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s a m i

VISITING LOVED ONES AT THE WAY INTERNATONAL

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This is about visiting loved ones that are buried at The Way International. I have heard the story of Doug McMullan, and also read the article that is in the Chat area of GreaseSpot. The reason he got arrested was because he was on PRIVATE property.

My father, Robert Alan North, is buried in the Way Woods. He passed away in June of 1997, and we chose to have his remains buried there. In 2002, it had been 5 years since my father died, and I wanted to pay my respects at his burial place.

I knew that I couldn’t go there without permission, so I simply called the Way International and ASKED. They asked me when I would be coming, we set a date and they gracefully accepted. So we headed down to Ohio.

All that we had to do when we go there, was go to the office and sign in. Then someone came and walked us down to the Way Woods. They then excused themselves and let us pay our respects. We were able to do so for as long as I felt we needed to.

We also went into the Cabin. I was however, disappointed that the plaques were no longer on the wall. These were the plaques that had everyone’s name on them that were buried in the Way Woods.

When I felt I was done in the Cabin, I went back to the burial site, and form the exact spot that my father’s ashes remain, I dug up some of the dirt and brought it home.

After we were done and I felt I had paid my respects, we walked back to the vehicle and came home.

I do wish that I could go to the Way Woods whenever I would like, not have to call and asked permission. But, we still have to remember that it is PRIVATE property and have enough respect to asked. I wouldn’t want some one coming on my property with out asking me first.

You can visit your loved ones, just simply call and ask. It is PRIVATE PROPERTY after all.

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Good post Sami. I am glad you got to go there. Your Dad was a great guy, and we miss him too. love tcat

PS: kiss that baby for me will ya?

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Sami,

I am glad that you have had such a good experience.

However, I would question whether it is private property and whether permission is required. This property is owned by a "church" and is a non-profit. I'm not a lawyer...but I yearn for the day when I am in Ohio or Gunnison when I can "test the waters" and have some goon tell me to get off the property. The lawsuit would be monumental, especially if if the goon was carrying a weapon.

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I suppose Sami....

But that isn`t what we were told while we financially contributed and donated our skills and time to construct all of the buildings, the maintenance, the upkeep for decades.

VPW told us every year at the roa that hq belonged to US the believers, and that we would *always be welcome at the way*

We were encouraged to visit, and ANY time we visited we were welcomed, fed a meal, treated like visiting royalty.....they recognized us, sang to us, prayed for us if we needed.....we were even offered free lodging for the nite.

I do not think you can understand how for decades we contributed financially and physically to hq and the upkeep ..... believing vp, that hq truly belonged to us....I don`t think he ever envisioned a time where folks were going to be forbidden access except by special permission.

As young as you are, I do not think that you can comprehend the enormity of the betrayal of having our lifes efforts confiscated...and our acess denied.

The people that are in charge are not the ones who contibuted to that place....it was stolen from the folks who`s labor and money it was built with.

We are not allowed to come to a sns in the auditorium that our contributions built PERIOD....We are not allowed to stroll the grounds that our contributions paid for....nor enter the buildings that were built with the money we sent in.....

It was NEVER supposed to be *private property* to only be enjoyed by a select few.

I am very glad that your visit was enjoyable, I am glad that twi allowed you a chance to visit.

I have to tell you though, that I work in a cemetary....and the folks here are allowed to visit their loved one whenever they like, nobody has to fill out forms or give prior notice.....that was how it was intended to be when folks first opted for twi to be the final resting spot for their loved ones.

What if the owners sell this property...legally they can.....what if the buyers try to act as twi...requiring prior notice ...signing in private escort etc?.....there would be outrage .... legally the owners DO have this right

Sami, we always believed that we would be allowed to visit our loved ones when we returned to hq....we believed that we would be allowed access to the fountain to pay our respects to the founders.....we went there every year for roa....it seemed like a very good idea at the time since we moved so often ....hq was the one place we all called home.

Private property though it now may be..... and though they have the legal right to allow or deny access........ this does not make it in any way ethically or morally right, nor does it negate the promises made to us by vp that twi no longer choses to honor.

I am glad that you were allowed access....don`t get me wrong, but that does not honor the intent or promise made to tens of thousands of other good hearted generous people over the decades.

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I do not think you can understand how for decades we contributed financially and physically to hq and the upkeep ..... believing vp, that hq truly belonged to us....I don`t think he ever envisioned a time where folks were going to be forbidden access except by special permission.

I agree rascal. I don't think docvic ever did envision the day that *special permission* would be needed to access hdqtrs. Administrations come, and administrations go -- and the one in power now doesn't go by any set of rules except those of their own making.

Sadly -- they seem to make them stick. :(

Sami -- it pleases me that you got to do what you wanted, even if you had to jump through a coupla *hoops* to do it. Perhaps because of what you did, there will be less hoops for others in the future to jump through. I hope so.

David

Edited by dmiller

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i see ya alls point, about puttin all the money ito it... i had to put 10% of my allowence as a child.. how happy do you think that made me??!! but all im sayin is that people can go there. just have to ask for permission, it may be stupid and really sad but that is just how it is ... FOR NOW! one day that so called "ministry" will come crashing down and they will all look really stupid.. but for now this is how it has to be. anyone can go, just have to lilke dmiller said you gotta jump thru some "hoops" to get what you want! :)

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I gots to agree with Sami, it is a bit of a pain to have to jump through some hoops but considering the crap twi put us through it's a smart policy on their part. I mean when you demand 15% of folks gross pay, use other mens wifes to satisfy your lusts (not to mention the single girls) and then in order to keep control of your organization, destroy marriages families reputations and people you'd sure not want a bunch of strangers wandering about unattended now would you?

Edited by Wonton Soup

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sami...I'd like to welcome you here as an "official poster"...Your post was kindhearted and respectful...thanks for sharing something that is very personal and for giving us all a glimpse of your heart...

...I didn't know your dad, but I somehow feel that he would be very proud of you.

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Hi Sami,

I have it on good authority that you are very hot, married to the almost perfect man and have the cutest baby ever born on the face of the earth. (Since Mom didn't post it for ya I thought I would help out) :lol:

While I do think it was great for you to get to visit and return with some of the soil of your Dad's final resting place, I would like to know something.

Wasn't this arrangement made possible because of the efforts of Doug M.? Seems to me that some where through this whole ordeal TWI had to come up with a plan for visitation and turn it over to a court. A step in the right direction for TWI, but a forced step if I remember correctly.

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I had planned to stay out of this thread but anyone who knows me knows what kind of mama I am. I can't stand it, I gotta get in. I am WELL aware Sam can take care of herself and answer your questions or comments without any help from me.

Samantha's visit to the Way Woods/TWI was considered and set up totally by her, but the permission request, etc. was not because of Mr McMullan, rather in spite of.

I have been well informed at every step of the McMullan vs TWI goings on. I knew what was fixin to happen,when, by whom and what the consequences might be.

This is/was because my late husbands remains were there, making it my business as well as the business of his children.

Perhaps many of you also know that Sami's father's entire family is still in TWI. That requires her to look at things with a little differant lens than you or others might. She doesn't want to purposely take action that might harm whatever relationship she might enjoy with them.

Having said that it was me who instructed her on the goings on and what might be a good way to approach her visit. Mr McMullan had not yet been to court nor had any new rules or regs been established.

Did I want my child have her visit turn into a media mess or have her be denied access because she failed to extend a common courtesy? Of course not, and her asking permission to visit was a small thing to have to do so that she might have a nice visit.

I'm sure none of you here would think it too much to ask in order that your child might be able to visit their loved ones grave site. Would you say to them "No, that place is evil and you are not to visit there, I don't care if you never get to visit your fathers/mothers burial site" ?

Sami didn't leave TWI. I, as her mother, did and being a 17 year old child, had to go with me. Surely you can see how that makes things differant for her and how TWI might see her through a differant lens as well.

She was a child, she wasn't consulted about us leaving, she didn't even know about it until the very last moment when she learned not only were we not going to fellowship anymore, but she was also leaving her home, friends, school and moving across the country. This only a year after losing her father.

TWI knows this and the blame and responsibility is entirely on my shoulders; I accept that and I'd do it almost exactly the same if I had it to do over again.

This is also a young women that only recently has been told everything else involving TWI. At the time of her visit to the Way Woods, she knew little, if anything, about their past presidents legal troubles, nor did she really know enough about why we left.

With that in mind, understand her desire was simple. She wanted to visit the place where her father's remains were buried on the day of the 5th anniversary of his death, period, the end of story.

TWI was gracious to her as well as me when I called them to ask what to do in regards to her visit. That is when we learned that she'd need to work out a time, where to park, how to get an escort, etc.

I was very proud of her during this time, as I always am. She was quite gracious herself, she carried herself with the pride of a strong young woman paying respect to her father's burial site, his memory and she offered respect and kindness to the place, the organization that invited us to have him buried in a place he loved so much.

Sami invited myself and her sister to make this visit with her. I declined because of the reasons I've stated here; it is me that would be a problem for TWI, not Sami. I declined for her sister because I couldn't be there to oversee the then 7 year old child's visit to a place she wouldn't remember to stand over a piece of campfire where she'd told her daddy is buried.

My children are also the reason I was not by Mr McMullans side during his court dealing with TWI. Their fathers death is a very painful reality in their lives, made more so by the inability of TWI to understand and be honest about it. The reality of his death is also made managable by TWI being willing to not punish them because of my actions. What if we'd been in the court room as witnesses, what if we'd aired our private business to prove some point? Would they then be as welcome? I suspect not.

Samantha and Kelly have had to pay for the sins of their mother in every other regard.

If they have to work out an appointment to visit their fathers burial site, then so be it. Sami is right, it's private property. Our friends who are still in TWI also have to work out times to visit the way woods to visit their loved ones burial site; they can't just wander over.

I understand the promise made by the man who started the whole thing. I understand about the amounts of money given to maintain it. I paid my share and know it's not fair. But life is like that sometimes; it stinks but they get to make the rules about this one and my children and me will comply if that's what we have to do so that they can visit the place where a great and wonderful father was laid to rest.

I'm thankful that you can't understand what that must be like, it means you've not lost someone you loved as much as these girls loved their father.

Had he been invited, before his death, to have his remains buried there, he would have unquestionably said yes. He loved those woods, TWI or not. He spent alot of time, skipping main events at ROA, sitting at that campfire area, all alone. He was 'at home' there for some reason.

Regardless of his wife and children one day no longer being involved, the woods was loved by him and he'd be button popping proud of Samantha for her maturity, guts, and gracefulness when she deals with those that she has to in order to visit him.

I know I am.

:)

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Of course you should be proud Shell. All due respect to you and your family.... Asking permission to visit the area in question does seem like a small price to pay to keep all of the ugliness out of the picture when it comes to such a simple yet loving thing. Visiting the grave site of a loved one is something that by its very nature should be free of controversy of any kind.

Generally speaking...

Problem is; TWI, and all of its leadfership SHOULD KNOW that.

Were the situation "reversed" and I had the reamins of a person buried IN my LIVING ROOM... the ONLY reason I'd even ASK that loved ones ask me for access to the remains would be to make sure I or someone else was there and available to prvide access to them. For the duration of their visit, I'd give them whatever privacy they wanted, turn off the TV and record anthing I'd want to see of TV while they were there, OR watch it upstairs in my bedroom, quitely, so as not to disturb the sanctity of their visit; even if the visitor were a perfect stanger to me.

There is just NO good reason for TWI to restrict access to those woods. It is OUTSIDE far enough away from any private residence and business location there.

It is WRONG for TWI to play the "private property" card. It is 100% hypocritical for them do hold the position they do. Not only is it wrong, it is a wholly aggressive move on their part in FULL anticipation that someone whom they DON'T like absolutely WILL find themselves compelled by the love of their deceased loved one to come there.

This, "just ask" policy redefines passive agressiveness. In fact it takes it to a whole new, wholly dispicable level. What they are doing in this is the equivalent of a sniper hiding himself under cover and squeezing off a kill shot right in the forehead of an unsuspecting "mark."

Doug M. was RIGHT to challenge them and force his situation into court, if for no other reason than to expose the hypocracy of TWI.

Words cannot discribe how heinous the idea of this is. SATANIC is a word in the direction but even that falls short.

Of course I'm glad that they made Sami's visit pleasant and memorable, but IMO that only adds to how horrible they are. My parents are buried in a large cemetary in my home town. SO big is the place that it can be difficult for me to find their graves. The ONLY time the caretakers even ASKED me if I needed an escort to the gravesites was IF I were unable to find the sites via the map they gave me.

TWI GAVE UP THEIR RIGHTS TO CLAIM PRIVATE PROPERTY THE MOMENT THEY AGREED TO TURN PORTIONS OF "THEIR" PROPERTY INTO A CEMETARY... PERIOD.

I think it is noteworthy to point out that just because they were nice to Sami does not excuse TWI from the heinous error in their fully hypocritical position. Whereas you can't say enough good about Sami in what she did to visit her Dad's final resting place, you can't say enough bad about TWI.

IMO. It doesn't matter WHAT twi does, in terms of being "good" or reforming the error in their teachings or taking better care of people, etc. As long as they maintain the position that people MUST ask permission to visit the final resting place of ANYONE buried there... That "ministry" is NOT of God. That ONE issue for me is the tip of an evil iceberg that is TWI.

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There is just NO good reason for TWI to restrict access to those woods. It is OUTSIDE far enough away from any private residence and business location there.

There are plenty of good reasons for TWI to restrict access to those woods. Regardless of whether or not they brought the animosity of others upon themselves, there are people who would vandalize the woods or other TWI property, or use access to them to otherwise cause disruption to or provoke a confrontation with TWI. Some have posted such intentions on Waydale, GreaseSpot, and probably other Internet sites as well. Also, though I have no knowledge of this, I feel almost certain that TWI has received quite a bit of hate mail expressing ill intent toward them and probably even including death threats.

It is WRONG for TWI to play the "private property" card.
Why? It IS private property.
It is 100% hypocritical for them do hold the position they do. Not only is it wrong, it is a wholly aggressive move on their part in FULL anticipation that someone whom they DON'T like absolutely WILL find themselves compelled by the love of their deceased loved one to come there.
Can you name a single person who has ever been denied access to the burial site of a relative buried on TWI grounds?
This, "just ask" policy redefines passive agressiveness. In fact it takes it to a whole new, wholly dispicable level. What they are doing in this is the equivalent of a sniper hiding himself under cover and squeezing off a kill shot right in the forehead of an unsuspecting "mark."
That’s just plain ridiculous.
Doug M. was RIGHT to challenge them and force his situation into court, if for no other reason than to expose the hypocracy of TWI.
I know nothing more about that matter than what I’ve read here or on sites linked from here, but I saw nothing honorable in his actions. All I saw was a guy seeking to provoke a confrontation.
My parents are buried in a large cemetary in my home town. SO big is the place that it can be difficult for me to find their graves. The ONLY time the caretakers even ASKED me if I needed an escort to the gravesites was IF I were unable to find the sites via the map they gave me.
Completely different situation.
TWI GAVE UP THEIR RIGHTS TO CLAIM PRIVATE PROPERTY THE MOMENT THEY AGREED TO TURN PORTIONS OF "THEIR" PROPERTY INTO A CEMETARY... PERIOD.
It would seem that Ohio law says otherwise.

I have no use for TWI but like any other organization or person, it has the right to protect itself and its property. The principles of private rights, whether individual or corporate, and equal protection of the law, even for the despicable, are more important than anyone’s personal beef with TWI. Any rights you would take from TWI could just as well be taken from any church, charity, private corporation, or individual, including you.

Edited by LG

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It is WRONG for TWI to play the "private property" card. It is 100% hypocritical for them do hold the position they do. Not only is it wrong, it is a wholly aggressive move on their part in FULL anticipation that someone whom they DON'T like absolutely WILL find themselves compelled by the love of their deceased loved one to come there.

Well -- with all due respect HCW -- if you owned the property, you could do as you wished also. I don't like it any more than you that permission is needed to visit a grave site, but that is the card twi is playing, and Sami just eukered them all by playing by the rules to achieve what she was looking for.

She trumped their *ace in the hole*,and walked away with the jackpot. Even though the *private property* issue was front and center, she found a way to get around that, and perhaps smoothed the path for others in the future, who might choose to do the same.

I don't undersand why this is an issue for you. But then again -- do you have loved ones buried there that you might like to visit?? Sami seems to have paved the way, and most successfully I might add, regardless of Private Property Issues.

David

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Because it is property that was bought and paid for by people assuming as they had been repeatedly assured......that it was to be used for A Godly purpose for the common good of everyone.

Ownership of this property was seized through devious means by a few people and the miriad of rightfull owners cast out....

It is cruel, the *permission* is just yet another way for them to flex their muscles....an *in your face* to people whom they no longer have any other means to control.

They appear to enjoy hurting folks through the only means left at their disposal ... withholding that which is important...unless you allow them control.

To see this a s a private property issue is I believe naieve.

Our Church on the hill denies access to NOONE the cemetary..be you member or not.....to do so would be unconscionable.

IF twi were simply worried about vandals .... (one must question why people would be angry enough to want to be destructive) .... it would be a very small thing for them to place a security guard or two to allow people access to that which they were promised.

But then again .... that would be the mature loving thing to do, something that one would naturally expect from a Christian ministry....

Edited by rascal

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I’m not getting where some of you seem to think that THE WAY INTERNATINAL is not Private Property. Do you live there? Do you contribute to there? Do you follow their leadership? You might have in the past, but no longer. They have a policy, that if you are not a part of their “ministry” than the property is private to you. We all knew this when we were apart of THE WAY INTERNATIONAL.

Just like how that we had to “mark and avoid” people who had left. A lot of times we didn’t think that it was right, but we did it. I don’t think it is right for them to deny access at any time to the burial sites, but they do it.

The old house that we used to own, we used to pay the mortgage, we used to put lots of money into the outside and making sure the yard would always look good. We used to work really hard at keeping the inside looking nice and clean and presentable. BUT… I knew that if we ever chose to sell and walk away from that house, I can’t just go into the back yard when ever I would like. I can ask and I’m sure that it will be alright. As much time, money, and energy that I had put into that house, I chose to walk away and it is not longer mine.

Anyone who was apart of THE WAY INTERNATIONAL at one time knew, that once you walked away, you were no longer a part of it. You were not welcome, and you are a sinner. Once you left “the fellowship of the WAY” as they like to put it, you are no longer apart of the “ministry” and can not go on to the grounds with out permission. When you left, you had to know that it would be like that.

As, sad as it may be this is how it is. To say that it is naive to claim that is private property is absurd. It is private, we no longer are a part of that organization, we no longer contribute out money and we no longer follow their “rules”. To us, the “unbelievers”, the WAY INTERNATIONAL, is private property.

If I have to ask permission to go on the grounds, and doing so enables me to visit and pay respects to my fathers burial site, so be it. It is worth it to me. If you all don’t have loved ones buried than you can not understand. If you do, than I’m sure that you wouldn’t mind just having to ask. If it meant being able to visit the spot or not being able to. I am willing to swallow my pride and anger if it means I can visit my father’s burial site.

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Yeah, I know that you don`t get it Sami, no problem....... I am glad that you are allowed access.

I am glad that you aren`t bothered by the incongruity of having to ask permission to visit you own dear father.

The sins of betrayal committed by twi leaders are not yours to bear..... I am not attacking you (I`d have to face your momma for sure if I did :unsure: ... kidding shell :P )

I find it very sad that we are expected to be gratefull enough for such a miserly little stippend that we grovel for the privelege of visiting what once was ours.

If you paid that mortgage on your house faithfully every month.....with the understanding that it was your own, made investments , additions, repairs understanding that you were building equity in your own home...... and then after paying the agreed upon price for ten, twenty, thirty, years ....you were without warning uncerimoniously thrown to the street, your furniture, belongings your lifes work seized because of some legal loop hole hidden within the contract...unknown to you because you had trusted the other party.....many of us were not given a choice in whether or not we were allowed to further participate or support this ministry....access to the buildings built with our money on the the property we improved with decades of physical labor donated time.

We were told that hq was HOME...we were welcomed HOME every years at the roa...we were told that hq belonged to US the BELIEVERS..that we would ALWAYS be welcomed at the way!!

It was NEVER intended to be private property , under the arbitrary control of a select few....to be accessed and utilized by a few...the priveliges to be granted and denied on a whim....otherwise we wouldn`t have given what we did.

Legally, they might be allowed to seize that which was yours...that wouldn`t make it morally or ethically right.

What was our was taken, we foolishly invested our hearts and lives..... in the purity of our motives never dreaming that we were giving everything we had to what would eventually become someone ELSES private property....a place that we would never be able to visit with our children.....

As big a scounderel as vp was, he never dreamed of the day that not only would the run of the mill believers be denied access to our home at hq...... but even his own CHILDREN free access to their mother and ancestral home.

I do not want to spoil your special experience, the healing of connecting with your father.....

The moral and ethical issue of twi siezing control of hq and denying access to the people to whom it was promised by the founder and the original bot`s is an entirely seperate issue.

Maybe we should start a seperate thread about this to not further contaminate your beautifull thread about you father?

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Thank you for providing this information- I am still saddened about the splintering of the Way, and I am glad that the true intentions are not to keep all the non-way people out.

My experience with the Way was not as crazy as some of the things I have read. Sure, there was the occasional power hungry leader that tried to run your life. The memories I have are mostly seeing the power of God move among his people. Most of us have gone our separate ways. I must admit I am leery of any and all structured groups now. The money/power motivation can be too overwhelming for any leader.

I participated PFAL about a hundred times (boring) was a wow went to all the ROA I could

ran twigs -even moved close to HQ just to be near "the pulse of God's people"

Like any endeavor in life, one must take what they will from a program and leave what is not useful.

If you worship one God or three, it does not change God. He still works among people, and it is our comprehension of HIM that is the journey.

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Rascal, on an emotional level, I understand what you're saying. But... (there's always one of those with me):

It was NEVER intended to be private property , under the arbitrary control of a select few....to be accessed and utilized by a few...the priveliges to be granted and denied on a whim....otherwise we wouldn`t have given what we did.

Legally, they might be allowed to seize that which was yours...that wouldn`t make it morally or ethically right.

I can't really speak to what was intended, but it was ALWAYS private property, and ALWAYS under the arbitrary control of a select few. No matter what they may have said, it never was yours, mine, or anyone else's, but the corporation's, of which only the trustees (now directors) were part.

What was our was taken, we foolishly invested our hearts and lives..... in the purity of our motives never dreaming that we were giving everything we had to what would eventually become someone ELSES private property....a place that we would never be able to visit with our children.....

What was taken was your energy, love, money, etc. The property and "the ministry" never belonged to you.

Of all the despicable things TWI did, those relating to the property were the least, in my opinion. Hell, I'd give them everything I own if I could get back the years I wasted with them, and I wasn't even one of those who was particularly hurt by them.

Edited by LG

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Yes, lg, apparently it was all an illusion.

Naievely we believed vp when he told us it was *home* to the believers and that it was ours.....we believed that there were no members, that the ministry was ours......

We were dumb as posts....that doesn`t make the betrayal of our trust morally right or acceptable.

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We were dumb as posts....that doesn`t make the betrayal of our trust morally right or acceptable.

I agree, but for most of us, there's nothing that can be done about it, except to live the best we can now and tell others who might be similarly deceived.

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Quote LG:

There are plenty of good reasons for TWI to restrict access to those woods. Regardless of whether or not they brought the animosity of others upon themselves, there are people who would vandalize the woods or other TWI property, or use access to them to otherwise cause disruption to or provoke a confrontation with TWI. Some have posted such intentions on Waydale, GreaseSpot, and probably other Internet sites as well. Also, though I have no knowledge of this, I feel almost certain that TWI has received quite a bit of hate mail expressing ill intent toward them and probably even including death threats. Quote

Yeah I'm sure the wierwille kids are just waiting for the chance to take out a couple of elm trees. :rolleyes:

They have security they can patrol the place just like other cemetary places do . They face the same vandal issues as the Way and yet they seem to be able to cope with it just fine. Surely with their hightened spiritual spidie senses they can do as good a job as the world.

Edited by WhiteDove

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Sami,

I am glad that you have had such a good experience.

However, I would question whether it is private property and whether permission is required. This property is owned by a "church" and is a non-profit. I'm not a lawyer...but I yearn for the day when I am in Ohio or Gunnison when I can "test the waters" and have some goon tell me to get off the property. The lawsuit would be monumental, especially if if the goon was carrying a weapon.

You might want to check with an attorney before you file your monumental lawsuit. I am sure he would give you some insight you are missing now.

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