„They play God“

Helga Tontsch - A European Key Witness Against KwaSizabantu in Interview

Helga Tontsch, the wife of the long-time head of Kwasizabantu Switzerland, Hans Koller, left the KSB mission in 2002. Below is a conversation with Mrs. Tontsch, which vividly describes what is actually behind Kwasizabantu. Mrs. Tontsch has meanwhile also divorced her husband.

 

Question: Helga, you have left the Kwasizabantu group after many years of belonging. How long were you there and why did you leave?

Helga: Yes, even if it seems incredible, I was with KSB for sixteen and a half years. Firstly, I left for family reasons and secondly, I personally could no longer see and take responsibility for all the abuse that was done in Kwasizabantu under the name of God.

Question: What exactly was done in God’s name that repulses you now? Can you give examples?

Helga: It was Christmas 1997. Congregation camp in Switzerland. The Swiss staff with women and teachers were called together in our living room. Friedel Stegen, brother of the mission founder Erlo Stegen, and my husband led the meeting. That was the day I realized that Kwasizabantu is a sect. That was the day that my eyes opened. Of course I was also in this meeting. Fresh and cheerful I sat in the circle. That was when the bomb exploded. One after the other, man and woman, stood up and reported about me, where I was said to have behaved sinfully. I sat there as if slain. I looked at the people who were talking, and what they were saying was bitter and hard. I was too impulsive and I would tell the truth too directly, they said. They called it backstage-talking. It hit me like lightning.

I’m sorry to say what I am saying now, but it is the truth. I remembered that my husband (Hans Koller) told me after his first visit to KSB in South Africa in 1986 what impressed him the most. Namely how they had judged two female employees and how one of them had bent unconditionally and the other had not. He felt that it was as beautiful as in the early church. From then on my husband became my greatest enemy. What he offered there with Friedel Stegen was unbeleavable.

I apologized briefly in front of the people. Afterwards there was a conversation with my husband, Friedel Stegen and me in the bedroom, because I had nothing to confess. There they shouted at me and it went on for a whole day. For me a world was coming to an end. I often thought things like that  must have been the case with the KGB, the Russian secret service. There were moments when I sat there completely dazed and didn’t realize what was being talked about. It had nothing to do with the Bible or with God, I knew that. None of them had ever come to me before and said that I had sinned against him.

The other day – for me it was confirmation that people in the Kwasizabantu group are being manipulated. So the other day, three men and three women came to me, independently of each other, and apologized to me for what they had done to me. They had been forced, some by Friedel Stegen, others by my husband, to make these statements against me. An older man among them wept bitterly and said that he was afraid afterwards that I would commit suicide the following night because of what had been done to me. He had been forced to testify against me. He was glad to be able to fix this with me. He felt like the disciples when they betrayed Jesus. I went to Erlo Stegen with this experience because it was very distressing for me. He listened to everything – but never did anything.

Question: Please tell us in a few words how your departure from KSB took place.

Helga: My departure from Kaltbrunn (KSB Switzerland headquarters) showed me personally even more clearly that KSB is a cult. My parents experienced the terrible and cruel truth themselves. It was like this: I left on April 21, 2002 with my three daughters with a few bags (our clothes). My oldest daughter with her boyfriend came to get us. My son stayed with my husband. The following day my parents came from Germany to help us. My mother together with the two elder daughters then drove to Kaltbrunn to get the rest of the things I had not taken with me. What they experienced there could not be grasped by this sheet – it had everything, but nothing to do with God. My school boys (I was head of the boys’ boarding school of DSS Switzerland) wanted to help my mother – but they were forbidden to do so and were sent to their rooms and were not allowed to leave them. It was really like in a movie…

Question: Anyone who has been a member of this group for so long was once its staunch supporter. What made you realize that something was wrong at KSB?

Helga: I noticed that they were no longer concerned about God, about people, but they themselves wanted to be God. You only had value in their eyes if you did what they wanted you to do and as they saw fit. The people who did not fit into their scheme or once saw something different like them were psychologically badgered.

Question: How, badgered, what did something like that look like?

Helga: An example. We had a teacher from Germany at the DSS school in Switzerland. He was promised so much that he moved from Germany to Switzerland. This was not legal, but he quickly settled in with us and was happy. Because he had his own style of dressing (although he had often been told not to walk around outside like that), the neighbors noticed him and they reported him to the police. He was called to senior KSB men and was told that he had to leave Switzerland immediately and could go to Germany or Romania (to another KSB-branch). He should pray if it is God’s will to teach children from a Swiss family in Romania. What else should he pray for, they had already decided what to do with him. So he went to Romania. During the service it was announced that he had the call from God to go there. I think after about two years the parents were no longer satisfied (on their will he had to go to Romania overnight as a teacher and now they did not need him anymore). Now he was told that he was no longer needed, but could go back to Germany as a teacher or work there as a warehouse clerk. Now he was devastated. In the meantime he was a warehouse worker, helped at school in Germany for a time and then, as I heard, was deported to France for a time, to the school of KSB – Le Cédre, and now back to school in Germany. They push people back and forth as they want and as it suits them, regardless of how they hurt their souls, and all in the name of God.

Question : You noticed that a lot of things were not right and yet you continued to play along. Why?

Helga: Because at the beginning I hoped that God would intervene until I finally understood that I had to take a step myself – whereby I knew that if I took the step, it would be a final one.

Question: What would you describe KSB as – a cult or something else?

Helga: Yes, it is a cult – sorry to say. The dangerous and seductive thing about KSB is that they work under the guise of mission. With the motto “all for the Lord“, but in reality for the leadership of KSB. By mission I understand something else…

Question: What makes KSB a cult, what actions, what leadership principles, what characteristics?

Helga: If you leave KSB, you become an enemy for them. They no longer talk to you. Although they were good friends yesterday, they don’t know you today. They don’t even care why you left, what your motive was and how you feel, and what is going on with your soul. Even if you go to another free church afterwards, you are damned and lost for them. They do not know the word grace. They have no fraternal relationship with the other free churches. They do invite speakers from other churches and free churches to their conferences. But later when they are among themselves, they make fun of people from other free churches.

Not a single KSB leader here in Europe is allowed to decide or do anything without having asked in South Africa first. They make so many laws that they create a mess in people’s minds. Occasionally, KSB people also make themselves ridiculous by the way they are taught to do things. A small example: Recently a friend of mine had a visit from someone from Kaltbrunn. She wanted to offer him a mineral water and asked whether she wanted it carbonated or still. To this she got the answer: “As the Lord wants it. – The people are simply confused and simply can’t be normal, natural anymore.

Question : Have you been able to talk to someone at KSB about your critical observations?

Helga: Yes, I had two people I could talk to about it. Otherwise I couldn’t have endured the pressure and the whole thing… When I only think about the pressure my children were exposed to the last months, even the little one who was seven years old at that time… We all would have ended up in an mental hospital. Due to the strain I had developed very severe heart problems.

Question: What put your children under so much pressure, what did they actually do with them?

Helga: Since our eldest daughter had left us and the mission in November 2001, our other children were not allowed to sing in the Euro Choir at first. The second and third eldest had to go to Friedel Stegen all the time. The second eldest was terrorized, I can’t call it anything else. She was asked why she collects wedding dresses and what the idea behind it is. On a school trip to England, she sent one of the teachers a postcard, it was all black and it said: “London by night”. As a child she found this card simply funny, but the teacher’s wife ran to Friedel Stegen with the hint that the girl was having an affair with her husband. She was psychologically terrorized for a long time afterwards. Whenever Friedel Stegen answered, he was not satisfied. He wanted to hear something else. He kept sending the girl away and said: “Think about it again and come back tomorrow”. The girl was devastated and just cried and asked me something to tell him. I hoped for understanding from my husband – but he was in cahoots with Friedel Stegen. Then the child tried to talk to her father, but he threw her out of the room with the remark “If Friedel Stegen says so, then so be it”. The girl walked around like a lunatic, she didn’t know what to do anymore and was afraid of the next day what was going to happen. Finally they brought her so far that she told me that she wanted to admit things that were not true, just to get her peace. Which she did. Among other things, she had to admit that she loved her teacher… I could list many more examples like that.

Question: You were the wife of the former head of Kwasizabantu Switzerland, Hans Koller. You filed for divorce. You are now divorced Have you never been able to talk openly with your husband about your problems with KSB?

Helga: I tried to talk to my husband a few times about the problems – but he reported everything to Friedel Stegen. That’s why I lost all my trust in him, because every time I had to “go in front of  the brothers”, that is, to  a tribunal. What happened there was pure psychological terror… They dictated what to talk about and what to do in the presence of my husband. It was very painful for me to experience what KSB has done to my marriage. And this is basically the case with all couples who are with KSB: Woman testifies against man and man against woman. Everyone betrays everyone. This happens mainly in pastoral care! I do not believe that God created marriage for this reason.

Question: This would mean that the KSB leaders, through “pastoral care”, have absolutely precise knowledge about the relationships and events in marriages and families and they then give behavioral commands. Does this mean that Erlo and Friedel Stegen and their helpers direct  manipulate  the lives of the families?

Helga: Yes, quite clearly. Example: In 1995, when we moved to Kaltbrunn, I had a violent argument with my husband. I still see it as if it was today. After he had no understanding and no insight for me at all, I told him that I couldn’t go on like this and wanted to leave the mission with the children. Of course he went to Friedel Stegen and told him everything. I was called. What happened? I was shouted at, by Friedel Stegen and my husband, and I was told I could leave immediately – but without my children. They would be sent to South Africa. Friedel Stegen said to my husband: “If that was my wife, I would throw her out and she would have to crawl on all fours in front of me and beg for my forgiveness”.

At that moment a few things went through my mind. Actually I wanted to help my husband – but he sold me. I couldn’t live without my children – so I had no choice but to apologize, humiliate and wait. I was then punished for doing this and was not allowed to do some work for a while. Of course, I was also told that if I left the room, woe betide me if I did not shine and tell someone how they had treated me . Are these pastors? Is this how the soul of a person is cared for? So my soul became sick. From that day on I was afraid. Fear of my husband, because I knew he didn’t want my best, fear of people, fear of Friedel Stegen. That’s how Friedel Stegen and the whole gang does it with most marriages. That’s how they influence the men and women – with fear, pressure …  So they have everything under control.

Question: After all, in 2002 they deprived your husband of his power as the head of Kwasizabantu Switzerland and fired him. ? Why?

Helga: What I think:

  1. a leader with such a family – wife and daughters run away – that doesn’t fit into the picture of KSB. (I just remembered: We had our wedding photo hanging in our bedroom. At that time my husband had quite long hair. Because of this, Friedel Stegen insisted that my husband throw the photo away until I had to do it. You always had to be different than you were – you always had to be as they wanted you to be, different ideas are not tolerated.
  2. Friedel Stegen demanded from my husband to tell things about me in front of the congregation – I suppose it was all lies or half-truths that Friedel Stegen invented to make people realize how bad and sinful I am. They are simply unscrupulous.

Question: Have you been able to talk to KSB leaders Erlo or Friedel Stegen about your concerns and KSB practices?

Helga: Yes, I spoke with Erlo Stegen quite often because of the problems with my husband and Friedel Stegen. I often asked him for help because I saw that things were going downhill more and more with my husband – Stegen didn’t pay much attention to that. He then often said to me: “Stay with him, do it for God, do it for the Work, do it for me. If you go away, what will our enemies say then” – then I noticed that he did not take me and my situation seriously at all. But what was even worse for me was that my husband reproached me with things that I had told Erlo Stegen in confidence. So I noticed that Erlo Stegen told my husband things about me. The same thing always happened with Friedel Stegen.

Question: Does this mean that Erlo Stegen is not interested in the human being as an individual, but rather that he uses him primarily for his own purposes? And he also manipulates into the marriages so that people behave in such a way that the image of his work shines – no matter how people feel about it and no matter if it is in accordance with Jesus’ will?

Helga: Yes, unfortunately it is so. My eldest daughter met a guy „from the world“ in May 2001. His best friend had come to faith a year earlier. But he himself could not yet make up his mind completely. After they met, he wanted to know more about God and start a new life. He regularly attended the church services of KSB. He did not know about the ritual of getting married at KSB (marriage is only possible within KSB, on the initiative of the man and with the mediation of the pastor). So he approached my husband and told him that he loved our daughter. Of course he ran to Friedel Stegen and our daughter had to comment on this. Of course I had to go there as well. What I had to hear and see there was beyond all imagination. My husband and Frieden Stegen used words that made my mind stop. They were judging and judging a soul (the young man) that they did not know at all. They were also not interested at all in getting to know him. For them it was clear – our daughter must never marry such a person. From that hour on, my daughter was relieved of many offices in the church and one psycho terror followed after another. The boy was completely speechless and did not know why so-called men of God treated him in this way. He attended the church services until mid-October 2001. He took courage once again and called Erlo Stegen. Now he tried to make the marriage procedure according to the way of KSB.

Until that time I thought that Erlo Stegen was a man of God and not like his brother Friedel Stegen. I thought that he would surely help him. The boy asked for the hand of our daughter through Erlo Stegen. When our daughter had a clear yes to it, Erlo told her that he would tell the boy – my husband should be told personally. He told the boy the same thing. And now what I would never have thought of Erlo Stegen happened. He called my husband to him and gave him exact instructions as to what he should tell our daughter and the boy: That he would not give the blessing and that this marriage would never take place. This is how Erlo Stegen did it, and as we now know, he always does it in such cases: So that he does not stand as the bad guy, he manipulated my husband.

It just didn’t fit into the picture of KSB that our daughter, the daughter of a KSB director, marries a former alcoholic, in her eyes a down-and-out guy. Shortly afterwards Erlo Stegen called a guy from Germany who had once asked for our daughter’s hand in marriage. He had the same fate as the other boy. He was banned from the house – but he did not know what he had done wrong. But because he belonged to KSB, Erlo Stegen probably thought that he would be better suited for our daughter. So Erlo Stegen called this German and asked if he was still interested in our daughter. When he said no, Erlo Stegen said that he should not be so hasty and pray about it again. – After our daughter had experienced all this, she packed her things. She had had enough of all this and did not want to get married like many other couples in KSB.

Question: Anyone who leaves KSB is branded an enemy. How did KSB deal with the fact that numerous supporters turned their backs on KSB from 1999 onwards? What was said about them, were rules of conduct dictated on how to deal with them, – or did anyone in the KSB leadership ever consider critically reflecting on KSB and sometimes expressing this out loud? How do they deal with criticism? And how do you think they will deal with your publications?

Helga: I remember well when Barney Mabaso in South Africa left KSB with his whole community. Shortly afterwards, an old woman (not a KSB member), who lives in rent in a building of Hof Oberkirch, Kaltbrunn (one of the two Swiss KSB properties), invited him. My husband then had to go to this woman, instructed by Friedel Stegen, and say that she was not allowed to receive Mr. Mabaso in her apartment – he was not allowed to enter the premises. As a result, this woman had to rent something out of town to be able to be with the Mabaso family. Imagine that, it is prescribed at KSB who you can receive in your own apartment.

Now the tables have turned. They have informed my husband in writing that he is no longer allowed to enter the grounds of Hof Oberkirch (my husband told me this himself). And who gave the order – Friedel Stegen.

It all reminds me of communism. I grew up under communism. I found the violence, the methods, the difference between leader and normal person, the brainwashing, the power and many characteristics of the communist dictatorship in KSB. KSB does not tolerate criticism. KSB is “flawless”. And if someone should ever criticize, they are silenced.

I can imagine exactly how the reaction to my publication will be. The congregation is called together, then sections are picked out and read out as they see fit, to make it clear to the congregation what happens to a person over whom the evil spirit has come. But let them just – I can say with a clear conscience, it is all true. They have no more power over me.

I had actually planned to leave Kaltbrunn. If they leave me and my children alone, I won’t tell them anything about all the things I have gone through. But they have gone too far, they have dragged me in dirt and filth, they have spread lies and slander about me. In Kaltbrunn they even staged   a “theater” about me. Friedel Stegen brainwashed one of my best friends (at least I thought so) until she told things the way he wanted them to – he used her to make me look bad in front of people. He knew that many people simply appreciated me as a person. This friend in particular has seen and experienced a lot of things with me and my children.

Question: Is KSB Switzerland democratically organized? So, do you adhere to basic democratic rules internally ? Freedom of opinion, freedom of speech etc?

Helga: No, absolutely not! Whoever dares to express his opinion is silenced, and depending on how and what you have expressed, you are “stamped”.

Question: Who has been in charge of KSB Switzerland all these years – elected members or Erlo and Friedel Stegen? Please describe the power apparatus of KSB…

Helga: Friedel Stegen has been in charge at KSB-CH – not the Swiss. As a leader, my husband was also only held as a pawn, just like in communism. He had to do and say what Friedel Stegen and Erlo Stegen wanted. Of course, it was always strictly said that one must not mention their names – nobody was allowed to see through the leadership strategies. They attached great importance to that. In my opinion, the KSB apparatus is like that: Erlo Stegen, then Friedel Stegen. Since ’95 – 96, Hans Koller was the liaison man for Europe. He did everything that Friedel or Erlo Stegen dictated to him. That’s why I often talked to him about it – but, as I said, he reported it to Friedel Stegen – then it was my turn. My husband was then in charge of the five preachers from Switzerland. They did what my husband told them – and so on.

Question: According to which criteria is KSB’s “management personnel” selected – by professional qualification or by what?

Helga: The “management personnel” are selected according to loyalty – and family – so they must have something to present. Whether a person is loyal in KSB’s opinion is primarily determined on the basis of the evaluation of pastoral interviews. In general, intensively practiced pastoral care plays a central role in monitoring and controlling its members. I remember well, there was a preacher (a trained preacher) – but because his children were a bit lively, he was admonished and he had to leave the “yard” with his family overnight. Of course, he was buttered up, which would be the reasons – but I know them: it was his children! This is also an example that it is not a real mission and also not a place “where people are helped” (so the name Kwasizabantu) – all just to mislead people – a cover. Unfortunately I realized it too late. Now I had to pay my price. The marriage broke up and all children were scattered in all directions and torn to and fro until today. And to this day they can’t really see what is good and what is bad. But this is a fruit of KSB. They dictate everything to man, prescribe what and how to do it, what you are allowed to do, with whom, where to go – they play God.

Question: In recent years, KSB has bought more and more real estate and established so-called centers: in Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, Romania and France. What is KSB all about: the gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of a few over unstable people or property? Or is it also about a lot of money?

Helga: In recent years, I have noticed a lot of things, so that I have increasingly asked myself the question, are the preachers really concerned with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the souls of the people they care for? Over time, these people became dependent, almost underage, and could no longer decide for themselves. The preachers were given power over the people. And it seems to me personally that they abused this power and still do so today. In the Bible we read many examples where God gave power to people, but they could not handle it. Power can be divine if you receive it, but what happens if you use it wrong? Then it has nothing more to do with God.

Once KSB Switzerland was given two small houses in Szárazd, Hungary, in addition to the large properties already in its possession in Kaltbrunn and Bilten. It was to be used for missionary purposes. A pastor from Germany paid for the renovation and all costs of use. My husband had to go to him often and do all kinds of favors, only that they get his money. Missionary activities were done there in Hungary very, very little. After the people who were to work there left the mission there, KSB got a bad reputation in the area. There followed a time when nobody wanted to go there anymore. So I went there with a small group and we made a house habitable in a short time. We reestablished contact with the villagers. But the leaders of KSB didn’t like it – it shows that they have no interest in the people.

After a year I did another outreach with a group of boys – this was my last outreach – because I could no longer see how people were treated. Example: Two families from Voiteg in Romania, not far away, wanted to help us. When they arrived, they received countless phone calls from the “KSB-authorities” and they had to go back the same day – this shows again that people are not allowed to do how they feel. We too were constantly told by the KSB management over the phone what we should and should not do. They even went so far as to tell us to drop everything while the concrete was being poured and to come back to Switzerland immediately. A week later I left KSB. It’s the same with the mission in Voiteg. In my opinion, it is primarily about power – to present something, to be something – but it has nothing to do with God.

As far as I know, this is the way it is organized in Switzerland and Romania because of financial issues: If the mission should break up, all the assets will go to South Africa.

Question: There are many people in KSB who really want to serve God and live their faith with all their heart. Are they all blind not to see through the dictatorial principles in KSB? Surely they should realize that the teaching of Kwasizabantu is not a liberating gospel but a means of power to make people dependent on a small group of leaders? How can it be that they do not realize this?

Helga: That is true, unfortunately it is! My family and I were also an example of this. We wanted to serve God. But this false doctrine they preach – it’s nothing but brainwashing – it’s so insidious (superficially the sermons are bible-centered, which makes it difficult to recognize the true background), when you notice it, you almost can’t get out on your own. It’s like a drug, it needs a withdrawal cure – and then really only a few make it. You don’t have the strength – you can’t distinguish reality anymore, because all you can think is “couldn’t it be a sin what you are doing now? … sin, sin, sin – but nobody speaks of the grace of God. Over time, one gets a false image of God, of life as a Christian, of what God expects from us.

I remember it as if it was today. After I got out, I was so desperate, I didn’t know what was good and bad anymore. I thought that God had rejected me … so I went to a preacher, a real shepherd. He looked at me, then he asked me: “What do you have to do to get to heaven …? I answered, “Yes, live sinless, as God pleases. He said, “No. We must love God with all our hearts.” A stone fell from my heart and scales fell from my eyes – we had not been told all this in all these years, only sin, sin … And I believe that if you love God with all your heart – then a holy life automatically follows step by step.

For years we have been preached only of the prodigal son – and where is the “good shepherd,” the good shepherd who follows the lost? He leaves all the 99 and goes after the one. They would never, those proud preachers of KSB. They wait for the prodigal son. Often they seemed like the Pharisees.

Question: At the Domino Servite School of KSB Switzerland, children have been beaten for years. You too have beaten children. What is your position today? And: Your former husband knew about these practices (he also beat) – did Erlo and Friedel Stegen know about them? Or did many even know about it?

Helga: Yes, that is so. I ran the boys’ boarding school. If I were with my boys again today, I wouldn’t do that anymore. But this is the first thing I learned at KSB and I think many people feel the same way – you have to chastise the children, you have to break their will in the first years of their lives. That is what they teach. But after the school was closed for a short time by Swiss authorities , they stopped. Not a single child was beaten. In the years I worked with the children I learned that you have to win the heart of a child, then it will gladly follow and you have to let a child be a child. But in KSB, children have to behave like adults. They must not be childish at all. The children’s parents knew it, of course. They only beat up the “insider children” where they knew that the parents would not go to the authorities. But that is over, I hope so – at least as I was still there, it was like that.

Question: After the authorities temporarily closed the boarding school to investigate the beating allegations, school operations continued – now without beating. How will the children now be trained in KSB’s morals?

Helga: Clearly: through brainwashing. And with pressure, school bans and other sanctions. The teachers are cold, tough, without any compassion, even those who have children of their own. It had become insanely acute recently. Even the big children, by that I mean the 16 year olds and upwards, are treated like little children. If they talk about something that doesn’t suit the teacher – then they are cheeky, have to leave the class, have to see a “pastor”. Sometimes they are not even allowed to go to school for two days. Therefore it is questionable whether this is a good school they think they are in. After I left KSB, I trained two of my children in the public schools. Both teachers told me that my children have big gaps in their schooling.

I would like to mention one more incident. My youngest daughter, seven years old at the time, went behind a bush instead of to the toilet with a school friend during recess. (Because she was too lazy to go to the toilet) A boy, who was a year older and who had already been punished a few times for similar acts, went to sue her at a teacher’s office. But the little boy told in his own way: the two of them undressed and looked at each other naked. Now a series of interrogations followed – children teachers, parents teachers, children school board, parents school board etc. In the end, the children were banned from school for a week, so that they could think about what they had done and whether they wanted to stay in this school. My daughter was totally confused, cried constantly and did not know what she was being punished for. I was also urged by my husband and Friedel Stegen to be strict and hard with the child. I was not allowed to comfort her either. The child was so brainwashed that she admitted to the crime she had never committed. And that is how it will continue today with this school with young and old, of that I am firmly convinced.

The condition for her to be allowed to go back to school was that she and I had to sign a paper with points on it such as: she must not be with boys, she must not write love letters, she must not undress naked. The principal read it out in my presence. Afterwards she asked me what he had read out there – so I saw that she hadn’t understood what it was all about. But the authorities don’t know anything about these papers. The authorities also receive a completely different set of school regulations than the parents who belong to KSB.

Question: What is it that attracts people to KSB?

Helga: I can only talk about myself, but I think everyone feels the same way. For me, the attraction was the apparent friendliness of these people, the harmony with which they live together, the seemingly harmonious family life. Only, with the years, when you are inside, you realize that it is not harmony at all, but pressure, compulsion, violence, to which you are exposed. And finally, love, which would be the greatest thing, cools down. After I left, I often asked myself the question, how can a person who was your best friend today, spread the biggest lies about you tomorrow? Just because they are ordered to do so. I was often reminded of the word: Can a spring bring forth sweet and bitter? No, it cannot – but a human heart that has become bitter in KSB becomes cowardly and afraid.

Question: How did KSB in the Inner Circle react to the publication of the reports of Kwasizabantu practices on the Internet?

Helga: Quite panicky. The community was called together. They were told that the people who left KSB (some were even mentioned by name) have become enemies. Then a number of sentences were read out from the Internet, but only those that suited them and interpreted in a twisted way. People were warned not to read these reports and if you received any by mail, burn them. This again shows me that they are afraid that the truth will come to light, and secondly, they take away the independence of the person to distinguish what is good and what is bad. But what they were most afraid of was that the authorities would find out what was going on under the guise of KSB. I mean CFT (Christians for Truth), WLW (True Love Waits), DSS School, Euro-Choir, in Switzerland Hof Oberkirch AG and KSB-Mission and others. In all these associations the same people were the leaders. To prevent the media from finding out, different people were used everywhere. If you gave an interview, you had to refer to your original church and should not say that you belong to KSB.

Question: What have you experienced with KSB since you left KSB, and what are you afraid you will experience with KSB now if this interview will be released to the public?

Helga: I got to know KSB, their true face, how and who they really are. When I think of KSB-Switzerland, of the preachers – their behavior towards me and my parents was not subordinated to God’s will but to the will of Friedel and Erlo Stegen. KSB Switzerland is dependent on people, everything depends on how Friedel and Erlo Stegen see it. Nothing, but also nothing at all may be decided by oneself, everything must be approved by South Africa, nobody asks for God’s will. It’s like under communism – if one person has an idea, the other person asks immediately: does Friedel Stegen know, did you ask him…. Everyone is afraid of everyone.

KSB is obsessed with money and power. In all the years I have been at KSB, we have donated all our money to KSB and its leaders. But I don’t think about that anymore and that should stay there. But there was money that I did not donate, but which I gave as a loan, or invested in our apartment in the KSB Center Kaltbrunn. When I left, I wrote to the Mission that I would like to have the two loans back and the investment – that was about 40,000 – 50,000 francs. With the 50,000 franc loans each, the total would have been about 150,000 francs. As I have heard, KSB paid back the two loans to my husband, which were also evidenced in writing. But I didn’t get any of that – but that’s a matter between me and my husband. Later I wrote another letter to the secretary of KSB. I asked her to transfer the money to me, listed the things to her again roughly. I have not received the money to this day. What do others do who have sold their houses or condominiums and given all the money to the mission and now live there for rent? Some have even given up their good jobs to work for the Mission for free….

I started from scratch again and drank from yoghurt cups for a month. From spoon to chair to bed, I had to buy everything new.

To the question what to expect when all this is published: I know that everything I have said here is true. And I could say much, much more.

I hope that at least a few people who are still in there will get this one to read and find the truth.

Because only that makes you really free.

 

(Translated by DeepL.com, free version)