Jump to content
GreaseSpot Cafe
  • Announcements

    • GT

      Log in changes   08/07/2016

      With the upgrade there is no longer separate login ids and display names.  Your login ID is now your display name.
Thomas Loy Bumgarner

Leah Remini/ Scientology and similarity to TWI

Recommended Posts

Recently Leah has been doing a series on Scientology on TV. Wow, wish a similar documentary how been done on The Way International. So much similar. Reminds me of Jim Jones, and David Koresh. I have read 2 books talking about TWI and need to buy Undertow. I still want to know the truth about Wierwille's education course wise and I don't care if that embarases the institutions or not. Where is 60 Minutes, Frontline, Dateline, 20/20, etc.? It is on A&E cable channel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rocky    708

VeePee liked celebrities... but he didn't hook enough of them to raise his public profile to near the degree that Scientology has.

Hence, there's little interest in a similar broadcast video like the series Remini has been doing. But if you run across anyone with deep pockets that wants to do something big to expose fundamentalist cults, check in with Penworks. I'm sure she could get such a project off the ground (if funding were found).

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 2 books on TWI in addition to Penworks Undertow are Karl Kahler's The Cult that Snapped, and Kristen Skedge's Losing The Way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chockfull    430

penworks book Undertow gives detailed insight into early Corps years as well as how the Way does Biblical research.  A must read for understanding the Way and what they call "Biblical Research".

Karl Kahler's book - I just read through it recently.  It has detailed accounts about early ministry days with Way West and Way East and Doop and Heefner.  More detailed even than posts here.  It is $6 for a .pdf copy.

Kristin's book details the largely hidden swinger club aspects of top Way leadership among other things.

All of these books represent a more accurate depiction of The Way International's history than anything the Way has released.  

The Way has released 2 history books - one written by Mrs. VPW called "Born Again to Serve".   Or more accurately written by others from Mrs. W's memorabilia collection and reviewed and confirmed by her.  The book was published shortly before she died - she had no desire to write books at that age.  That was all pushed by Rosie.  That book basically is a VP biography from 1916 to 1961.  The other is no longer sold in the Way bookstore - Elena Whiteside's book "The Way Living in Love".  This was more of a hippie child depiction of way history and includes all of the supposed revelation to VPW of snow pumps and God talking directly to him all surrounding a time period where he went to an Oral Roberts revival and faked speaking in tongues on the stage with a group of other ministers.  

Current pushes in the Way are to hide this material and whitewash it generally.   One can read I John and know where that leads spiritually.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The other book TWI did in 70's was Harry Wierwille's book. BTW, I have all 3 books plus Karl and Kristen's books. I plan to buy Charlene's book at Barnes and Nobles local store here in Hickory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also to all newcomers I was involved with TWI at twig and branch level, and attended ROA 75- 79.

Edited by Thomas Loy Bumgarner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rocky    708
9 hours ago, chockfull said:

penworks book Undertow gives detailed insight into early Corps years as well as how the Way does Biblical research.  A must read for understanding the Way and what they call "Biblical Research".

Karl Kahler's book - I just read through it recently.  It has detailed accounts about early ministry days with Way West and Way East and Doop and Heefner.  More detailed even than posts here.  It is $6 for a .pdf copy.

Kristin's book details the largely hidden swinger club aspects of top Way leadership among other things.

All of these books represent a more accurate depiction of The Way International's history than anything the Way has released.  

The Way has released 2 history books - one written by Mrs. VPW called "Born Again to Serve".   Or more accurately written by others from Mrs. W's memorabilia collection and reviewed and confirmed by her.  The book was published shortly before she died - she had no desire to write books at that age.  That was all pushed by Rosie.  That book basically is a VP biography from 1916 to 1961.  The other is no longer sold in the Way bookstore - Elena Whiteside's book "The Way Living in Love".  This was more of a hippie child depiction of way history and includes all of the supposed revelation to VPW of snow pumps and God talking directly to him all surrounding a time period where he went to an Oral Roberts revival and faked speaking in tongues on the stage with a group of other ministers.  

Current pushes in the Way are to hide this material and whitewash it generally.   One can read I John and know where that leads spiritually.

However, it IS still available to get a hold of Whiteside's book.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
outandabout    81

I've been watching that Scientology series. I am totally fascinated. Parallel after parallel. Brings back memories of TWI. In the series a member was tasked by top dog David Miscavage to get all the sidewalks torn up so demonstrators wouldn't be able to get too close to their properties.  Needless to say, member didn't accomplish this and was rebuked and physically assaulted by Miscavage.  Reminded me of all that we were required to do per the directives of our "superiors" but never could measure up and were either subjected to rebuke or lived in fear of it.  

And of course there is the parallel of being ostracized if we committed some kind of what Scientology calls "crimes". The loss of our relationships that weren't TWI connected. They were unbelievers or Earthly family. In Scientology they are Suppressive Persons.

The spying on and reporting of other members. Leah Remini shared how she had voiced some doubts to her closest of friends and they reported her and she was severely chastised and threatened. Brought back a memory of how I was asked by someone if I ever thought of leaving.  I honestly told him well yes sometimes.  Next thing I know here comes T L@lly branch leader asking me to see him the next day.  I was so scared I couldn't sleep.  The ensuing meeting was him yelling at me for at  least an hour, a barrage of accusations some based on fact and others totally off the wall.  But who was I to talk back or defend myself since he was The Man of God in the state. It reduced me to a blubbering pile of tears and then he came out from behind hid desk and hugged me.  Talk about crazy-making!  To this day I can recall this meeting and it hurt me for a long time.  The person I am now would say Fu€k Off and walk out.

 

 

 

 

.  

 

 

 

 

Edited by outandabout
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
outandabout    81

More parallels - in Scientology there is always the promise of achieving a "higher level" if you just keep going, if you just spend more of your money for more classes and those sessions where you hold the cans and get interrogated.  There is the highest level where you go Clear.  For us it was also class after class until TaDa! The Advanced Class, the Holy Grail of spiritual enlightenment.  And as it is in Scientology, once you get there it's not what it's cracked up to be but wait! There's another way to "grow spiritually".  Go WOW.  Even better go in the Corps!  Then climb the ladder. Wow those ordained people must really be attuned spiritually. They must be walking by revelation all the time so if they tell me to do something it must be right even if I think it isn't because I'm at an inferior level. Like those levels in Scientology. Once you are Clear you are There.  But once you get there it too is not all it's cracked up to be.

And the money.  The total disregard in both organization for the sacrifices being made to give and give at the expense of the members.  An exScientology remarked that in the parking lot you could see the fancy cars and the beaters.  The top echelon get the good ones and the run of mill underlings give and give and can't afford a decent car.  And both organizations take the money and funnel it back into the organization and do nothing for those who give it for the purpose of the underlings (Joe Believer) is but to serve and give and give.  Like in TWI we were told we would be "blessed" to serve.  But where was this elusive "blessing" we were supposed to receive?  Those at The Top sure seemed blessed.  Surely God would bless us too if we just kept going and going.

The former Scientologists in this series all shared that they reached a breaking point that it was IT and they did whatever it took to get out.  Just as many of us did.   When we knew that we never would get that carrot on a stick and we'd had it.

One of the exScientoligists, upon being asked how much he had gotten over it all, said he sometimes went days without thinking about Scientology,  Same here.  But just as they say, it's never totally over.  But they have gone on and reclaimed their lives as we have. 

Leah Remini left Scientology in 2013 and said some things about what she's going through and I could relate to that phase when you're making that transition, which to me is the first few years.  Then you're living your life free of that cult and don't think of it for days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Edited by outandabout
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chockfull    430

The funny thing is we look at that series on Scientology as therapeutic, enlightening, and helping our recovery.   Can you surmise what things they are saying about it in the behind-closed-doors Pharisee meetings?

"Oh, it must be inspired by seed of the serpent, behind the scenes.  Leah Remini is possessed, being used by the debbil.  And the sole purpose is to spin up blame for the ministry.  She is inspiring all those people on GreaseSpot to tell stories, and they are debbil possessed too."

How can I tell that's what they are doing?  Because I used to think like that too while under the influence and authority of a cult.  it wasn't until breaking the chains of that false authority that I started to develop a perspective that wasn't spiritual dumb@$$, and stopped being an overtly compliant tool leaving my brain as a dumping ground for whatever the current closest sycophant wanted to put in it.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

merge Wierwille(not public version), Martindale, and Geer, suddenly you have Jim Jones, David Koresh, Dave Miscavege, each individually a bully, tyrant, and dictator

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chockfull    430
On 12/30/2016 at 1:23 PM, Thomas Loy Bumgarner said:

The other book TWI did in 70's was Harry Wierwille's book. BTW, I have all 3 books plus Karl and Kristen's books. I plan to buy Charlene's book at Barnes and Nobles local store here in Hickory.

Was there also a book on or by Ermal Owens?  I remember one of the last coherent thoughts I had while still in the Way was I wanted to do a research paper on the topic of debt using some of the history book material in the ministry.

Looking at the practical side of things, how VP and Harry and Ermal mortgaged the Way out numerous times in the development of it to fund future growth.  It would have made a great contrast to current debt policies.

You know, because there isn't enough already out there to awake people from their hypocritical delusions of lording over others.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chockfull    430
20 hours ago, outandabout said:

I've been watching that Scientology series. I am totally fascinated. Parallel after parallel. Brings back memories of TWI. In the series a member was tasked by top dog David Miscavage to get all the sidewalks torn up so demonstrators wouldn't be able to get too close to their properties.  Needless to say, member didn't accomplish this and was rebuked and physically assaulted by Miscavage.  Reminded me of all that we were required to do per the directives of our "superiors" but never could measure up and were either subjected to rebuke or lived in fear of it.  

It was so interesting seeing the episode with Miscavage's father.  How he was in the Sea Org, which has parallels to Corps.  Watching his ex-wife and all of his sons testifying to Anderson Cooper in unison about his evils, then knowing that his taking a stand and whistleblowing on his own son resulted in him having no communication with his family to the point of not even knowing grandchildren are born.

It was also interesting about the little gift that left to his demise.  Miscavage gave his father a Kindle that didn't have the whispernet turned off.  So his father could browse the internet, and he did.  He was looking for all the accolades for scientology, because they had helped the world so much.  He was shocked when he saw people's true testimonies, which led to him awakening, then leaving later.  It was interesting how brainwashed he was and a good part of that was censorship.  They cut off all information coming to them from the outside world, and simply lived on whatever was fed to them internally.  After years and years of a constant borrage of framing a perspective, it becomes a norm.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rocky    708
3 hours ago, chockfull said:

It was so interesting seeing the episode with Miscavage's father.  How he was in the Sea Org, which has parallels to Corps.  Watching his ex-wife and all of his sons testifying to Anderson Cooper in unison about his evils, then knowing that his taking a stand and whistleblowing on his own son resulted in him having no communication with his family to the point of not even knowing grandchildren are born.

It was also interesting about the little gift that left to his demise.  Miscavage gave his father a Kindle that didn't have the whispernet turned off.  So his father could browse the internet, and he did.  He was looking for all the accolades for scientology, because they had helped the world so much.  He was shocked when he saw people's true testimonies, which led to him awakening, then leaving later.  It was interesting how brainwashed he was and a good part of that was censorship.  They cut off all information coming to them from the outside world, and simply lived on whatever was fed to them internally.  After years and years of a constant borrage of framing a perspective, it becomes a norm.

Put away all the books you're reading for three months and study nothing but the Power for Abundant Living materials... - VPW

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
skyrider    846
2 hours ago, Rocky said:

Put away all the books you're reading for three months and study nothing but the Power for Abundant Living materials... - VPW

EXACTLY !!  :eusa_clap:

Then, go WOW......

Go Corps..............

.

Edited by skyrider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
waysider    655

This is a bit off on a tangent, not really parallel, but it will illustrate the significance of isolation.

 

The Family

Edited by waysider

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A&E is re-running the 1st 4 episodes this afternoon/evening, 5-9 pm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rocky    708

How familiar does any of this interview sound?
 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The major difference is The Way International claim the Bible as the source(likewise Branch Davidians) where as Ron Hubbard rejected Scripture and did Dianetics as a self help pyshological therapy, originally denying religion and never did "worship services", only after Miscaverge became Chairman of the board of directors(RFR like?) did the IRS finally declare them a religion and non-profit tax status. So a different type of cult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rocky    708
1 hour ago, Thomas Loy Bumgarner said:

The major difference is The Way International claim the Bible as the source(likewise Branch Davidians) where as Ron Hubbard rejected Scripture and did Dianetics as a self help psychological therapy, originally denying religion and never did "worship services", only after Miscaverge became Chairman of the board of directors(RFR like?) did the IRS finally declare them a religion and non-profit tax status. So a different type of cult.

Right. Not a fundamentalist cult. But the social and emotional dynamics are still very similar.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chockfull    430
10 hours ago, Thomas Loy Bumgarner said:

The major difference is The Way International claim the Bible as the source(likewise Branch Davidians) where as Ron Hubbard rejected Scripture and did Dianetics as a self help pyshological therapy, originally denying religion and never did "worship services", only after Miscaverge became Chairman of the board of directors(RFR like?) did the IRS finally declare them a religion and non-profit tax status. So a different type of cult.

Comparison and contrast are always such personal things.   There are similarities and differences between the Way and Scientology.   The main difference I see is the method.  What is believed, taught.   The means I see are remarkably similar, the ways to control people.  The means are what we never discussed in the Way.  It was always implied behind-the-scenes tactics.  This actually is a great first place to start to detect cult behavior, where a good deal of the expectations placed upon the individual are unwritten ones.  

Similar people control methods that I can see ....

  • Intense involvements in classes 
    • Strict policy in classes - high involvement, many hours, time, money invested
  • 2.5 hours a day being a "good Scientologist" or "good follower"
    • Daily schedule 
      • Early prayer and study - "lift lists" - all leadership and the ministry
      • Study - Put aside all other reading material - study classes and collaterals
      • Witnessing - 2x2 accosting people in malls late night, door to door like the JW's, outreach "events" to put together classes in a weekend
      • Meetings - 3x per week minimum as opposed to 1x or 2x for church minimum.  
      • Classes - always something to run people through.  These are the artifacts of the organization
      • Crews - "service" is always emphasized, and especially "Adv. Class Grads" - whatever free time you did have should be volunteering
      • Programs - "spiritual elite" - eventually over time, many / all will be talked into this
  • Behavior is modified and controlled through doctrine
  • Caste system formed by class and program attendance (Grad., Int. Grad, Adv. Class Grad, WOW vet, Corps)
    • Friendships formed at the same caste level - leads to life decisions
    • Corps marry Corps, AC grads similar, etc.
  • Hate for technology/internet - censorship of reading material
    • HQ technology 20 years behind
    • Only advancement is into Search Engine Technology - to hide criticism of group
    • Members encouraged to "stay off internet"
  • Sea Org / Way Corps
    • Forced abortions or leave the org
    • Marriage and Family of less importance
    • Rules against marriage related to caste system
    • Rules against pregnancy
    • Rules against pets
    • Unwritten rules showing true commitment
      • No coaching kids sports and missing the STS
      • Extreme dissent detecting tactics
      • Political "assassinations" of rivals
    • Abusive behavior by top leadership
      • Screaming/cursing
      • Demotions and punishment assignments
      • Probation as a punishment threat/tool
      • Shunning
      • Hyper-intensified paranoia of top leader singling out any imagined slight or resistance
        • All standing in org is totally framed by this paranoia
        • People's lives are ruined for the slightest little thing
    • Borderline poverty level salaries for Staff
      • "Management" salaries for Pres. Cabinet - $80-90k - rural town - many buy houses in New Knoxville or surrounding areas paying cash
        • Ultimate golden handcuffs - org success, financial stability
      • College options for kids - Bowling Green University - can attend on Pell grants for free because of poverty level parents salary
      • Kids avoid debt and running afoul of policy

Wow, and I thought there would be a few bullet points at max.

 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chockfull    430

Wow - after listing out all those bullet points, I just had an epiphany - where the outreach of the Way is going / has gone / is becoming.  I had always wondered why so few of what I would term "quality" people would become interested in the ministry and stick around.  The "quality" people were those who would normally be considered by society as stalwarts in a community - stable, financially secure, good home and family life.  We always seemed to be reaching those basically one step away from homelessness.  I'm sure the BODummies have extended meeting discussions about this exact thing.  And that they are still clueless on this.

"Quality people" were driven away by common sense.  Because they already had financial stability, good families, and support systems around them, this all-encompassing love-bombed cult experience didn't have the same appeal.  No, that was left to those life's story had treated a bit more harshly.  Those who needed daily attention.  Those who needed assistance in making basic life decisions.  Those who really wanted a leader to tell them specifically what to do every day.  Most financially secure have a mortgage on a home/property to incur long-term advantage with equity.  They aren't inclined to sell their houses and give $$$ away 

Many times running classes became an exercise in managing calamity in the lives of students with this type of background and mindset.

"Is this all bad?" is the question that lingers.  Of course genuine Christian service is to help the less fortunate.  But if you look overall picture at the Way, or at an organization called "Narcanon" which is run by Scientology, there is an overall funnel they direct people into, with steps every way to lose more and more of your own identity.  Take this class, censor reading, take the next 2 classes, serve on crew, go to HQ for Advanced Class, do the outreach program, go in leadership program, give away your life.  The amount of micromanagement and control introduced will ensure that very few if any well-balanced, free-thinking individuals will stay in the organization for an extended period of time.  People become a means to the end of power for these cults and leaders.

The bond held by the controlled mind is a bond of fear.  It must constantly be reinforced, checked, micromanaged.  Bonds made by the uncontrolled mind are free to be bonds of love.  

 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chockfull    430

One more update on this - I watched episodes 5 and 6 last night of Leah Remini's expose on Scientology.

They covered two interviews from former Sea Org members.  One had set the standard in "Auditing" - in Scientology there are required ongoing interviews paid for by the attendee meant for people to advance to new levels of "enlightenment".

The Way doesn't have "audit sessions" with a makeshift lie detector device like Scientology.  What the Way has is called "grilling sessions".  At least practically.  They don't have any formal training for this, but it is something that all Corps are trained up in by example.  You go through "grilling sessions", which are pretty similar to what I saw on the audit sessions with a leader trying to get you to confess to some imaginary crime, questioning commitment, etc..  If that's the standard of behavior that is normal you have to go through, then you unconsciously imitate it when handling life with those in the organization underneath your leadership influence.

There is an account of a "grilling session" on this thread - outandabout on one of his New Year's Eve posts details a "grilling session" by Lally0.   This type of thing is so very common in the Way.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×