While a member of the Geftakys Assembly I would scoff at any accusation that we were "brainwashed." Yet after leaving the group it seems to me now that we did not critically think.
Once after I left a member confronted me and asked, "Why did you leave?" I explained to her that one reason was the excessive control over relationships. Men have to have permission to date! This also involved rules such as only seeing someone once every two weeks, under supervision. Members even asked for permission to get married! But she responded, "We women are emotional and weak and need protection from men who might take advantage of us!" Her example from the bible was Eve. She said, "Eve was easily deceived and carried away by emotion." But it seems to me that single women in the Assembly are capable of discerning between a responsible man and a jerk.
Interestingly, since leaving the Assembly and fellowshipping elsewhere amongst healthier Christians I have not seen any women being taken advantage of. The women have no problem rejecting those men they feel are inappropriate. And if a man acts badly there are plenty of safeguards to deal with such a situation.
But the women in the Assembly seem unable to discern such situations. If this isn't the result of brainwashing, then what is it? Some women in the Assembly have remained single for many years as a result of these strict rules and control.
This pattern of control is also evident in church government.
Webster's dictionary defines Autonomy as : "The power or right of self-government." The Geftakys ministry often says, "All the churches [various Geftakys Assemblies] are autonomous." This means that they are governed by local elders who are under the direct headship of Christ. In simple terms this means that if a church, has a decision to make, the elders discuss the issue and then pray directly to God for wisdom and guidance.
The Geftakys ministry certainly claims to follow "New Testament Truth." They also refute denominations that use government outside the local Assembly. These "Organizations," "Synods" or "Boards of Directors," are supposedly not expressing the "headship" of Christ. George Geftakys teaches these practices disqualify such denominations from genuine "Headship."
But the notion that each local "Geftakys Assembly" is self-governed is false. The leaders of every Assembly are required to attend "Leading Brothers Meetings" every two weeks and then to attend the annual "Leading Brothers Conference" every year. There they hear George's teachings, receive his directions and are disciplined for any deviant behavior.
This type of control is hardly what anyone could call "autonomous," nor does it promote or encourage individual autonomy or accountability.