H ere at UK Apologetics we have started getting reports of the very strange, extreme and, frankly, weird goings-on in the End Time Handmaidens and Servants cult/sect. Considered to be at the more extreme end of the charismatic movement, we feel that this group should now probably start to be considered as a cult. The group is led by the now elderly Gwen Shaw. Their own website says this about Shaw,
"Gwen R. Shaw is president and founder of 'End-Time Handmaidens, Inc.' After graduating from a Canadian Bible School, she answered the call of God to go to China in 1947. Since missionary organizations were returning their senior missionaries to the field following World War II, none to which she applied would accept her; she then traveled, by faith, to the northwestern region of China, ministering there until her city was endangered by the fast-approaching Communist army. She escaped on the second to last flight out of Lanchow, the nearest airport – a three-day journey. With the door closed to China, Dr. Shaw continued to fulfill her call to the Chinese by ministering in Taiwan and Hong Kong, where she lived until 1970."
According to one report,
'Gwen Shaw claims to have traveled to most of the nations of the world. According to her own testimony, from 1963 to 1970, she left her children and missionary husband, Dave Schmidt, in Hong Kong, whence she traveled alone to Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, India (12 times), Argentina, Africa, Europe, Turkey, and eventually the United States. Although Gwen Schmidt missed her children, before going to India in 1966, God had warned her that “if I ever put my children ahead of him there would be a price to pay—a price that would be greater than the one I was paying. So again I said yes, and turned my face to India.” After nearly a decade of separation from her husband and children, Gwen Schmidt returned to the United States surprised to find that her marriage was over....'
The allegations concerning this ministry are numerous. Many claim that Shaw's influences are a mixture of Catholicism, Mormonism, Gnosticism, and Hinduism. There are also repeated claims that Shaw consorts with familiar spirits. We understand that, in order to become a member of this group, a person is required to fast for 21 days on liquids, read Shaw's book, "The Law of Angels" and then take certain very sprecific vows while Gwen lays her hands upon them. Actually, of course, Christians should not even take vows of any nature. Like all cult leaders, Shaw then exercises a very firm hold over members.
Gwen Shaw, a personal friend of no less than Benny Hinn, approves of and supports shamanism and is enthusiastic about learning more of the spiritist practices of the American Indians. She also believes that women are on a higher plane of spirituality compared to men, something which is reflected in this group's name. One ex-member wrote,
'Group mind control is practiced and people are manipulated through typical cultic techniques at the convention. These include...sleep deprivation, the loss of time, music, dancing and singing for hours before each and every meeting to achieve altered states of consciences, group hypnosis and suggestions, demon deliverance, emotional manipulation, group travail, wailing and weeping. People are conditioned to accept all the “new things” that God is doing. The conventions are used to indoctrinate more people into the ETH cult and to raise money. I personally saw the children being neglected for hours at the conventions...'
Here are links to various comments which have been made about Shaw and her group:
Testimony of a Former 'End-Time Handmaiden'
The End-Time Handmaidens and Servants
I Just Finished Reading 'The Law of Angels' by Gwen Shaw
FINAL COMMENT OF CAUTION:
Obviously, UK Apologetics cannot corroborate every claim made against Shaw and her group for we have had no personal experience of them. However, we have now received sufficient information to warn people to steer well clear of this group.