New Rangers Star to Pay for Cult Recruiting

New Rangers Star to Pay for Cult Recruiting

Sunday Mail (London), March 11, 2001

Half his wages go to US church

Half of Rangers star Marcus Gayle’s wages will be used to launch a recruitment drive for a sinister cult in Scotland. The International Church of Christ – branded one of the most dangerous cults in the world – will use the new ;&ukp900,000 striker’s high profile to boost its membership.

Former members and counselling groups warned that the sect, which has just 1,800 members in Britain, will try to exploit the Rangers’ massive following. And they warned Rangers players against being tricked into promoting it. Members donate half their income to the sect, which is estimated to have around 50,000 members world-wide.

Followers have a strict adherence to the Bible and are appointed a discipler. The disciplers have total control over who members date and only encourage relationships within the group. Married members must also report to their discipler each time they have sex.

The cult has been banned from some university campuses because of its attempts to brainwash students. Jamaican internationalist Gayle, 30, came to Rangers from Wimbledon last week on a two-and-a-half-year contract. He is believed to be on ;&ukp15,000 a week.

The cult will also pocket a percentage of his signing-on fee, win bonuses and sponsorship deals. He joined the International Church of Christ five years ago after quitting his wild-man lifestyle of drink and girls.

Last night Ayman Akshar, a cult member for four years before setting up a counselling group, said: “It’s very sad he is signing for such a club. His membership of this cult is a menace to the public. “It has been branded by experts all over the world as a dangerous cult. Fans will be contributing to it indirectly by paying to watch him play.”

Former Wimbledon skipper Vinnie Jones and ex-manager Joe Kinnear unwittingly took part in a video promoting the cult several years ago. The International Church of Christ was founded in Boston in 1979 by Kip McKean. It has followers in Manchester, Liverpool and Edinburgh, where they once held a mass baptism in the Royal Commonwealth Pool in front of stunned staff.

Ian Howarth, of the Cult Information Centre, said: “We’re very concerned about the Church. We’ve had a number of complaints” Graham Baldwin, director of Catalyst, a charity which helps cult victims, said: “I’ve counselled hundreds who have had their family and career ruined by this organisation.”

No-one from the International Church of Christ was available for comment yesterday.

Back to other media reports about the International Churches of Christ.