to the authorities, you abused your god, and he is keeping count. Every time you lie about it, he’s keeping count. Your bible teaches you to obey the laws of your land. In America child abuse is supposed to be reported. Child labor is illegal. You all have not only committed decades of crimes, but you have, according to your own holy book, repeatedly sinned against your god.

              So, according to your own God you ALL are fucked [emphasis added] and damned to hell for beating and molesting children, knowing about it and covering it up, taking our parents Alaska dividends and child support, starving my mother, beating demons out of people, abusing and trafficking vulnerable humans, the least among you. Bringing a morality train about the word fuck from an institution filled with child abusers is a simplistic oxymoron.

              You’re criminals, you should hope to die before it all unfolds on top of your whole organization, and now you’re crawling out of your holes because you’re afraid of us. Good. You should be unless you do the right thing and take responsibility for what was done to us children.

              You actually believe we give a shit about bible verses and ridiculous philosophy like that will sway our brains like it controls yours? You actually believe we care if you call us bitter like that bothers us? It doesn’t. We just observe how grossly sick you are. We’re ALL talking, and yes, we’re naming every wicked name, including yours, James Pettitt.
              We remember you.

              You’re better off praying for yourself. The secrets you hold, they haunt you don’t they? Day In. Day out. You have to live with memories too. I know. Victims talk between ourselves a lot. The memories pull you to my blog, desperate for some kind of defense or absolution. They make you show yourself. Your secrets are killing you, rotting you from the inside out. Because you’re vile, and you know you’re vile. Others know you’re vile too.

              But when you stand in from of your God, James, guess what? According to what you believe you don’t get to lie then, do you? Good luck with all of that. Accountability can help you heal. Remember that.


            • James, your own words condemn you. You speak of fruit. Matthew 7:15-20 speaks of false prophets and Jesus warns that “by their fruit ye shall know them”. I call your attention to the “first fruit” of the “Move of The Spirit” as you called the cult. The “first fruit” was a generation of children and teenagers that were abused sexually, physically, and verbally. I personally was one of them. By their fruit you shall know them, Jesus said. Well, aside from the first fruit of abused and abandoned children, NO one in cult, and I mean NO one, has EVER come remotely close to reaching the goal of their doctrine which is a perfect sinless life before physical death. So I present to you that the ONLY fruit The Move has ever truly born, is that of abuse, mistreatment, fraud, and extortion. So, you better believe we will continue to bring accusation against the leadership of The Move cult! They are false prophets. You say we haven’t forgiven. We have never been asked for forgiveness. Unforgiveness is NOT a sign of not having moved on. We have ALL moved on. I inform you that the “most beautiful and generous Christians” you encountered 40 years ago were false prophets and angels of light intent on deceiving you.

              Ok, now that I’ve responded in your terms and in language you will identify with, let me respond in my own terms. Screw The Move, screw it’s doctrine, and screw religion – lock, stock, and barrel. I am not afraid of any Judgement Day. There will never be such thing. Oh sure, I respect your right to believe that there will be some “final day”, and if you should ever find yourself standing there, you would be wise to tremble with great fear. But I don’t succumb to fear-mongering meant to bring about my submission and silence. Throughout history, religion has ALWAYS been THE tool used by manipulative leaders to control the feeble and weak-minded. Well I am either feeble nor weak-minded. I will defend those who speak out against the cult aka “The Move”, and I will add my voice and use all my faculties to undo it. Have I made myself clear?

              Liked by 1 person

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  3. Sounds shockingly similar to what was happening in the Children of God (aka The Family) cult around the same time (https://www.xfamily.org/). The surface of the appearance of an alternative group of Christians with community-style living, just beneath that was sex (and lots of it), which included separating families into different homes so that children could be abused (and tortured in the same manner you speak)… and the layer under that was yes some of these members were connected to the MK Ultra projects and some of these kids were given over to other abusers and government agents to “train” (abuse, torture, program, create Dissociative Identity Disorder, etc).

    In conspiracy circles, there’s a strong belief that the US government and CIA knew that MK Ultra was working, but that it took insane amount of abuse on very young children to get the desired outcomes. Something they could in no way sell the government to continue to directly fund. So, to have plausible deniability, and to reduce their costs, they helped form the cults and basically gave them the recipe for how to abuse kids to train them. Then the ones who were especially adept at performing under dissociative states were given over to the government to continue their training, while the cult got to continue using the other children in any ways they wished. It was a sick win-win for cults who wanted new generations to brainwash and the government who wanted to do experiments on kids or train them to be undocumented assets.


    • Oh yes, I’m all to familiar with The Family. Berg – sick piece of shit. There is no doubt in my mind there are government connections because they keep letting these cults exist and abuse. Sam Fife’s inheritors now have 22 compounds worldwide. These people are evil and deeply mentally unstable. My cult, the Family, Tony Alamo’s group and more all scream signs of MK Ultra/Monarch Project.


    • As I’ve observed, those who are popular in the anti-cult world tend to focus in only on what is currently trending in the news which helps their popularity. When this cult’s undoing hits the mainstream news, then they’ll jump on the bandwagon. As of now, they could care less. These people often really don’t care. They’re out for popularity and ego stroking/comparison.


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  7. I live in Delta Junction, The issues I have with this Cult is that they own business in Delta. Heritage construction. Interior building supply, Delta motorsports, and more. Then all the cult believers work for them and give all the money back to the cult. There is no way a person or business can compete against them, because all the labor wages go back to the company/ cult. They take millions out of the community, then have the audacity to file for Denali commission grants to supply them, with fuel tanks (150,000 gal complex) , land fill, power plant, they are robbing us at every turn.. the whole thing should be looked at by the feds and shut down and fined!!!!!


    • I could NOT have said it better! And that they have a compound in India which supplies one of their stores, Jewels if Sheba, which ironically is owned by Prinz who unfortunately.. I remember as a child in a way I should NOT remember. To this day I abhor the scent of curry.


  8. Fascinating Vennie – my most damaging years were the 1970’s in the Charismatic Movement in th uk. What you say so rings true. I cannot begin to even begin to imagine how you have survived – utterly horrendous what you and others went through in that cult. I have wept for my younger self but the grieving you must have done for the younger you is unspeakable.
    May you know cintinueso joy and peace in your life and thank you so much for the work you are doing ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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  10. THOSE WHO purport such things, and those who support the claims (from what I’ve observed), are commonly not out to bless anyone; supporters of venomous claims are not likely serving Christ (or representing by strengthening) a local church. Their time and money go elsewhere. The fruit of the Spirit does not easily coexist with poisonous spirits and attitudes. But all of the wolves in sheep’s clothing have a heyday with fallen souls. Haters struggle with love, joy, peace, and longsuffering. They can be quickly identified, on the street or on the net. Common threads are displays of self-righteousness and an allergy to all things Christ. Beware.


    • Why would we bless criminals and abusers? Why would we serve a sick religion based on a man who promoted spanking babies so they wouldn’t become the “cock of the walk”. I have Sam Fife, Buddy Cobb, Joe McChord – a bunch of the Father Ministry sermons. You men are sooooo gross, you know that? Dirty, vile, disgusting lovers of little children. You like to beat them and sexually molest then. You all preached the beating of children and the smothering of babies to train them not to cry, and you know it, because it happened right in services. It was no secret or some “few bad apples.” You adults are ALL guilty! Those who don’t do it directly cover for the ones who do it. You’re all sick, sick filth from the depths of the darkest matter, which is exactly where you shall return. As of this moment, shall you be cursed with pain and suffering in your body and brain from all the crimes you hide and deny. As it is so shall it be. You won’t bring your wickedness here, thing. Your Christ, Devil, whatever you want to call your imaginary friends will never protect you from what you will suffer for what happened in Sam Fife’s Move of God cult. What draws you here? Fear? Are you all afraid of us now? Did you not think we kids would come back for you all? And we are gathered, dozens of us in a group, and when we’re done, the world will know all of your names – when we release the List. So please, with sugar on top, abuser James Pettitt, fuck off. My time and money going into stopping sickos like you. The abusive cult you love formed us kids into some mighty warriors, and we are a beautiful storm.

      By the way – we remember you, Pettitt – some, very well, actually. Beware.


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