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MayaPapaya

90s Kid in The Way

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MayaPapaya    3

Hi all!

I was brought into TWI by my mother in 2nd grade (about 1992). I stopped attending fellowship as soon as I moved out to go to college in 2002 and haven’t looked back. I was part of fellowships in NC but we also spent one year in WV when I was in 5th grade. We were supposed to go out WOW the year that they canceled it and for whatever reason we (me, Mom, and sister) were placed with another couple of Way Corps people in WV for a year.

In 6th/7th grade, I was sexually abused by the adult son of our fellowship coordinators. I told my mother. Rather than informing the authorities, we did what you do in TWI and handled it internally. That process means going to the fellowship leaders for counseling. Unfortunately for me, they were not unbiased. Nor did they have any kind of training to handle such a situation. In the end, it was decided that I was just as much to blame (at 12 years old) as this grown a$$ man. “We” agreed that it was wrong, would never happen again, and moved forward from there. That’s when I stopped believing in God and I’m pretty sure it’s when all of my self esteem and anxiety issues started.

Throughout my teen years, I was forced to take the classes, pay for magazine subscriptions, go out “witnessing”, lead/teach fellowship, etc. I faked speaking in tongues because it was something I was supposed to know how to do. I was called out and humiliated for so many things during these crucial years, but was told that it was all done out of love.

None of the other kids my age stayed with TWI, and my mom later told me that they refer to us as “the lost generation.” I guess they’ve since taken steps to ensure the younger folk stick around.

I have some good memories of the ROA. Being raised by a single mom, we didn’t have many opportunities to go on vacation, so it was our one vacation per year.

My parents are still very much involved with TWI and it saddens me. My mom first go involved with it back in the 70s/80s in Northern California and then sought it out again in NC when she was going through a particularly tough time in her life. I get that. I think the part that will take me the rest of my life to recover from is that my mother chose TWI over me and my well-being at the time in my life when I needed her the most.

She recently turned me on to the A&E show about Scientology because she wanted me to see how ridiculous other religions are. It brought back sooo many memories about my own experiences and maddened me that she couldn’t see the parallels between Scientology and TWI. Anyway, that’s why I’m here. Sorry for the book! It’s nice to meet you all!

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Modgellan    733

Welcome to GSC Maya and thanks for telling your story. Rest assured we do not think you were at fault. You sound pretty darn awesome to me! 

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Rocky    727

Hey Maya,

I'll affirm all of what Modgellan said. Thanks for telling your story; we know enough to recognize that children aren't at fault for the actions of adults; and you have some very good insight on your experience.

I hear you about the frustration with your mother not recognizing the parallels between twi and scientology. You've got plenty of supportive ears to share your frustrations here.

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T-Bone    515

Hi Maya - I agree with Modgellan & Rocky !!!!

welcome to Grease Spot ! ! !

I can sort of understand your frustration when dealing with the blindness of a mindset in others...reminds me of that old saying - none are so blind as those who refuse to see.

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MayaPapaya    3

Thanks everyone for the warm welcome! It’s been fun reading through old posts and seeing some familiar names or hearing about certain events through the eyes of an adult rather than a child.

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WordWolf    376

Hello there!

(I keep forgetting to check this forum so I tend to arrive late to the party.)   Glad to have you aboard! 

" My mom first go involved with it back in the 70s/80s in Northern California and then sought it out again in NC when she was going through a particularly tough time in her life."

 

As I see it, twi was a handful of people until the end of the 1960s. vpw read about those hippie Christians who were getting lots of attention and young recruits. He went to Southern Cal and managed to con a handful of Christians in a legitimate Christian movement, and convince them that he was part of one also. So, they became the recruiting arm of twi.  He sent them to NY and California.  People in both places got exposure to legitimate Christians with love and power, who claimed (falsely but naively) that twi was part of the answers rather than some parasite hanging off those with the answers.  So, people exposed to THEM joined, and those people recruited others, and so on.  The experience on the field was almost a completely different organization than the experience from twi HQ and so on.  The closer anyone got to HQ, the more damaged they got. The closer people from HQ got to people on the field, the more damaged they got (the people on the field.)  

About 1988-1989 was when craig managed to chase off 80% of the remaining membership. With them left pretty much anyone who'd "descended" from those original Christians, and since then, all twi has had was a legalistic organization that cracks the whip and forces conformity. 

So, if anything has changed most radically over the decades (and there have been changes), I would say the biggest one was bringing in the legitimate Christians, and chasing off the legitimate Christians.   In between was telling people that those people's successes were due to twi and not completely unrelated to twi itself.  That's how your Mom got hooked. She remembered legitimate Christians from the 70s/80s who were all chased off by the 90s, and didn't notice the difference. (I went to ROA 88 and ROA 89, before and after the big chase-off, and the difference was shocking.  Like a number of people, I exited completely at the end of ROA 89.) 

 

I'm sorry you had to live through twi post-Christianity.

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Bolshevik    351

Hi Maya,

I was a child in TWI and can recall getting called out in front of entire Limbs as well.  I loathed manifestations and witnessing.  I left and got "drug back" to TWI a number of times by the Corps working with family in many areas, even though I was non-corps.

I hope to hear more from you.

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Hi, Maya, glad to have you aboard!

I post rather sporadically nowadays. I was "in" from 1973 to 1996, when we were unceremoniously dumped.

First, let me say the response of your leadership to your account of sexual abuse was horrible and wrong, but typically TWI. You were completely innocent and they had no business treating you that way.

I hope you're doing well now and enjoying life. It's heartbreaking to me that so many "way kids" turned completely from a loving God because of their upbringing in this vicious little cult.

 

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