As I showered the next morning, the Lord spoke to me. He said, “Dave
Cohen is a madman. You have to leave. He will be coming to kill
I was shocked at what I heard, but I believed it. I expected he would
be back within days. I told Marilyn what I received, and I knew that
while we needed to act immediately, there was no cause for panic or undue
haste. We took immediate measures to pack what we had, put a topper on
our truck, and notify our customers that we wouldn’t be able to
fulfill our moving commitments. We had a few disappointed, even angry,
We had already purchased a Casa Rolla 13-foot collapsible Fiberglas
trailer from Brazeaus, had a hitch fitted on the truck, and our furniture
was sold. I called Don Puhach, the landlord, and told him we had to leave.
We cleaned the suite, completed all our business matters, and headed
to Art and Doreen’s before we headed out of town.
There were still customers to notify, so we gave the Beals their numbers,
asking Art to call them and let them know the unwelcome news that we
couldn’t make it. Finally, we told the Beals that if they should
hear from Paul or anyone else, get contact information so that we might
get in touch. We weren’t prepared to give anyone information on
Particle – Paul’s Naïvety
We had told Paul about the potential trouble from his father, but he
didn’t see it, even as he didn’t understand at first what
I was trying to tell him at Revivim. Therefore, we decided Paul couldn’t
know where we were, and we didn’t tell anyone else, lest Dave should
get information from them.
Particle – Heading Out on the Highway
From the time I received the warning from the Lord, it took us about
three days to clear out. I expected Dave, and perhaps his accomplices,
to arrive at any time. Art received that we would “go
out with joy” (Isaiah 55:12) – I didn’t know what he was talking
about; this was anything but joy. As we were driving out of town, he
followed us to the perimeter of the city in case there might be trouble.
We headed west on the Trans Canada Highway, imagining all sorts of threatening
evils and thinking about all that had just happened.
Particle - Aftershock
For the next several years, I would be looking over my shoulder, studying
strangers coming near me, watching cars on the road, wondering who was
at the door when a knock came, and who was calling when picking up the
phone and finding only silence.
Yes, I was physically attacked and strong-armed to the ground; yes,
a friend was kidnapped in our own home, and that by his parents, who
pretended to be friendly. We were betrayed, my tires were slashed, a
hired foreign team was used to violate us, and our lives were threatened.
But we suffered little harm physically, and the event was brief.
What about those who have been raped or brutally assaulted or whose
house has been broken into and vandalized? What do those suffer who have
been taken captive for days, weeks, months, and even years by heartless,
ignorant terrorists, and held in dark prison boxes, blindfolded, cut
off from all freedoms and loved ones, almost totally isolated and even
tortured mentally and physically, with the constant threat of pain and
death, day and night?
If such a minor incident affects one who knows the Lord and receives
consolation in Him, and who understands some of what He does and how
He does it, how does a more severe incident affect those who have no
hope or understanding?
I had no nightmares as a result of the incident, for which I can be
very thankful, but I can imagine how many people are traumatized for
the rest of their lives, both in ways they well know and ways they aren’t
It would be years of caution, suspicion, skepticism, at times anxiety,
and even small bouts of fear, in varied circumstances, before a fiery
event would come and cleanse and heal me of a lifetime of scars, and
leave me with only benign memories of the past. By the way, Marilyn wasn’t
affected so negatively. She says I’m a more intense person, which
On our way out of the city, we remembered the Branhamites in Portage
La Prairie, Bert and Marie Tower, of whom the Gilberts had told us, and
decided to visit them.
Particle – The Branhamite Conference, Indiana
Arriving at the Towers, I think that only their son, Brent, was home.
He was about 18 and ready to drive to their denominational conference
in Jeffersonville, Indiana. His parents had gone on ahead. He invited
us to come. Having “no particular place to go,” we decided
to accept the invitation, parked the truck and trailer under cover, and
headed out with him.
Arriving in Indiana, we told the Tower family what had just happened
to us. Bert urged us to speak to the leader there, someone who was supposed
to be wearing William Branham’s mantle, a fellow who had been kicked
in the head by a horse and left with a large scar on his face. We didn’t
feel led to talk to him about the affair.
(Something we noticed in the South was that people there, compared to
Canadians and Montanans, were generally heavier and more often appeared
sickly, with pasty, grayish faces. Many were obese.)
The conference was week-long with several hundreds attending. The whole
affair was a social one of entertainment, more than spiritual edification,
one of promoting the late William Branham and themselves. One fellow
on stage repeatedly, exuberantly “testified” about how good
he felt. “Oh, I feel good! I really feel good!” He must have
said it at least half a dozen times.
I recall each preacher trying to outdo the other. One even imitated
Branham’s voice, but only when preaching. Brent Tower was going
with this preacher’s daughter, and he later married her.
Particle – Inability to Explain What One
When we returned to Manitoba and visited with the Towers for a day or
two, they tried hard to persuade us to join them. However, when questioned
about their doctrines, they couldn’t answer or explain. “Well,
our pastor could explain it better; you can talk to him,” they
would reply. This is the reply we have had from people of several religious
I recall one writer saying (in similar words), “If
one is unable to explain what he is saying, it is better to question
of it, rather than his ability to express it.”
If one cannot express or explain his or her beliefs, how can they be
sincere in them? Of what value are those beliefs? If they don’t
have their own oil, how do they expect to be sustained indefinitely by
someone else’s? Such is not acceptable to God when it comes to
Christian faith and doctrine. One need only read the Lord’s parable
about the ten virgins (Matthew 25).
Particle – False Prophecy?
Before we left, we urged the Towers to consider that they were deceived.
We shared many points that showed what they believed wasn’t true.
We told them that, in believing lies, it couldn’t go well for them.
It occurred to me to give them a sign. I said to them, “This is
the sign that you are wrong. Brent and his girlfriend won’t marry.”
(Brent was serious about the girl, but as I observed them, it seemed
that he was chasing after her, and though she entertained him, it seemed
she had other things on her mind. I felt that there was something necessary
missing for a true marital bond and therefore expected that they wouldn’t
We left the Towers and not long after being on the road, I thought, “Why
did I say that? I think I was persuaded by logic and deduction, rather
than speaking by spiritual inspiration of God.” I had remembered
how Isaiah prophesied something to happen and gave a sign:
“So, the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold, the virgin
will conceive and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His Name
Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14 MKJV).
I was chagrined at what I had done, and I think Marilyn also wondered
why I said what I did. She wasn’t sure of it, either. We would
hear more on this matter years later.
Particle – A Tragic Tumble to Temptation
We arrived at Swift Current, Saskatchewan, and found a campground. There
at a concession booth, on a hot summer day, they were selling ice cream,
and I wanted some. We had learned not to eat the garbage sold on the
market, and ate only homemade ice cream. God had disciplined us to eat
I was in shape and happy for it. I could wear boys’ size 30 jeans
at 5-foot-10, a miracle in itself. I was indeed slim and trim. God’s
Word was fulfilled. I remained slim and trim for close to half a year.
But that day in Swift Current, I succumbed to my desire and purchased
a garbage ice cream bar. I saw the dark spiritual forces in the faces
of those near me, including the lady selling me the ice cream, and they
were chuckling. Imagination? Guilty conscience? Perhaps, but I don’t
As I opened the wrapper, ready to bite, I heard a stern voice say, “If
you eat that ice cream bar, you will have your weight problem again.” I
don’t recall God ever speaking to me in that tone before. Rationalizing,
I disregarded it as my imagination, or even as the voice of the Devil
because of the stern tone, and ate the bar. I was guilty, however; I
knew I was guilty, and I felt the guilt. Woe, woe, woe!
Within months, I had to suffer the general defeat of intemperance with
food and resulting excess weight, along with guilt, self-consciousness,
and low self-esteem. God is Judge, not to be disregarded. My judgment
and prison term would last many years.
“Behold then the kindness, and the severity of God; on those having
fallen, severity; but on you, kindness, if you continue in the kindness.
Otherwise you also will be cut off” (Romans 11:22 MKJV).
Particle – Not Knowing Where We Were Going
Seeing we planned to live in Alberta, to Alberta we went. We wandered
from campground to campground. We came to Lethbridge and looked around,
but there was nothing open to us. I was disappointed and wondered if
I had been right in believing it was God’s will for us to live
Or was I even concerned about God’s will? Wasn’t I the one
who decided we may as well go live where we preferred to live, because
God wasn’t doing anything with us in Manitoba?
Particle – Rendezvous with, and Letter to,
Remembering John Taal from Camp Caroline in 1976, and knowing he lived
in Lethbridge, we called him. He came with a friend to meet us where
we were staying in the KOA trailer campground. John was zealous to do
what he believed to be the will of God. He came to try and do whatever
he could for us. Instead of ministering to us in the Spirit, however,
he did so in the flesh. He gave us money, thinking that was our need;
We were a bit down and doubting, wondering if we were still in danger
from the Cohens, and wondering where to go or what to do. John then tried
guessing what kinds of problems we had with God. Was there sin in our
lives? Was there doubt? Was there this or that or what? He didn’t
know, and we didn’t know what to say. It was obvious we were under
stress, and he tried to deal with it. We might still have been hunted
for our lives, but we couldn’t tell John anything of those trials.
Why? I don’t know.
In the following days, I considered what John had been doing and where
he was coming from. I wrote a letter from wherever we were on the road.
In the letter, I criticized him for guessing, instead of knowing from
the Lord specifically what the issue was with us, or anyone else for
that matter. I likened his approach to using a sawed-off shotgun at close
range, yet unable to hit a barn door. I told him he wasn’t going
by the Spirit, but making a show of being a minister of God.
I would come to question what I had done in criticizing him.
Particle – The Mediwakes
We visited the Mediwakes in Brooks, Alberta. Muriel was prospering in
real estate and Merv was prospering in his work with Lakeside Feeders.
Merv needed a repair or connection on his stove, so I did it for him.
The interest in fixing things was developing in me, though I didn’t
Particle – Paul Finds Us
We traveled to Fort Macleod and stayed at the Daisy May campground.
We decided to call the Beals to see if they had heard from Paul, which
they had. I don’t recall for sure if we stuck to our conviction
about not letting anyone know where we were at this point, but I believe
we stayed the course. Either way, we finally got in touch with one another.
He was in Illinois at the time. Learning where we were, he immediately
set out to join us.
Within two or three days, he arrived at our trailer about two in the
morning, accompanied by the campground owner, and knocked on our door.
We awoke with a start. Was it danger? Who was it?
Then we heard Paul’s voice and were overjoyed.
Particle - Paul’s Story
We were very happy to see Paul. He told us his father had hired a team
in the U.S. to capture and deprogram him. Seizing him behind our home,
with Dave Cohen as the driver of the getaway car (I hadn’t had
a chance to see him), they immediately sped to Falcon Lake, a resort
near the U.S. border where they began to work on him.
For several days, they tried to change his mind about us, constantly
questioning him. Paul would quote Scripture and reason with them, and
they were powerless to do anything. One fellow got angry with Paul, threw
the Bible on the floor, and clutched him by the throat. Dave Cohen quickly
stepped in and said to the fellow and the rest of their team, “That’s
enough. You’re through!”
That night the team had a party, relieved their job was done, while
the Cohens still had their “problem.” The party must have
been a vexatious insult to the Cohens, who were paying for the team’s
service royally, yet fruitlessly. The team took off for the States, and
the Cohens returned with Paul to Winnipeg.
They came to our place at La Verendrye and found it empty. They checked
next door with the landlord, who couldn’t tell them where we were,
only that we had left abruptly. David was angry and frustrated.
They drove around for a while looking for us and the Beals. In his naïvety,
Paul wanted to call the Beals while with his parents, not realizing the
possible danger to us from his father, who intended to kill me. However,
Paul couldn’t remember Art and Doreen’s last name and didn’t
have their phone number. I say God withheld it from him for our sakes.
All along, Paul couldn’t believe his father was capable of what
the Lord said he would do, given the opportunity, which was to kill me.
But when Paul related to us how his father was angry to find us gone,
I immediately recalled where David told Jonathan that King Saul’s
anger would be a confirmation that he wanted to kill David. King Saul
was furious when he found David missing, and nearly killed his own son,
Jonathan, in his rage (see Samuel 20, especially verses 27-33). (I marvel
how Paul doesn’t remember things happening this way to this day.)
The Cohens drove to the airport for their appointed flight and left
Paul in Winnipeg with the rental car. Soon after, while driving around,
Paul remembered the Beals’ name, called and talked with them. At
that time, Art and Doreen didn’t know where we were or how to contact
Paul headed back to the U.S.
Particle – Wandering with Paul
We decided to do some traveling together. Marilyn and I had the Casa
Rolla trailer, and Paul had a tent. We traveled through parts of Montana
and Alberta, visiting and talking. In looking to live in Alberta, I applied
to several motels for a management position.
I was looking to motel management at a time when the economy was sluggish,
imagining some sort of security in that occupation. Jobs seemed scarce,
and I wasn’t trusting God to provide. I left applications on file
both by letter and in person. I gave prospective employers our old St.
Boniface post office address to which they could reply to us, seeing
we had no fixed address and didn’t know where we would be.
I say “I,” because Marilyn wasn’t with me on motels.
She simply didn’t want any part of it. Why? I don’t know,
unless she instinctively or wisely knew what was involved, without ever
having been involved. However, motels always held some mystique to me,
and I was intent on following through, if possible.
This was a case where we weren’t in agreement, contrary to the
principle we thought we had learned from Ernie Chadwick in 1976 in Caroline,
Particle – Speaking to Vic Graham, Preacher
of Universalism in Calgary
From time to time, we went to one of Vic Graham’s meetings in
Calgary, and more than once I was compelled to speak to him of things
he taught that weren’t right. With Paul, we went to one of his
Whether at this meeting or another, Vic Graham said that while our spirits
and bodies would be saved, our souls would not. He likened our situation
to a light bulb: The source of the light was the electricity, which he
likened to the spirit. This would not perish. The bulb was the body,
which the Bible testified would be resurrected from the dead. The soul
was the light that existed before the bulb burned out, which wouldn’t
be restored. He concluded that it was only his opinion.
Days later, after considering and searching the Scriptures, I wrote
him a letter and quoted some verses to him, perhaps the following, though
likely from the King James Version:
“And the Lord your God is to be loved with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5
“And the Lord your God will give to you and to your seed a circumcision
of the heart, so that, loving Him with all your heart and all your
you may have life” (Deuteronomy 30:6 BBE).
will not let my soul be prisoned in the underworld; You
will not let Your loved one see the place of death” (Psalms 16:10
restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness
for His Name’s sake. (Psalms 23:3 KJV)
wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt Thou
suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (Acts 2:27 KJV).
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God
your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23 KJV).
“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and
be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 1:2 KJV).
I made three points:
“Where in Scripture,” I asked, “do
you find substance for your opinion?”
“If you, of all
people, believe in the reconciliation of all things, then, of all
things, why would not the soul be reconciled
to God even as the Scriptures testify?”
“A man of God isn’t permitted to preach opinions from
the pulpit or anywhere else. He’s called to preach the truth and
We received no reply – nothing unusual.
Particle – Dennis and Charmaine Holland
In our travels, we arrived in Medicine Hat, Alberta, where we visited
Dennis and Charmaine Holland, a peculiar couple indeed. They professed
faith in Christ, had been attending Grace Gospel Church in Calgary, where
Archie was attending and where John
Martello was an elder. We knew that
Charmaine had the Spirit. I recalled her prophesying and interpreting
tongues at meetings, and sharing things of the Spirit, all of which witnessed
with us. While Dennis acted quite spiritual, I was always skeptical of
him. He was a strange fellow.
Charmaine was horribly deformed in body and face, cross-eyed, hare-lipped,
short, and quite obese, while Dennis was somewhat of a fit and handsome
man. He publicly treated her with great affection. His conduct with Charmaine,
though strange, was impressive to all, it seemed.
Charmaine later confided to us that when she first laid eyes on him,
she said, “Lord, I want that man for my husband.” It happened.
I thought, “God has graciously given her a husband of her choice,
beyond her hopes.”
While we visited with them, however, issues came up. Charmaine confided
several things to us about what Dennis was like privately. She told us
that he would openly court other women, even in her presence, cautioning
her to behave herself and pay no attention or go into the house, as he
carried on with them in their car in his driveway.
What was she to do? She needed physical care, didn’t have anyone
else to do it, and thus seemed locked into a helpless situation. It appeared
that he was a man without a conscience.
He informed us that he had been in prison for manslaughter (I don’t
recall that it was intentional - something to do with illegal and reckless,
perhaps drunken, driving – I don’t recall accurately).
Charmaine had a prophecy for me. She prophesied God would be causing
me to speak, and I would ask myself, “Did I say that?” It
would be words I was speaking, yet the Father would be speaking them
through me. This prophecy was similar to one from Carroll Vance. Both
prophecies came to be manifested continuously, but much more so in later
Paul and I told her that what Dennis was doing clearly demonstrated
that he wasn’t a believer (believers don’t flout their spouses
with open adultery), that she was a believer, that they were unequally
yoked, and that she should leave him.
While the Scriptures say a believer shouldn’t put away an unbelieving
spouse if the unbeliever is pleased to dwell with the believer, we couldn’t
see that Dennis was so pleased. I think she believed that what we were
saying was true, but couldn’t bring herself to act. Her security
was an issue. I told her that the Lord was up to taking care of her in
Particle – Our Sixth Eviction for the Faith
Charmaine talked to Dennis, and he talked to us and to her and commanded
her to publicly renounce us and send us on our way. She did. Dennis was
quite satisfied with himself, like the proverbial cat having swallowed
the canary. We were gone.
Frankly, as I look back, I don’t know how it could have happened
any other way. I’m glad she didn’t listen to us. It seems
that God provided him for her, despite his waywardness. Years later,
we heard that she had major, fatal health problems. He may have taken
care of her.
It was time to part with Paul again. He took a Greyhound bus to Great
Falls, Montana from Medicine Hat, and we returned to Lethbridge.