SUMMARY SEPTEMBER 2010
A DANGEROUS DOOMSDAY CULT
“If our God tells us to go to hell, we will ready [sic] to do that too, because we follow what God tells us.”
–From a blog by a member of the Emperor Emmanuel cult.
A detailed report on this cult was put together with inputs from many committed Catholics to whom this ministry expresses its heartfelt thanks. They also made it possible for this writer to gain entry to the retreat that was conducted at Muriyad from July 21 to 28, 2010. While the detailed report is accessible at:
this summary will provide general information and present an outline of some of the cult’s activities and main teachings.
NOTE: In respect of the detailed report, if one intends to take a printout, that report will make sense to the reader only if the printout is in colour. When one reads the report, one will understand the reason for my suggestion.
If any of the information, which is gathered from various news sources, enquiries by email and personal observation, is factually incorrect, or if my comments in the detailed report are theologically wrong, please bringing them to my attention.
Emperor Emmanuel is a charismatic-style, rabidly anti-Catholic doomsday cult whose centre is in Muriyad, near Irinjalakuda in Kerala. It is also known as “Zion”. Its founder and leader is one Joseph Ponnara, a former drawing teacher in a school in Erattayar where he was active in the Catholic charismatic renewal. He started his activities in Thodupuzha in Kerala in 2000, calling his centre the “Embassy of Emperor Emmanuel”, before moving to Muriyad in 2005 and renaming it “Zion”.
Apparently, he lacks an academic background, theological formation as well as Biblical scholarship. His knowledge of English is insufficient for him to preach in any language other than Malayalam, so he depends on a translator. His only credentials are his personal interpretations of Scripture and what he claims are revelations from the Father and the Holy Mother [Mary]. Of course, he claims having discernment and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Ponnara is the cult’s sole preacher and teacher. Two priests have joined the cult. One, the elderly Fr. Joseph Ayyankoil, left the Vincentians [which runs the retreat centre at Potta and the Divine Retreat Centre at Muringoor, both of which are situated just a few minutes drive from “Zion”] in 2005. The other is a young Irinjalakuda diocesan priest Fr. Roby who joined the cult a few months ago. They have no authority to teach or to discuss any of the cult’s teachings with retreatants.
The Aluva seminarians’ investigation of the cult, published in Vazhithettunna Vishwasam, a part of which is translated into English in my detailed report, is available at
There are some minor differences and contradictions between their findings and mine and even with the information copied from various blogs and from letters to this ministry, and the reason for this could be that Ponnara’s teachings are themselves inconsistent, contradictory, incomplete and confusing.
A three-storey concrete Noah’s ark is under construction at “Zion”. Here, they are preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus.
But this Jesus is not the Jesus that other Christians know. Neither is the Second Coming the one that either Catholics or the fundamentalist Protestants teach. Jesus is already come on earth in the flesh, born of a virgin. His name is Emmanuel and not Jesus. The name of the Father is Jesus. The Father has a physical body of flesh and blood. So, too, does the Holy Spirit. Melchizedek, the priest and king of Genesis 14, is the Holy Spirit. The Blessed Virgin Mary, or Holy Mother as they call her, is co-eternal with the Father and was present at the creation of the world. Ponnara teaches that Mary is to be worshipped.
To a large extent, it is the cult’s Mariology that lulls Catholics into a false sense of security until it is too late for them to realise that have been indoctrinated with a false gospel. The other ruse is the Catholic façade that the cult maintains.
While not attempting to hide the fact that they are not Catholic, and while teaching that the Catholic Church is the agent of Satan, they say the rosary, hear people’s private confessions, and celebrate Mass among other things. However, all of these are very different from what Catholics are familiar with.
The cult’s followers believe that the end of the world is imminent, that Jesus is already here and so are some of the prophets of the Old Testament, that they will turn up at “Zion”, the Father will be there too, that only a pre-ordained 144,000 will be saved from annihilation, and that the 144,000 will only be those who accept the “Zion” gospel preached by Ponnara who is apparently, though he doesn’t say it in so many words, one of those prophets. The problem is that many people believe him.
Thousands of Catholics from as far away as Bangalore, Mangalore and Mumbai [Bombay] have joined Emperor Emmanuel or simply left the Church after attending the retreats of Joseph Ponnara.
How do they recruit people? Enough Catholics have defected to the cult to proselytize for them. New young adherents use the internet, writing in blogs or sending email invitations. There are people working undercover in parishes in different cities who shepherd groups of Catholics to “Zion”. The main such person was one Thomas Pulickal, said to be a former Salesian seminarian. Till late 2009, he was permitted to preach at retreat centres, a school of evangelization, to prayer groups, and in Catholic institutions in Bangalore. One ploy of these people is never to reveal any of the “secrets” of “Zion”. Assured of their becoming privy to mysteries and revelations, gullible Catholics, mostly charismatics who are predisposed to being attracted by phenomena and alleged miracles due to poor faith-formation, go to Muriyad and are completely brainwashed. Pulickal has been active in setting up recruiting cells also in Bombay and in Mangalore. He is said to be active now in Delhi and in Goa.
A couple of months ago, Pulickal broke away from Joseph Ponnara, but is reportedly still active in all the named cities where English-speaking people from a Konkani background have switched their allegiance from Ponnara to him. All that I could gather till the time of writing is that they believe that they must continue to remain within their families, parishes and social circles [some of them had isolated themselves] as “the time has not come”. I believe that this buys time for Pulickal while he consolidates his breakaway faction. They still believe in “Zion’s” end-time gospel and so still constitute a threat to Catholics.
The Aluva seminarians describe Emperor Emmanuel as a “Christian sect”. The “Zion” cult is as much Christian as Mormons or the Jehovah’s Witnesses are. They do not believe in the same Holy Trinity [which is redefined to include Mary] as Christians do, they have changed the Apostles’ Creed and they prophesy the apocalyptic destruction of ALL Christian churches.
The teachings of the Emperor Emmanuel cult range from the ridiculous to the blasphemous, from the hateful to the heretical.
In both, this summary as well as the full report, I have omitted the details of Ponnara’s numerous examples of the breaking of the First Commandment* by priests and nuns especially in the area of inculturation and “Indianisation” abuses.
Here, I reproduce some teachings as noted by me at the retreat that I attended a month ago in July 2010.
–Can God raise human beings from stones? June 17, 1991. In a place in South India, the Holy Mother speaks audibly, the only place in the world where that happened. For twenty-five years, the Holy Mother is appearing there. [Joseph Ponnara then tells the story of a family that was asked to bury some stones and after a few years they were instructed to open the box. Inside, in place of the stones, there was an infant, a boy. He was baptised by Fr. A. J. Thamburaj, S.J., twice National Chairman of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.] As instructed further, they named the boy “Moses“. Fr. Thamburaj baptised him. That boy is now 19 years old. This servant of God is a witness to all that. Thus, the Word of God about raising children out of stones was fulfilled. [The prophet Moses is alive.] Please do not write this down. Please end your investigation here.
-[Quoting Scripture] It is very clear that until Jesus Christ comes again, John [the Beloved Disciple] cannot die… JOHN IS STILL ALIVE. It follows that another parallel incident in the Bible of someone being alive longer than John must exist. The writer of the book of Isaiah was Simeon who lived in this world for 800 years. Since the prophets started with Moses and ended with John the Baptist, secrets can be revealed only by them. They will come on this earth to do so.
-All the prophets who have been given duty along with Emperor Emmanuel have come on the earth. There is none pending.
-If my daughter committed adultery with my servants, I would tie her up, cut her into pieces with a butcher’s knife and feed her to the dogs.
-[Talking of the Irinjalakuda priests and Bishop] If I had an AK 47, I would have emptied all its bullets into them.
-What does the Father look like? An artist has depicted him as an old man with a long white beard. If I find the artist who depicted the Father as an old man, I will empty all the bullets of an AK 47 into him.
The Father is just 35 years old.
-The Word of God in Tobit 10:12
says that you are not to have a father-in-law and a mother-in-law, so all of you will have to confess this sin. You are allowed only a father and a mother. To have a father-in-law and a mother-in-law is a violation of the Fourth Commandment.
-If the man dies and goes to heaven and if the woman still retains her attachment to him, she is committing adultery with heaven. If he dies and goes to hell, and if the still continues her relationship with her dead husband, she is committing adultery with hell because Satan has authority over him.
-Those who show more affection for animals are surely having sex with them. If such people touch us or come close to us we will know them. If a person who has a lust for the flesh touches you, it gets transferred to you.
-If one tithes to a lesser person, the giver will be cursed.
-Even plants have minds.
-Bones come from God, and that is why they do not get destroyed.
-Even after I die, I can see, smell, taste, etc., but you can’t see me because I don’t have a body. A soul remains on this earth for forty days after the death of a person. That is what I think.
-When you shout “Hallelujah” the True Word goes inside the body and the False Word comes out. That is why we shout so loudly in “Zion”. This has been proved scientifically by Isaac Newton, that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
-Did John the Baptist give baptism to Jesus Christ? NO!
Baptism is for sinners. That’s why I say John the Baptist did not give baptism to Jesus Christ.
-Jesus Christ was raised up from the dead not after three days but at the same moment when he died.
-The Holy Eucharist is NOT the body and blood of Jesus Christ. When you receive it and consume it, it is generated into His body and blood. It’s like taking medicine or injection.
-Even before God created angels, he created Satan. He created two earths, one on the first day, the Inside Earth, and one on the third day, the Outside Earth. Satan is a monkey with the body of a human. Before Lucifer rebelled, Satan existed.
-Satan’s head is going to be crushed not by Jesus Christ but by an offspring of Eve [from the Emperor Emmanuel cult].
-Where is hell? It is in the inner parts of the earth. In 2002, there was this National Geographic story on how worms were found living in molten lava at 6000 degrees Centigrade deep under the earth. In 2005 or 2006, scientists lowered a microphone or some device like a sensor into the earth. Crores and crores of voices of people were recorded for about twenty seconds after which Satan destroyed the whole system. This was a slap which God gave to the Catholic Church which says that there is no hell.
-The saints who died before Jesus Christ went to Abraham’s bosom. Abraham’s bosom is in the earth itself. The temperature in Abraham’s bosom is 80 degrees Centigrade.
-Emperor Emmanuel is now a human being with all human limitations. Only Satan can recognize him and will try to kill him. Crores and crores of angels are now on earth to protect and defend him.
-The Father’s name is Jesus.
-Do you know that the Father will come on earth? There are many Scriptures that show when the Father will come on earth.
-The Father had a physical body from the beginning. Jesus Christ existed only in the spirit. The Holy Spirit had no body at that time. Father God took a part of His body and blood and made Holy Mother.
-The spirit hovering over the water in Genesis 1:2 is not the Holy Spirit. It is the spirit of Christ.
–Who is this Melchizedek? Melchizedek is the Holy Spirit.
-The Holy Spirit is not without form. He is a human being. He often walks with the cult members, hands around their necks.
-When God gave birth, he gave birth to baby gods. How did you become human? Satan made you like this.
-There are three heavens. In one heaven there is no one other than Jesus. It is the Second Heaven or paradise. Where Father, Son and Holy Spirit live, that is the Third Heaven. [He also teaches that there are three different “Kingdom of Gods”]
-In the First Delivery given by God the Father, there were 2 + 144,000 children. The two God kept separately for Himself.
One is Jesus Christ. The second is his mother. They are residing with the Father in the Third Heaven. He put the 144,000 inside Adam. So how come those who are born first from God, in the First Delivery, are only present on earth later?
The later deliveries were placed on top of each other. The Last Delivery by God was Abel, and he was placed on top, so he came out first. Then all the rest, nine hundred and ninety-seven generations were born in succession. There are three generations left, and the last of them is sitting now in this class. After this generation, Adam will be empty.
Who is this “us” in Genesis who created male and female in their likeness? Heavenly Father and Holy Mother!
At the time of creation, the Holy Mother is there with the Father, with her full body from the beginning of creation. But the Catholic Church teaches that “Wisdom” is not a person.
In the Bible, “Let there be light” should read as “Let there be lights”. The 144,000 God kept inside Adam and the remainder generations were kept in a separate packet. So it should read as “lights” and not “light”. Wisdom is given a body right at the beginning. Father God took a part of His body and blood and made Holy Mother.
Holy Mother became the first man created by the Father before the creation of the earth.
Holy Mother was born together with Jesus Christ when Jesus was born but Jesus Christ was not given a body. She lived with the Father for thousands of years before coming on this earth.
If Holy Mother was born before the first bit of soil was created on earth, she was not made from the soil, and so she can’t return to the soil. She has no death, no old age. She is a youth and virgin forever.
Yet, the Catholic Church teaches that the Holy Mother had to die, but it cannot be because she has been given the same body and blood that the Father has. So those who worship the Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit can also worship Holy Mother because she is a part of the council of God and a part of the Trinity of God.
Let us all stand and worship her. She deserves our worship.
-When we in “Zion” say that one will become like God, we mean that men will become like the Father and women will become like Holy Mother.
-Who received the Holy Spirit before Pentecost? It is proved by Luke 1:35. By the laying of hands by the Father, the Holy Mother received the Holy Spirit. [She laid hands on the 120 in the Upper Room and transferred it to them at Pentecost.]
–“Son of Man” is a camouflage word and is being used so that no one can understand. The one sitting at the right hand of the Father is not the Son of Man, Jesus, but the Son of God, Christ.
The Son of God, Christ, will be sent to you as Jesus. That doesn’t mean that he will be named Jesus. To be Jesus, he has to be the Son of Man. To be the Son of Man, he must be Jesus. In more than twenty places in the Bible, when he comes for judgement, he is called Son of Man. But right now, sitting next to the Father, is the Son of God, Christ. But he will be sent to us as Son of Man. This is the secret of the Second Coming.
He is not going to come from above but from the earth in the same way as he did the first time. 2000 years ago, he came inside the Church. Now he is coming outside the Church. The Bible says that he will be called as Emmanuel. But actually, nowhere in the Bible is he called as Emmanuel. In the First Coming, he was named Jesus, and called as Jesus.
Take care, never should you address him as Christ. The reason is that the name Christ will be taken up by Satan. Have you ever wondered why God called him anti-Christ? Do you think he will name himself as anti-Christ? He will name himself as Christ! He too has already come into the world. There are many claims about it. When you read “Christ” in the Bible, substitute it with “Emmanuel” and read. His name is not Jesus Christ, and NEVER WILL BE CHRIST.
-The anti-Christ is already in the world. “Zion” declares that Jesus Christ is already come in this world having a body of flesh.
-The first person to receive the spirit of anti-Christ was Nicholas [of Acts 6:5?], one of the one hundred and twenty disciples who was also one among the seven deacons. The first Nicholas has gone out of “Zion”. His name is Thomas Pulickal. He has gone to Bangalore, Bombay, Mangalore, and even Goa now. Many people have come here and learnt some of our secrets. Foxes have come out in Bombay, in Bangalore, in Mangalore also claiming that this is not the true “Zion”. YOU WILL RECEIVE A SIGN WITHIN THREE MONTHS AND YOU WILL KNOW WHICH IS THE TRUE “ZION”.
-Who is Jacob? Israel, God’s chosen people. At the end times, at His Second Coming, God will gather them together. They will not be a quiet people. They will have a loud voice. He will not enter inside the gate [camp = the Church] but he will send someone in [the prophet and members of the cult] and these people will make holes in the wall, in its lowest parts. People will be called to bend low and peep inside and they will see Jesus Christ standing outside. The person will give him a nice kick and the one peeping will fall outside but he need not be afraid. It is Jesus Christ who has come to reign. Since 2005, through the holes about seven to ten thousand people have been kicked out. Out of them, about three thousand entered through the gate saying, “The time has not come for us.” [Pulickal and Co.] Is there not such a group in Bombay? The time is coming when the inside of the wall will be destroyed with bombs and those who have gone in will go to hell.
-The Final Judgement should have been carried out by the year 2000 as signified by the two extended fingers on the raised right hand of Jesus in the picture of the Sacred Heart.
-In 2005, the Holy Spirit was completely taken out of the Catholic Church. Today, the Catholic Church is saying that the Holy Mother is not immaculate.
-In the year 2012, the heads will be chopped off. This sword is for the authorities of the Catholic Church. Nobody should doubt this. Write it down.
-“Zion” has declared that God is going to destroy all churches.
-EMMANUEL HAS ALREADY COME. YOU ARE NO MORE SUBJECT TO LAW. YOU ARE NO MORE SUBJECT TO CHURCH.
THAT MEANS YOU HAVE TO SEPARATE YOURSELVES FROM IT.
GOD HIMSELF HAS ALLOWED THESE ABOMINATIONS IN THE CHURCH* AS A SIGN TO YOU.
-There are many Word of Gods [sic] that are not written in the Bible… they are the UNWRITTEN WORD OF GOD.
-There is a password to recognize Jesus when he comes again, but it is a SEALED WORD OF GOD and it is being safe-guarded here in “Zion” and when the right time comes it will be given to you.
-All of us will fly off in different directions faster than aircraft in our hurry and eagerness to meet the Father. Emmanuel will come and give the power to fly. If anyone holds your legs to prevent you, you’ll have to kick them.
-The biggest blocks to your coming to the Father are the priests. Jesus Christ was saying “Never go back to your priest.” I will write and give you that if you do so, you will never return here.
-Ninety-five percent of priests are committing adultery. I know priests who have done more than one hundred adulteries with one hundred women and are celebrating Holy Mass.
-People from within your family will be sent to test you to see whether you will obey the First Commandment* or not. You are not going to yield to them, to listen to them, whether it be your husband or your wife.
-All these secrets are for the first born only. If you give secrets outside, the people who are to come to this gospel will not come. We can reveal all the secrets but I don’t trust all of you. I don’t trust even one of you. We are sending you out half-complete so that you come back here again and again. END
*Abominations in the Church – Joseph Ponnara and the First Commandment [excerpts from the detailed report]
The abuses of inculturation and aberrations like the plague of yoga in the Church especially among the priests are important reasons for Catholics’ disenchantment with the priests and bishops. Joseph Ponnara invests a lot of time in describing several such incidents and makes them his prime weapon to convince retreatants at “Zion” that the Roman Catholic Church couldn’t really be the true Church, the Bride of the Son that was waiting in spotless and eager anticipation of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. He didn’t have to try hard. Every retreatant present joined in loud and firm condemnation of the Catholic hierarchy that should have been instead a source of orthodox teaching and guidance towards their salvation. I could not blame them. That was the one time that I could not, as I always did, boldly shake my head in denial — only to be seen clearly by the eagle-eyed Ponnara — because, more than anyone else present there, I knew that for once he was speaking the truth. I could only hang my head in impotent shame and hope that he would stop. But he didn’t. His grand finale is a 90-minute video on these inculturational abuses which seals the fate of every retreatant, except the very few who understand that not all priests and Bishops are bad, that not all of them are guilty of Hindu-ising the Church. Though I was very curious to view the film, the show was cancelled and anyway I left the “Zion” compound a few hours before the retreat ended. From talking to a few people during my two-hour debriefing, I understood that they would also be showing the Canadian film “India: Categories: False Mystics
The Lotus and the Cross” which is as bad as it can get. The detailed report on the film is on my web site at
Categories: False Mystics