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The Alpha Course

Alpha Roots Chart Data Table
Biography for the Fort Lauderdale Five
(Don Basham, Ern Baxter, Bob Mumford, Derek Prince, Charles Simpson)

by Dusty Peterson & Elizabeth McDonald

The following is merely a limited collection of useful but essentially random facts on the subject in question.
This document is not intended to be taken as an in-depth, or exhaustive, or definitive treatment.



Description of their so-called "Feelology" / Toronto-esque experiences:

"All of this was consummated in 1977 in what became known historically as the Kansas City Conference. More than 55,000 people from 30 different denominations were worshipping God in Spirit and in truth. These were people who loved the same Jesus and served the same God of the Bible. Once we really see the larger Body of Christ, then God will give us access to it ... The closest I ever felt to God was standing on the platform at Kansas City when I said, 'I've already looked in the back of the book . . . and we won!' The power of God fell and I felt like I had been electrocuted. The coursing of the Holy Spirit through my person was so strong that I remember thinking, 'My nerves will not hold this, I'm going to die! This is it!' The huge crowd began to worship and rejoice in a manner that would have to be experienced to be understood! That was the closest I ever felt to God. It was in the presence of some 30 denominations or expression of the great God Whom we serve" [Bob Mumford, 'About Bob and Judith Mumford',].

"the conscious Presence of the Holy Spirit swept over my person, allowing me to experience God's love and care for the whole Body of Christ."

One of Don Basham's self-confessedly demonic experiences sounds like Alpha!  "It was as though a smothering invisible shroud were slowly dropping over me, cutting off the air.  I struggled for breath, I tried to stand up, but I was wrapped in the suffocating presence.  'What's happening?' I cried. 'Oh, God! Help me!' My lungs strained for air, my heart hammered in my throat" [Basham, Deliver Us From Evil, (Hodder and Stoughton, 1973), p50].  Similarly, Basham describes an experience with an occult spirit as being like "'Kind of a nausea - as though I were going to be sick'" [Basham, op cit., p137].  Indeed, his collected list of physical symptoms from demons are all found in Toronto meetings [Ibid].  Elsewhere he refers to demonic laughter in people as "harsh [and] sarcastic" [op cit., p198] - which is seen in TE meetings.

Basham talks about a "Presence [that] remained with me IN THAT ROOM" [Basham, op cit., p37].

Basham appears to hear a voice in his head [Basham, op cit., pp72, 86].

Basham appears to indicate that you can hold on to Jesus in you by wrapping your arms around your own body [Basham, op cit., p49].

Basham suggests that what was appearing in the church in the 1960s was "spiritual renewal" rather than (generally) strong delusion [Basham, op cit., p195].

We have come across multiple instances of Derek Prince having Toronto-esque manifestations.  For example, at the 1996 Malvern Bible week, Prince was observed to be laughing uncontrollably.  (A friend of ours related a separate such instance.)  Indeed, Prince's very 'conversion' involved falling backwards off a chair and laughing uncontrollably (see his book Uproar in the Church for more). 


Demons and Demonology / Dualism:

Regarding a female congregant of his, Basham believes a demon "ROBBED her of her healing and led to her tragic death" [Basham, op cit., p53].  This is dualistic.  Basham's dualism continues on page 218, where he also claims that a third of the heavenly host were under Satan's command before he fell.

Basham believes that we should not seek to rationalize the issue of demons and try to determine the correct way to cast demons out, but should instead simply ask "the only question which makes sense to a scientific and pragmatic age: Does it work? EXPERIMENT. Observe. TRY IT AND SEE" [Basham, op cit., p55].

Similarly, Derek Prince says of the issue "the point ... is not what I theorize but what I SEE [in real life]" [Basham, op cit., pp103-4].  Not surprisingly, this attitude has had the bizarre result that "I had amassed quite a list of names of Christians being effectively used in deliverance. And as I did, OF COURSE, I discovered that while God had led me to employ certain techniques, OTHERS used OTHER means" [Basham, op cit., p197].

Basham claims he can *simultaneously* "take authority over" demons operating in MULTIPLE people [Basham, op cit., p191].



Derek Prince claims that "This practice of persistently making the right confession with our mouth is very effective and VERY POWERFUL" [Prince, Faith To Live By, (Kingsway, 1984), p96].

Prince's book, Faith To Live By is a virtual endorsement of all but the worst excesses of the Word-Faith movement.  For instance, Prince claims that "Faith MUST be confessed" - and he is not just referring to the gospel here!  For example, whenever he is ill "instead of letting my mind dwell on the symptoms, I respond with a positive confession: 'Jesus Himself took my infirmities...'" [p101].  Prince also says "Faith is real: faith is a SUBSTANCE" [p12].  Prince also claims that the word of God is "invisible" - suggesting it is not contained in the Bible [p12].  Prince says, regarding faith and sight, that "Each excludes the other" [p13], which is an inaccurate and dangerous generalization.  Prince states that "Another area ... in which we need to apply the PRINCIPLE of faith is that of financial and material provision. The whole Bible ABOUNDS with both assurances and examples of God's ability to provide for His people's needs ... The level of provision it [i.e. 2 Cor. 9:8] is not mere sufficiency; it is abundance ... Jesus NEVER lacked for Himself or for those who were with Him ... THE key to abundance is ... FAITH!" [pp59-61 - italicization his; see also p102].  Prince also recommends ignoring the symptoms "EVERY time sickness threatens" [p102], and he wrongly tries to apply 1 Peter 2:24 to physical, rather than spiritual, healing.  See elsewhere in this folder for other examples.  (See Part 4 of our "Overview" volume for biblical proof that all these teachings are false.)

Prince's book Faith To Live By demotes God and deifies man.  Prince claims that God created things via FAITH!  He says "It was by FAITH in His OWN WORD that God brought the universe into being" [p31] and "When the gift of faith is in operation, a man becomes, for a time, the channel of God's OWN faith ... [I]t is God's OWN faith at work" [ibid] and "Faith is part of the eternal nature of God. Through His word, spoken in FAITH, He created the entire universe. as part of his likeness to God, man shares three aspects of the divine nature: the ability to exercise FAITH; the ability to speak; and the ability to CREATE" [p155].  Prince leans towards deifying man here, and also when he says, "So long as a believer operates with ... divine faith, his words are JUST AS EFFECTIVE as if GOD HIMSELF had spoken them. It is the FAITH that matters, not the PERSON ... [S]o long as he [Elijah] was enabled to pray with God's faith, the words he uttered were as effective as God's OWN DECREES" [pp31-2].



Basham believes in the clergy-laity divide [Basham, op cit., pp19,28].

Basham endorses the unbiblical idea of Deaconesses [Basham, op cit., p127], and he even seems happy with female PASTORS [ibid, p73].

Basham appears entirely comfortable to cooperate with churches who use altars, even agreeing to kneel at one to receive prayer from the congregants [Basham, op cit., p73].


Bible Versions:

Derek Price criticizes the KJV [Basham, op cit., p103].


Doctrinal and Other Beliefs:

Basham says we should "Practice 'pleading the blood'. This is an ancient form of asking for divine protection" [Basham, op cit., p134].

Basham sanctions use of the pagan techniques of people joining hands in a circle during religious meetings [Basham, op cit., p198] (See for more on this subject.)

Both Prince and Basham support the idea of a "pre-Adamic race of beings" [Prince, Redemption - Plan and Fulfilment: Spiritual Conflict: Lucifer Challengers God, Audio Tapes 1001-1006, and Basham, Deliver Us From Evil, p219], even though this would have necessitated death existing before Adam (which is an impossibility if the gospel is true).

Prince decides on some doctrines based on experimentation rather than on the scriptures!  Regarding "covenant relationships with our fellow believers" Prince says Scripture paints a fearful picture of moral and ethical standards that will mark the close of this age: "You must face the fact ... Men will love nothing but money and self; ... they will be implacable in their hatreds...' (2 Timothy 3:1-4, NEB). The Greek word translated above 'implacable in their hatreds' is defined in Thayer's lexicon as denoting 'those who cannot be persuaded into a covenant'. ... As the world plunges deeper into darkness, God's people must - by contrast - ... show ourselves both willing and qualified to enter into and maintain ... covenant relationships" [Prince, Faith To Live By, pp47-48].


Joel's Army:

"Today we have the 'New Breed Teaching' resulting in an increased level of 'spirituality' which will inherently cause the recognition of these 'anointed ones' who are the elite; 'Christians' called 'Joel's Army'. Joel's Army is thought to be unconquerable  and will have the power to judge God's enemies and cleanse the church by destroying all who refuse to "repent" - or to be part of the 'New Thing'. Charles Simpson, (formerly one of the 'Fort Lauderdale Five' of the Shepherding/ Discipleship era) likens this 'cleansing' to the removal of cancer cells: 'We must work toward wholeness in creation by discovering and recognizing those structures which God has ordained.. [T]he material, social, and spiritual universe are created in a modular fashion, and are mutually interdependent.  Structures which are internally sound and secure will naturally seek to harmonize and interrelate with large structures.. it will naturally seek to find its fulfillment in larger structures. It is written into our genetic code. Healthy individuals will naturally seek to relate to families..; healthy families to churches; healthy churches to communities; and healthy communities to states or nations. Each church will seek to relate to the larger expressions of the Church or the kingdom of God. Healthy nations will form healthy, mutually beneficial international relationships. I firmly believe that this principle is a law of nature, a divine law.  Failure to integrate into larger structures indicates a tendency towards isolation, and therefore reveals an unhealthy condition or a malfunction. The condition expresses itself in many ways; sectarianism, fear, doubt, guilt, selfishness. If a cell turns and rejects the physiological structure of which it is a part; if a person turns and rejects the family of which he is a part; or if a family turns and rejects the community of which it is a part; the rejection indicates an unhealthy condition or some sort of malfunction ... Cancer is a biological example of what I am talking about. Cancerous cells want to live, but they refuse to integrate with other cells; they will not function with the whole. They draw life from the body, they multiply, but they will not integrate with others..." [Discernment Newsletter, September/October 1998 (Taken from Integrity: Where Unity Begins, New Wine June 1983: 5-9 (Charles Simpson), reprinted in New Age Monitor, Vol.2, Nos. 8-12 July 1988)].





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Dusty Peterson & Elizabeth McDonald