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An Interview with Rebekah Woods on Leaving The Message of William Marrion Branham


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2020/07/22


Rebekah Woods is a Canadian writer, settled on the coast with her spouse and beautiful toddler who fills the hours with challenges unequaled by the healing his life brings. Originally from Ontario, her father moved his family near a large Message Believer’s church when she was ten months old. Her siblings include five brothers and one sister. The struggle to sort memories on paper began in early 2012, but addiction held her back. Clean living away from illicit drugs started November 16, 2016, and continues this present day. She completed a memoir in February 2020. Now her goals are to publish her work, uplift others, publicly speak and build the role of Human Rights Activist. Woods is spiritual/agnostic. You can follow her blog She discusses: the earliest years; the transition to adolescence; striking or pivotal moments; the theological points of The Message translated into family life for children, from the point of view of a girl; a girl becomes a young adult; the transition into young adulthood; abuse; excuses for abuse; and recommended resources on The Message.

Keywords: cult, Rebekah Woods, religion, The Message, William Marrion Branham.

An Interview with Rebekah Woods on Leaving The Message of William Marrion Branham[1],[2]*

*Please see the footnotes, bibliography, and citation style listing after the interview.*

1. Scott Douglas Jacobsen: For this particular interview, I want to focus on the story, the narrative, of difficulty, critical thought, struggle, and eventual triumph for a new life, by you. How were the earliest years, single digits, for you?

Rebekah Woods: My earliest memories revolved around The Voice of God on a tape recorder. Still, there was a time when freedom came early and excessive. Between 3 and 5, I roamed city neighbourhoods alone; streets lurking with shady characters where the shop windows displayed print-outs of missing children. Then at 7 years old, something happened. We moved to a Horse Farm I called The Middle of Nowhere. I’d soon learn it was the only safe place.

2. Jacobsen: How did the transition to adolescence happen within The Message?

Woods:  It was the beginning of the end. Our father told both my sister and I that we were both ugly, and I suppose the odd glances at Sears catalogues showed me that models who were beautiful wore make-up. Every girl wants to pretty, and I think this is a normal thought process. Part of me figured if I was pretty, then someone would love me. But it was my downfall. I was ugly one minute and Jezebel, Dog Meat, the next. I couldn’t have love, and I couldn’t win. Dad said he told us those things so we wouldn’t put on airs. It’s not likely that was going to happen. We were lonely and poor.

3. Jacobsen: Any particularly striking or pivotal moments coming to mind about the times of rapid physical and mental maturation during puberty?

Woods: Yes, I realized I liked boys, and dreamt about falling in love. The Middle of Nowhere didn’t have any noteworthy boys, besides my abusive brothers. Some noticed me in a fitted dress. It sprung such an unfettered emotion when my whole life I blended into the sea of clones. One of my first rebellious acts was to tear off my skirt while swimming because I hated it so much.

4. Jacobsen: How are some of the theological points of The Message translated into family life for children, from the point of view of a girl?

Woods: As I mentioned, swimming was compromise in a long, heavy skirt. Girls struggled in sports activities, unlike the trousered boys. You were self-conscious about showing your shoulders, or the skin below your collar bone, or flashing your knees. Clothes shopping was near impossible. I needed my father to look me over and approve, and often he never did. On one occasion, my father was lucky enough to receive benefits from his warehouse job and I exited the dentist’s office, happy as could be. I showed him the cheap, ruby red ring the receptionist had given me. He lunged for it, threw it in the garbage can and lectured me on the drive home. The same happened with Christmas presents; my mother cut up with scissors the My Little Pony’s relatives sent in the mail. Everything was a demon. Mom drowned my demon-possessed cat in the creek once.

5. Jacobsen: As a girl becomes a young adult, what happens to her? What are some of the coerced, even enforced, expectations upon her?

Woods: Yes. She must marry, with her father’s approval. Her father’s leadership remains until she marries and her husband takes that role. Any beauty routine or wardrobe option may be subject to scrutiny and if she continues, preachers will point fingers and yell.

6. Jacobsen: How did you make the transition into young adulthood?

Woods: Poorly, awkwardly, recklessly. I was a sitting duck for anyone who wished to take advantage of a clueless 18-year-old.

7. Jacobsen: With abuse, what were the forms endured by you? How did you recover? Was there community support for you?

Woods: I suffered physical, emotional, and sexual. I’ve never fully recovered psychologically. Flashbacks and nightmares have lasted til this present day. But I am grateful for my supportive spouse, my gorgeous son, and my therapist. Without them, I would have successfully committed suicide or overdosed. I’m in a better place now. My home life is secure. I’m loved.

8. Jacobsen: What were excuses for abuse against other women in the church?

Woods: If the Voice of God (on the tape) uttered violent threats that aroused doubt, he was suddenly just a man, a human, capable of mistakes. Or, that certain somebody didn’t mean to sound or act so harsh. Spiritual maturity happens at a different pace for everyone. Maybe they aren’t far enough along in their walk with the Lord. They must seek repentance but it’s not our place to judge. The pastor himself wouldn’t agree with that. Those were common dialogues amongst church members. The pastor himself never spoke on abuse towards women and as many on the inside know, serious issues are hushed.

9. Jacobsen: Any recommended resources on The Message from individuals who have left or have done the research from independent sources?

Woods: They are more than welcome to email me I can only recommend Canadian resources: Battered Women’s, Victim Services, etc, as I don’t have personal experience with women’s services worldwide. There is the Casting Pearls Project and The Bitter Belly for emotional support. But my wish for the future is to create many avenues for these women in their time of need. I’m on that path right now.

10. Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Rebekah.

Woods:  Thank you, Scott.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Former Member, “The Message” of William Marrion Branham.

[2] Individual Publication Date: July 22, 2020:; Full Issue Publication Date: September 1, 2020:


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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