This theme of this seminar is surprising to me. Apparently it was not about the usual topics of "overcoming" or "the house of God", but about the interior experience of God. It is amazing that George plans to lecture for fourteen hours on "The Depths of God", and yet within a month he will be excommunicated from his home Assembly in Fullerton!
His poem, "Awakened", printed on the brochure, implies a frequent experience of being awakened very early out of sleep to a transcendent experience of communion with God, which he is going to share with the saints. He uses the Hebrew word shakan, denoting the meeting place of God with man.
This poem was written in July, 2002. About three months prior, Kirk C. had written a letter to George and Betty resigning from leadership. In July Kirk wrote another letter listing 47 saints who had left fellowship in San Luis Obispo because of their unfaithfulness in failing to deal with their son David's abusiveness.
The timeline of the collapse of the Geftakys ministry shows that less than a week before the seminar, "The elders and others discuss George’s spiritual condition and whether or not there should be a seminar with him speaking." Perhaps he chose the theme of this seminar to prove his special spirituality to the brethren.
It seems that by this point, George Geftakys was under a very deep delusion. What was the source of his transcendent awakening experiences? Perhaps significantly, George does not use the name God in his poem. Instead, he refers to "my friend" - no capitalization: "...there I lay, as laid my thoughts, were fitted in deepest communion with an intimate, my friend" -- a sexual image. Hmmm....
Another interesting omission occurs in the quotation from Paul's prayer in Ephesians 3. What is given is a sentence fragment with no subject: "May be able to comprehend..." The preceding verse has the intended audience as the subject, "That you...may be able," which would seem appropriate for a seminar, i.e. "I am giving this seminar so that you may gain this comprehension." But maybe by omitting the "you" GG was slyly shifting the meaning of this quotation from a prayer to a statement implying that he was the one who already had special comprehension.
August 12, 2007, Dave Sable: In his book The God Who is There Francis Schaeffer talks about the use of “connotative language”. He spoke of this with respect to a theology that denied truth but still wanted to inspire people to transcendence. They relied on words and phrases that carry the feeling and sense of meaning and significance even if the truth claims behind these words were nonsense.
I think George used the same technique. Even though some of the reality behind the lofty terms was simply delusion and “magic thinking” on his part, his adamant, rousing phrases aspired the hearts of the hopeful that this sense of transcendence could one day be understood and grasped.
The “riches of the mystery”, “hid in God”, “what passes knowledge”, “the threshold has been entranced”, “what gratitude this to this Father of Lights”, “awakened glory to all such things wherein the very spirit”. Wow! Lofty stuff! But what does it mean? Who knows? "But children, it is better felt than telt, and if you keep coming back and remain faithful and don’t get sidetracked by accusations and rumors, one day you will know what I know and experience what I experience. "
The college student spoke truer than he knew when he said, “I don’t know what he's talking about, but it sure sounds glorious.” Though George saw it as a compliment, this ultimately is not a good thing. In the earlier days, George did actually teach the Bible, so I came away with items of substance under his ministry. However, it was always mixed with this lofty talk that I assumed was pointing to something real, but I simply lacked the maturity and spirituality to understand. I think Margaret’s analysis is right on. In this last stand, George, in desperation, was pulling out the stops with this technique that had served him well among the impressionable college students for so many years. However, at this point, it was like a man desperately trying to pull the ripcord when, in fact, he was falling without a parachute. Few believed him anymore.
August 12, 2007, Brent T.:
George's poetry is very self centered, as always. He also
knows that the only people who ever read it were his servants, so he is
careful to include several really unusual words in every poem he writes.
He sometimes employs the use of those kinds of words for the titles of
various lectures in his seminars. Does anyone remember, "A Eucatastrophe
of Praise" from one of his seminars in the early '90's? He did this to
remind himself how much smarter he was than those around him.
Getting back to George and his delusion, I'm not sure he was ever deluded in the sense that someone or something was waking him up in the middle of the night. I think his delusion lay in the fact that he thought he could control, browbeat and intimidate his servants, as he had done so frequently in the past, and escape this latest challenge with his empire still vital. All of it, every aspect of the Assembly, was always for George, and designed for his satisfaction. Perhaps he deluded himself into thinking that God would overlook his sinful state because it was balanced out by the pure lives of the saints, which he, George, created? I doubt it, because I don't think he ever cared a whit about the saints. He cared for himself, foremost, at all times.
For some reason, George suffered a great misfortune for his adult life and was cheated out of having someone in his life to stand up to his evil ways, and hold him to account. The PB's certainly didn't have the means/will to do it, and his family didn't either, until later. The Assembly "leaders" were carefully chosen to support George: Never, at any time, we're they supposed to advise him, rebuke him, or instruct him. I think that might be why the title of the seminar was "The Depths of God." Only George had plumbed those depths, and his servants needed to be reminded of that.
Note whose name is listed as "contact man." Jim Hayman had, at that point, left the fellowship of George's servants twice, and been made to humiliate himself in front of the members upon his return. He had been removed from all positions of power and prestige, yet he still was willing to serve as "contact man," in order to facilitate George's self gratifying charade. George will answer soon for what he did to this very intelligent, very gifted man.
When I look back on it, I see God's Sovereign Grace, in the following manner:
Somehow, Keith W. came to SLO to start the assembly there. Keith chose a decent and good man, Kirk C. to be a leader in the fledgling assembly. Along came Brent T., who enjoyed countless hours of special time with David Geftakys, and who was blessed with a superb memory. All the inconsistencies and contradictions could not be erased from Brent's mind; indeed he could not help keeping a "record of wrongdoing," despite trying desperately for many years.The difficult, hard thing isn't beating a pompous fool like George. The really tough thing is finding people who will stand up, start talking, and not run away when sycophantic goofballs perform their impotent magic spells against them. Everyone should learn how to deal with a bully. That's what George is, a bully who had his way for too long, and forgot to imagine that he could be brought down by ordinary people who had had enough.
Finally, the dormant seed of courage and a longing for justice awoke, by the Grace of God, and the rest is chronicled on this website. In the end, it wasn't that hard to put an end to George. Anyone could have done it.
George's poetry, anonymous comment, July 2007: ""George was published in two books of poetry. One was a collection of poems by various poets. The second was only his poems. Both books were the kind of thing where you pay to be have your own work published. George financed the publishing of these books. He was never good enough to be published in the traditional sense. Actually, I guess it was the same with his other 'books', in a more round about way."