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Worn down by destructive behaviors, he contracted tuberculosis. While in recovery, Richard began reading the Bible. And shortly after, in 1938, he and Sabina converted to Christianity. Richard became a Lutheran minister and began work to expand the church in Romania.
In 1948, Wurmbrand publicly stated communism and Christianity were incompatible. As a result, he was imprisoned and tortured by the communist regime of Romania. After serving a total of 14 years, he and his wife Sabina, who had also been imprisoned, were ransomed for $10,000 and immigrated to America. Wurmbrand wrote more than 18 books, the most widely known being Tortured for Christ, which was also made into a motion picture. He founded the international organization Voice of the Martyrs, which continues to aid Christians around the world who were persecuted for their faith.
We'd like to thank the Voice of Martyrs for the story you are about to hear from Richard Wurmbrand while he lived in the United States. The greatest crime which communists commit is not the murder of bodies. The communists have killed 60 million men in the Soviet Union alone. They have killed another 60 million in Red China. They have killed 1 million in Little Cambodia. They have killed 1 million in communist Ethiopia. But there exists something worse than killing the bodies of men.
It is the rape of souls, the violence exercised against the minds of men. I speak Russian fluently. I remember my encounter with the first Russian lieutenant. I asked him, do you believe in God? I expected from him that he will answer yes or no. God has given to mankind the possibility of choice, and we can say yes or no, not only to our fellow men. We can say it even to God. But when I asked him, do you believe in God, he lifted towards me eyes without any understanding and said, we have no order to believe. If we will have an order, we will believe.
Tears ran down my cheek. I admit a man who has lost the most precious jewel which God has given to man to be a personality on your own, which can say yes or no to faith or to any other thing. He had become a robot, a machine. He expected orders from Stalin and afterwards from Khrushchev and from Brezhnev and in China from Mao Zedong what to believe and what to disbelieve. That is what the communists do to the minds, to the souls of men. Now, we started the secret missionary work among the Soviet soldiers. We preached to them the gospel. We distributed to them Christian literature. And then I went to prison.
My wife continued the work. She also has been caught. Everyone is caught once. And now we were in prison. And they were very bad physical tortures.
I will not describe them to you, first of all, because there are children here and very young girls and boys. So I will not describe to you the physical tortures. But at a certain moment they started the brainwashing. The brainwashing consisted in this that from five in the morning until ten in the evening, seventeen hours a day, you had to sit on a form on which there was no place to lean. You were not allowed to rest a little bit your head on your hand. To close your eyes was considered a crime. You were under continual surveillance.
You were not allowed to move. If it hitched you, you could not scratch yourself. If it hitched, you had to say to the warden, please, would you allow me to scratch myself?
And usually his answer would be no. Can you imagine what a torture it is when it hitches and you are not allowed to scratch yourself? Just try for a try. Sit in a comfortable chair, put a watch before you and say half an hour I will keep my hands behind my back, whatever happens. It will begin to itch. Don't scratch yourself.
You will see you will not be able to think about anything in the world anymore than just about the itching. You were not allowed to scratch yourself. If your nose ran and you wished to wipe your nose, you could not do it. First of all, we had no handkerchief. We wiped our nose like this.
Well, but you had to have the permission of the warden to wipe your nose. And you could not move. Seventeen hours a day you had to sit and you had to hear uninterruptedly, communism is good, communism is good, communism is good, communism is good, communism is good, communism is good, communism is good.
Are you bored already? I have said it half a minute. They said it during hours, days, weeks, months, years. We had to hear uninterruptedly, communism is good, communism is good, communism is good, communism is good, communism is good, Christianity is dead, Christianity is dead, Christianity is dead, Christianity is dead. Give up, give up, give up, give up, When at ten o'clock in the night we were allowed to go to bed in our nightmares, we continued to hear, Christianity is dead, Christianity is dead, Christianity is dead, give up, give up, give up. This was the worst torture to which Christians were submitted in communist countries. Happily, Christ is God and knows everything beforehand and he has prepared a remedy against brainwashing.
It is heart-washing. When we were in these prison cells, dark, continually hearing this devilish voice, at a certain moment I had not seen my wife for almost 13 years. I did not know if she is alive. She had been announced officially that I had hanged myself in prison and the man who posed as former prisoner said, we have been released, we have attended his burial, he has hanged himself in prison. That is what he knew and I knew nothing about her.
I did not know anymore if I have children or if I do not have them. At a certain moment the communists were very nice and gave us postcards, here everyone writes to your family that on that day they may come and bring you some parcels with food and clothing and so on. We were very happy, everyone wrote.
And you're listening to Richard Wurmbrand's story, the story he told for his country that adopted him after 14 years in a communist prison when we continue more of this remarkable testimony here on Our American Stories. That is what we all want when we place a bet, winning wagers. At the end of every episode I will make you a better better on the NFL so you're witching our wagers turn from red to green. Teasers, totals, awards, props and locks, brace for winnings is a one stop pod for anyone who enjoys action on the NFL. DraftKings Sportsbook, an official sports betting partner of the NFL is where I go when I place a bet. Be sure to head over to DraftKings Sportsbook and use my code winnings for a special signup offer today.
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Say free this week into your Xfinity voice remote. Should we return to our American story? So far, we've heard about the horrific treatment Richard Wormbrand experienced from his Romanian communist guards. Let's pick up where we last left off with Richard talking about the promise made to all the prisoners that their family members would be coming to visit them. On that day, they cut our hair, they shaved us, they arranged us somehow so that we should look nicer for this meeting with our mothers or wives. And we waited the whole day until late in the night. Nobody came.
And the next day is a brainwashing. Nobody loves you anymore. Nobody loves you anymore. Nobody loves you anymore. Nobody loves you anymore. Your wives have forsaken you.
Your children have become communists. We did not know that they have never sent these postcards. Everything has been a deceit. But in the half dark of the cell, hearing continually, nobody loves you anymore. Nobody loves you anymore. Nobody loves you anymore. We believed it, that we are alone.
The whole outer world has forgotten us. And all those who have passed through prisons, through communist prisons, have kept a hunger after love. For me now, it is not enough to know that brethren and sisters in Christ love me. They have to tell me that they love me. And they have to hug me and to embrace me and to make me very sure. Because during years we have heard, nobody loves you anymore.
Nobody loves you anymore. And that made us to repeat in the same rhythm in which they said, Christianity is dead. Christianity is dead. Christianity is dead. We repeat it in soft voice, Christ also has been dead. Christ also has been dead. Christ also has been dead. Christ also has been dead. Jesus has given us a remedy against brainwashing.
It is heart-washing. He has said, blessed are the pure in heart, because they will see not the grey walls of the prison cell, they will not see the ebb and bust, they will not see the chains at their hands and at their feet, they will not see the rubber truncheons and the implements of torches of the communists, they will not see the torturers, blessed are the pure in heart, because they will see God. And looking at him, you forget the outward circumstances and we could resist brainwashing. Afterwards I was released from communist prisons, I came to America, now I have not come to tell you what you would like to hear, I have come to tell you what is my message from God, I have come to tell you also what you will not like at all, I came to America a nation which is terribly brainwashed. America is terribly brainwashed.
And basically it is the same technique which the devil uses under the communists. There exists a conspiracy in America not to allow you to think, an American is not allowed to think, as we were not allowed to think, communism is good, communism is good, communism is good, so Americans are not allowed to think. The first thing when an American awakes from sleep has not rubbed his eyes yet, he switches on the television and the radio and it begins tara-tum-tum-tum, tara-tum-tum-tum, tara-tum-tum-tum. The brainwasher tells you a few things, when you drive in the car, it is absolutely forbidden to think, you have entered the car, you have switched on the radio, tara-pum-pum-pum, tara-pum-pum-pum, tara-pum-pum-pum, until you arrive to your job.
In your office, in your factory, where you work, tara-pum-pum-pum, tara-pum-pum-pum, tara-pum-pum-pum. The wife is in the kitchen, she is not allowed to think, tara-pum-pum-pum, tara-pum-pum-pum, tara-pum-pum-pum, and we fall asleep near this television set, under this tara-pum-pum-pum, tara-pum-pum-pum, and it continues in our nightmares too. There exists this continual noise in which we are brainwashed here, with our consent. And under communism, without our consent, the souls are raped, our minds are submitted to the violence of communism. You will never imagine, Americans can't realize the freedom which they have. Not only you have the freedom to vote, you have the freedom to speak, to write, to think, you have the freedom to choose what to eat, you have the freedom how to close yourself, you have the freedom whom to marry, we don't have this freedom, my boy had a girlfriend and she was called to the secret police and was told, we have seen that you are dated by Michael Wurmbrand, he is a counter-revolutionist, so you will not be dated by him anymore, we found for you another boy, Steve, you will not kiss Michael, you will kiss Steve, the secret police decides whom a girl will kiss, but you have the freedom to go and to wash yourself and to take a bath. I have not washed myself three years when I was in prison, and you have the great freedom to go to the toilet, if you would know what a freedom this is. And what a terrible torture it was in prison, they did not take you, that was all. I heard during the night, female prisoners screaming, begging the wardens, take me to the toilet, take me to the toilet, and he said wait until tomorrow morning, and for nothing in the world, they would take you.
But one insisted, they beat him to death because he wished to go to the toilet, 475 have been killed only in this one psychiatric asylum. We were very hungry in prison, we had times when we had one slice of bread a week, a week, we had soup of dirty potato peels, cabbage with unwashed intestines, we were terribly hungry, we were doped with drugs which would destroy our minds, and because of this we forgot more and more, we forgot our whole theology, we forgot the Bible, I forgot also our father. Now the communists have also published in our father, they teach their youth to pray, and now may God forgive me, but I have to quote from you, to you, what prayer they teach their youth. And you've been listening to Richard Wurmbrand's story for America after 14 years in a communist prison, and just as Solzhenitsyn had done when he came to America and gave his infamous speech at Harvard, he was tough on communism, but he was also tough on consumerism and how that itself could be a surrender to the world of the advertising market and away from individuality. When he said that he was forced to repeat, nobody loves you anymore, nobody loves you anymore, what a dirty, ugly trick the communists played on these people they imprisoned. It just doesn't get lower than faking the end of love of your family. And then of course, following up with the end of love and the death of God himself.
When we come back, more of Richard Wurmbrand's story, his testimony here on Our American Stories. Thank you In New York, call 877-8HOPE-NY or text HOPE in Y467369. Void in Ohio and Ontario, bonus issued as free bets. One boost per eligible gain, often required. 10 plus leg required for 100% boost. Deposit, parlay, and wagering restrictions apply.
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Say free this week into your Xfinity voice remote. And we continue with our American stories. We last heard Richard Wurmbrand discuss how the brainwashing of the communists in Romania, and by the way, throughout the Eastern Bloc, China, and anywhere else the communists did their dirty work was so effective, but the communists weren't finished.
Here again is Richard Wurmbrand. Now, the communists have also published in Our Father. They teach their youth to pray. And now may God forgive me, but I have to quote to you what prayer they teach their youth. Our Father, cursed be your name. May your kingdom be destroyed.
May your will not be done anywhere, not even in hell. Give us this day our daily bread, which you have stolen from us. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive yours. And don't lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evils of capitalism, but seeing that we are poor in spirit and weak and incapable to help anybody, down with you for all eternity.
Amen. Now, we teach our children our Father, which we have received from Jesus. In Russia and the communist countries, parents who love their children as much as we love them, are simply driven to madness when the child comes home from school and he begins to say, what does the child know? He says what has been taught in school.
And he knows that if he does not say it exactly like this, he will get a bad mark and he will remain another year in that class and he will never arrive to high school or to college. What a terrible torture. How would you feel if your children would say such prayer? Christians have been compelled day after day to eat their excrement and to drink urine. It gave a special kind of madness during the night. These men would bang on the door of the cell, shouting, give us more urine, give us more urine. On a Sunday morning, a Catholic priest, a friend of mine, was given in one hand a plate with excrement, in the other a cup with urine, and he was compelled, he was half mad because of tortures.
He did not know anymore what he does. He was compelled to say the holy mass over these elements. He said the holy words of Jesus, take and eat. This is my body. Take and drink.
This is my blood over these elements. And he did it. And years of prison have passed.
I have made 14 years of prison, which is not much. May I tell you how we endured all these things, which have happened and continue to happen? It is written so beautifully in Romans 12. It is written there, rejoice with those who rejoice. If I don't have a joy, but there are millions who have a joy, and I can rejoice with those who rejoice. Every Sunday, I rejoiced with all those who were in church on Sunday. I was not in church 14 years.
We are in a subterranean prison. We don't see the sun, but the sun exists. And so many are on the beach now, and turn themselves, and swim, and surf. I can rejoice with every one of them. We don't have what to eat, but others eat such good things. I don't have a church.
They have. I don't have my wife. I don't have my children. But there are so many who have a wife and have healthy children. And I must not always brood about my little tragedy. The self is not so important. I am one of billions of men.
No, this one self has a toothache. This one self has some difficulties, some drama. But there are millions who don't have these dramas. And I must not be selfish. I must deny the self and rejoice together with all those who rejoiced.
And I wish to finish by telling you just one thing more. The first years, we were kept everyone alone in a cell. 30 feet beneath the earth, we never saw sun, moon, snow, flowers, stars, grass, trees. We never saw.
We never saw a man except the torturers. We had no book. We had nothing. We sat and gazed to the gray walls. That was all. We never heard a noise.
The guards had felt sole shoes, and you did not hear their approach. But then I wish to take holy communion. Now, how in the world should you take holy communion, having just nothing, nothing?
We have nothing. And God, who is always good, God reminded me in that moment, do you know out of which, out of what, heaven and earth have been made? They have been made out of nothing. If God would have willed to make a world, heaven and earth, out of gold, out of diamonds, he would not have succeeded. Try to make out of gold a butterfly which would fly.
It can't go. But out of nothing, he could make. So the most valuable material in the world is nothing. Out of nothing, the world is made. He said in the Bible it is written in the book of Job, this big globe, the earth, it hangs God and the earth upon nothing but a powerful rope.
No material would have had the resistance to keep suspended such a big globe. Only nothing can. And then in the Bible it is written that in the first century there was a church in Corinth and there they quarreled, the Christians quarreled. And some said there exists no bigger preacher than Paul. And the others said, go away, what? You're Paul.
He is nothing at all. Peter is the right preacher. And the others said, no, Apollo is the right preacher.
And they quarreled. And Paul writes to them, why do you quarrel? Paul is nothing. Peter is nothing.
Apollo is nothing. Well, so to be a nothing is a very great thing. If somebody is a very, very good preacher, then you can compare him with Billy Graham, with all robots.
You can say that is another Billy Graham if he's a great preacher. But if somebody is a nothing, you have compared him with St. Paul and with St. Peter because St. Paul and St. Peter have been nothing, Christ everything. And wishing to take Holy Communion and the head for Holy Communion, nothing. So I took in my hands nothing. I thanked God for the nothing. I broke nothing. And I said, take this nothing. Is this nothing?
This nothing is my body, which is broken for you. And then I took another nothing. And I blessed it.
I thanked for it. And I said, take and drink from this nothing. This nothing is my blood, the blood of the New Testament, which has been shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.
And we took communion with nothing. That is the message which I have to bring you. I have not come to agitate against communism here.
I have something better to do. To light a candle is better than to curse darkness. And may a radiant life, a spiritful life, start in the house of every one of us, in our churches, and in this beautiful land of America, which God may keep free from the evils of communism.
May God bless every one of you. Amen. And you were listening to Richard Wurmbrand. And my goodness, what a life story. After serving a total of 14 years, he and his wife, Sabina, who had also been imprisoned in a Romanian torture house.
And let's make it clear. This was torture, and torture, and more torture, and brainwashing. They were ransomed for $10,000 and emigrated to America and brought their message here.
Richard Wurmbrand's story here on Our American Stories. The last time the economy looked this bad, the stock market tanked. The economy collapsed, and inflation hit record highs. But at the same time, the price of gold shot up 1,300%.
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