Another “Spiritual Daddy” Demands “Submission”

darth vader daddy

Self-proclaimed “bishop” Brian Tamaki of New Zealand’s “Destiny Church” is displaying a very frightening cult leader-like posture: recently he held a ring ceremony where 700 men from his church publicly declared their submission to him. Tamaki is one of Eddie Long’s spiritual sons, and several of my blog brothers have written about this odd ceremony (see here and here), but I thought I’d add my own nickle since I have first-hand experience with Eddie Long’s similar excercise 10 years ago.

As I’ve previously stated, I was once a member of Eddie’s church club for 6 years. Back in 1998-1999, Eddie decided to establish classes where men could learn to be “godly men”, under his direction of course. For 6 months, Eddie held classes at his church, inviting such luminaries as TD Jakes, Don Meares, and other charlatans to “speak into his sons”. It was a fascinating lesson in brainwashing. Eddie demanded that no one miss a single Saturday morning session, or they’d run the risk of “losing out on the anointing” – and I was one of the faithful drones who sat erect with pen ready week after week to “receive from the Lord”.

Our apprenticeship culminated with a “graduation ceremony” held at Earl Paulk’s cavernous church (suprising irony) because New Birth wasn’t big enough at the time to hold the 20-30,000 well-wishers who were present. Eddie declared us “Ishmen” who would change the community as representatives of him and God. We didn’t get rings, but we got fancy “letterman”-styled jackets to show off in the community (now he sells New Birth rings and other gaudy jewelry). 

Eddie preached, and closed the ceremony with a “laying on off hands” session. He poured oil on his hands and “laid hands” on over 2,000 men in a little over 2 hours. One by one, man after man fell out along the pulpit – “slain in the spirit” as our new “daddy” touched us. It was a bizarrely surreal sight – bodies stacking up like cord wood around Eddie’s feet. I actually had a video from the event, but I threw it away several years ago. Of course, after the “graduation”, we provided no discernable presence within our communities. The only change was that Eddie’s entourage got larger.

Fast forward 10 years and check out what Eddie’s “New Zealand son” is up to (emphasis in bold):

Tamaki’s 700 ‘sons’ swear oath of loyalty

EXCLUSIVE – The leader of Destiny Church, Brian Tamaki, who not long ago anointed himself bishop of the church he founded, has now proclaimed himself the church’s “spiritual father” and designated the male members of the church as “spiritual sons”.

At a special service during the church’s annual conference in Auckland at the weekend, about 700 male members of the church swore a “covenant oath” of loyalty and obedience to Mr Tamaki and were given a “covenant ring” to wear on their right hands.

A church document describes the covenant as “a solemn oath of commitment that is binding, enduring and unbreakable. You are bound to covenant … Covenant is an irrevocable, undissolvable oath of commitment”.

The document, entitled Protocols and Requirements Between Spiritual Father & His Spiritual Sons, contains the text of the “covenant oath”, the guts of which is that “Above all, we stand here today in the presence of God to enter into this sacred covenant with our man of God, Bishop Brian Tamaki”.

It says: “To you Bishop we pledge our allegiance, our faithfulness and loyalty. We pledge to serve the cause that is in your heart and to finish that work. Success to you and success to those who help you – for God is with you.”

In its introduction, the church document says that proof of a man’s covenant with God is how they “submit to God’s chosen man … We are blessed to our spiritual father through whom this principle is being restored. The fruit of his ministry is self-evident, so much so that his call and influence is discerned at many levels in both the Christian and non-Christian communities here in New Zealand … Spiritual fathers are extremely rare … For us it is about discerning the special anointing and function God has put on Bishop’s life … “

The requirements of sonship, the document says, are to give Mr Tamaki obedience and honour, to imitate him and follow his faith and to give him “your loyalty and your strength”.

This, my friends, is a clear-cut cult move. Click the title to read the article in its entirety – then pray earnestly for mass repentance as the Lord wills. Events like this are a certain sign that His return is imminently near.

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24 Responses to “Another “Spiritual Daddy” Demands “Submission””

  1. 1 Keith Tolbert November 3, 2009 at 7:25 pm


    I was at the “Ishman” show, didn’t see you there! Man, talk about hoodwinked, I’m almost embarrased to admit I was there. Thanks be unto God for the lights coming on!!!

    The really sinister part of this is that these guys zero in on the fact that many black men were raised without fathers and they play on that need to connect with a father figure. Once they have succeeded in capturing that child-like trust guys’ll run through walls for them.

    Even when I was drinking the New Birth kool-aid, I felt real uncomfortable at Jakes’ first Manpower conference there back in the day. I told my co-workers the next morning,” I know men have emotions too; but there was just too many grown men boo-hooin’ in there for me!” Maybe that should have been my first clue that the kool-aid was spiked!

    • 2 speaking truth November 3, 2009 at 9:06 pm

      I was there, Keith – and IC was there at the same time also. You’re right – they really exploit black men who have fractured relationships with their real dads, then exploit them with the “your dad wasn’t proud of you but I am” lie. Glory to God indeed that the lights came on, brother.

  2. 3 Michael Thompson November 3, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    I took a look at the jewelry. $2,500 bucks for a diamond ring? That’s some serious bling! How many people are going into debt to get the full set? Wow.

    • 4 speaking truth November 3, 2009 at 9:07 pm


      C’mon man – you can’t get the ‘nointing without the bling! How elase can you claim God’s favor on your life if you don’t have the ice to prove it?

  3. 5 Broken Pastor November 3, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    It’s not so much blatant lies that leave such deep scars.
    It’s the lies that are *almost* true that hurt the most.

    God have mercy on these men who are chasing after a father. YOU are the True and Faithful Father. MERCY!

  4. 6 wannabereal November 3, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    Well my bro, i must admit that i too was one of the “faithful drones” at the Ishman fiasco….it’s really funny that at the time i didn’t know you nor Keith but thank the Lord for ‘the lights coming on’……..cause at the time, i thought what a “powerful service” it was (with all the cordwood bodies stacked up lol)…..I think i still have a copy of the service in my garage somewhere….

    • 7 Pat November 3, 2009 at 10:56 pm

      Keep your video just in case Time Magazine comes for an interview about your situation within the next 10 years…the movie deals, the articles(lol) the true deliverance of God’s children will now know what to look out for.

  5. 8 Ron November 4, 2009 at 10:47 am

    “As deep calls out to deep!” As I was reading your e-mail I prayed and God answer me. He told me to come out from among them and He will show me where to go. As far as who my “daddy is” IT IS “ABBA” FATHER. P.S. IT’S NOT THE END IS COMING!IT’S THE END IS HERE! REMEMBER! 5 WENT IN AND 5 DID NOT! BE WISE! AGAPE!

  6. 9 jim November 4, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    my father in heaven ,made a way for me to be on tv 27 years ago where he spoke out about the lies and decepteion in the church world ,he told them to repent, larry lea,kenneth copeland ,oral roberts,robert tilton,jim baker, wv grant,james robison,all the big names at the time,how little has changed,just diffrent names,most of them dont have the churches they once had, there are more who are going to fall ,there sins are going to be exposed to the world .they will know that GOD the father and his son still rule and regin

  7. 10 Stacey November 4, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    I was looking at the jewelry and maybe Im not seeing it correctly but that symbol for the church or whatever it is looks like a the head of the devil….
    That alone would make me not return to that church, even if I didnt know anything about the pastor.

    Hello I’m Speaking Truth,
    I read your blog often but don’t say much, I would like to say thanks for all of the insight from you and everyone that contributes to these discussions. It has really taught me alot.

  8. 11 anointedvessel November 4, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Hey There’s a lot of Tenor’s talking… lets get a Soprano in here for some female perspective. Let me break it on down guys, Once again… this is part of the great deception, along with the homosexual agenda. The devil knows he can’t break the church without going for the men first because they are supposed to be the priests. Now he’s got them pledging allegiance to some dude with a fly ring, I pray for the women in that congregation, They better go to war for their marriages and for the very manhood of their men. This ritual stinks to high heaven and sounds gay as the Bohemian grove (go look that up), if they don’t, those men are gonna be more in love with the man they just pledged to, than God or their wives. Oh yah and another thing, when did they throw out the Ten Commandments “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me” that pastor was either super bold, or super stupid, for that infraction. Oh and BTW all former “Ish-men” I hate to be the one to tell you this (and no I am not picking with you), but it is well known in the urban community and in every rap song the word “ISH” is what they say when they really want to say the expletive that means excrement. Go look it up. Eddie Long should be ashamed of himself for calling you all that and then dressing you up and doing so. And he can’t say he ain’t know, he hung around enough rappers and he’s the spiritual Daddy of ol’ nasty Usher. Puleease Case Closed. Eddie long and his so called Sons have created a straight up cult. If he were to jump of a cliff I am afraid half of his blinded sheeple would jump right along with him. God help!

    • 12 speaking truth November 4, 2009 at 2:07 pm

      Wow, AV – you’ve said a mouthful 😆

      I know the slang you’re reffering to with our designation as “Ish” men, but Eddie claimed it had some biblical inference. I’m gonna have to dig through my files in the basement to find my “diploma” (and I’ll post it if/when I find it), but Ish was supposed to be a characteristic “real man” according to scripture – one who defended his family, acted as the priest of his home, protected his community, blah blah blah. Also, Eddie has a “mentoring group” for boys that he calls “Longfellows Academy” (get it? “Long” as in Eddie, and “fellows” as in his boys?). Anyway, they have a summer program where boys move up the “4-levels of manhood”: Sons, Ruff Riders, Gladiators, and Ishmen (see here for details). All in all, it’s still a cult move – and praise God through Jesus Christ that me, wannabereal, Keith, IC and others got away…

    • 13 Marie R February 27, 2010 at 9:15 pm

      Not to defend Eddie Long, for I’d NEVER want to do that, but ISH is the Hebrew word for man, and is found multiple times in the Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible. My guess is that this is from where Eddie Long derived the term Ish-man.

  9. 15 Searching for the Truth November 4, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Where in the Bible does it say that we have to take a oath to our “Spiritual Father”? Does the Bible even mention “Spiritual Father”? Am I reading the wrong Bible? That’s why we need to read and study the Bible for ourselves.

    How do these pastor sleep at night knowing what they’re doing is wrong? Or do they think that at the last seconds of their lives they can repent?

    And do I really need a $2,500 NB penchent that doesn’t even look like a cross but a sword?

  10. 16 N Lewis November 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    I’m speaking truth!
    You got me with this one….I would have never thought foolishness like this was going on….I really like Bishop Long….I thought he was one of the last true men of God. I have to agree with searchingforthetruth we must stay in our word for ourselves. These are some serious evil days we are living in Thanks for all the insight!

  11. 17 elder jimmy November 4, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Hello, Welcome to New Birth Ministries where the illustrious Bishop Eddie (preaching in a muscle shirt and sometimes a sleeveless robe) Long is the Spritiual Father….

    What did you think of that? I could not beleive my eyes with the sleeveless robes that showed off his “guns” to the ladies and some of the gentlemen.

  12. 18 BlackWomenBlowTheTrumpet November 5, 2009 at 12:08 am

    Hi there!

    I was in a service once and the Bishop was sitting in his throne and oil was poured on his feet. Then, the person who poured the oil mentioned that all ministers had to step forward. We came forward. We were directed to kneel down before the Bishop and touch his feet.

    One by one, we did it.

    The audience watched in reverence.

    I am ashamed to admit that I did it.

  13. 20 pierced November 5, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Wow, IST, I know you’ve mentioned before your association with the club of New Birth, but I didn’t realize just how deep! I praise God for you, Keith, IC and others who were delivered and are now allowing God to use you to lead others out of deception.

    I must admit, although I don’t live in the Atlanta area, I watched the show, errr, ministry on television years ago, before he really blew up. I thank God I was never fully taken in. I believe God’s Holy Spirit and my foundational knowledge of the Bible wouldn’t allow me to completely accept his teachings.

    As for this “bishop” Tamaki’s ring ceremony and oath taking, it does have the “ring” of cultishness. God forbid that Tamaki were to take it to a Jim Jones level.

    I agree, we need to pray for mass repentance, but first that the eyes of the sheeple will be opened and that they will be delivered from deception.

  14. 21 Ron November 5, 2009 at 7:26 pm


  15. 22 hiscrivener November 6, 2009 at 1:59 am

    Ish, please! 🙂

    Well done brother. And thanks for the love.

    Man, I don’t understand what these freak charlatans are thinking when they do stuff like this. It’s bad enough to subject your followers (they ain’t members) like this, but to make them PAY FOR IT is out of bounds.

    Yet, there will be one next year. Sigh.

  16. 23 anointedvessel November 6, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    I have one more thang to say to all the MEN who got out in time. I say MEN in all caps because that’s what you are. If you admit that you were there but left and have a testimony of having your manhood intact then you are a true man of God. I want to say this to you… Gaze at your future and only Glance at your past and not the other way around… I really mean that. Eddie Long, has taken enough of your time wasting it preening him, touching his blasted feet, throwing money at his altar and all that nonsense. As far as the Biblical meaning of ISH…. thanks Ron for pointing that out. However; Bishop long still makes it funny sounding, to the Urban community because in his 4 steps program he mixes up supposed, decent terms with street terms like “ruff riders” I am not even going to waste your time going into the gang affiliations and wicked connotations that brings up. when the young men he has in these programs hear this are instantly confused. He might as well call the outreach program ” a drive by “. I guess they’ll throw bibles at folks. Honestly guys I am not trying to be funny, I am just trying to point out how ridiculous it sounds when you try to appeal to the flesh all while trying to please God at the same time. Congratulations all of you who survived the Longfellow,ruffrider,Ish-boondaggle!

  17. 24 finally free November 9, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Oh Wow! Former charismatic here…. I acutally posted the link to the newspaper article to my Facebook as a note and tagged it as “Run from Spiritual abuse” – Not one single comment – none of those folks still in the “mania” had word to say…. They all think I’m the one who has lost it. Thanks be to God he opened my eyes before I ended up in a place like this.

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