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Heart-Washing: My Antidote to 14 Years of Brainwashing in a Communist Prison

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
September 25, 2023 3:03 am

Heart-Washing: My Antidote to 14 Years of Brainwashing in a Communist Prison

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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September 25, 2023 3:03 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, in 1948, Richard Wurmbrand publicly stated Communism and Christianity were incompatible. As a result, he was imprisoned and tortured by the Communist régime of Romania. After serving a total of fourteen years, he and his wife Sabina—who had also been imprisoned— were ransomed for $10,000 and immigrated to America. Richard Wurmbrand founded the international organization Voice of the Martyrs and spoke throughout the United States. What you are about to hear is one of those talks. 

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Available in select locations. See app for details. And we continue with our American stories. Richard Wurmbrand was a Romanian Jew who described himself as an atheist and a Marxist. He stole to get food as a child, became a very successful self-made businessman, married Sabina Oster, also a Jew, and lived a life of self-indulgence.

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 are 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 there 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 hit you, you could not scratch yourself. If it hit, 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 hit you and you are not allowed to scratch yourself? Just try for a try. Sit in a comfortable chair.

Put a watch before you and see 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.

17 hours a day, you had to sit. And you had to hear uninterruptedly, communism is good. Communism is good. communism is hard. communism is good. communism is hard. communism is good. I have said it after mybright day.

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, give up, give up. And when at 10 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 she knew.

And I knew nothing about her. I didn't know anymore if I have children or if I don't 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. For each person living with myasthenia gravis or MG, their journey with this rare neuromuscular condition is unique. That's why Untold Stories Life with myasthenia gravis, a new podcast from iHeartRadio in partnership with Argenics, is exploring the extraordinary challenges and personal triumphs of underserved communities living with MG. Host Martine Hackett will share powerful perspectives from people living with the debilitating muscle weakness and fatigue caused by this rare disorder. Each episode will uncover the reality of life with myasthenia gravis, from early signs and symptoms to obtaining an accurate diagnosis and finding care, every person with MG has a story to tell. And by featuring these real life experiences, this podcast hopes to inspire the MG community, educate others about this rare condition and let those living with it know that they are not alone.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-03 13:09:03 / 2023-10-03 13:15:27 / 6

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