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Conversations with Craig Ver 2 Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Freud Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:39 AM

Folks,

The other thread became a bit long and filled with debates and issues that I can't comment on or relate to so I thought I would start a fresh one.

It is startling to me the degree of emotion that has been triggered by my post. Having never been part of a coersive organization I can only imagine the degree of resentment and residual anger that exists concerning Craig.

I have listen to the varoius clips posted with Craig ranting on one subject or another. What is interesting is that he was/is so soft spoken in my interactions. I try to imagine him pacing back and forth on stage waving his arms, gesturing wildly ranting about he doesn't want anybody's prayers unless they put out some money.

This type of "pay to pray" theology is not only unbiblical but ethically offensive.

His ex-wife seems to be as over the top as he was. The weird linking of the young woman's death to her father leaving TWI is as bizzare as anything I have heard from cultists.

I have been moved by many posts, in particular the ones that urge caution in dealing with Craig. At this point I am taking it one day at a time as to the issue of contacting him again.

I did speak to a close friend who met Craig within the same social circle as I did. He had several casual conversations with him, although they were not of a deeply personal nature. He appears to have the same basic impression as mine. I have invited him to join the site...I believe he has applied for validation to post.

Two things he mentioned is that Craig would often bring up religion in their conversations and that Craig often carried a little book with him and was seen joting notes from time to time. It seemed to him that it was some sort of journal (not a bible). I do recall him carrying a little book...but don't recall him writing in it.

Someone mentioned in the other thread that he was working at UPS. I can tell you that as of the very recent past he was working at a different company in the Toledo area...it is not UPS or Bally. It is certainly a very entry level position and a far cry from Armani suits, compounds, personal bodyguards and people jumping to attention when he walks in the room.

pax

Freud

This post has been edited by Freud: 19 April 2006 - 01:51 AM

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#2 User is offline   laleo Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 01:28 AM

Thank you for starting the new thread. I continue to be interested, even fascinated, by your impressions of Craig, if only because it validates some of my own impressions, although mine aren't based on any firsthand knowledge. I haven't seen or talked to Craig in roughly twenty years, and even while I was involved in The Way, his presence was mostly peripheral, with a few exceptions, and in those exceptions, he had an impact. However, my husband once knew him well.

You mentioned in your first thread your interest in para-military groups. For a (very) little background on The Way, it is a religious group with strong ultra-rightwing political leanings, although without the emphasis on weaponry compared to other well-known radical groups. Conspiracy theories were popular, and, ideologically at least, The Way may have some common beliefs with groups similar to the Michigan Militia (although I'll admit my familiarity with para-military groups is superficial at best).

Anyway, as I thought about my post on your first thread, I wondered if my advice seemed too strong, or maybe too presumptuous ("follow your Christian side"). For a little background on where I'm coming from, years ago, and years after I had left The Way, I had a dream about Craig. In this dream, I was driving to a conference center of some kind for some purpose unrelated to The Way, and when I got to the entrance, traffic was backed up along the entrance that wound through a parking lot. Drivers were impatient, cars were honking, and when I looked to see what was going on ahead, I saw that a caravan of cars from The Way were blocking traffic. The lead car (Craig's) had broken down, and he was standing outside of his car with a group of Way believers (who were now all standing outside of their own cars, gathered around him), screaming at them because they had failed him -- being weak in believing -- and caused his car to break down. In my dream, I was in a dilemma, wanting to help somehow, but intimidated by his yelling. I decided to go over to him and introduce myself as someone who had once been in The Way, and, once I did, he looked at me with contempt. I called a tow truck for him anyway, and, as it turned out, paid for the tow truck, because the group didn't have any money. Eventually, I also invited him to stay at our house, until his car was repaired.

Okay, long dream. Sorry. But I puzzled over this dream during my waking hours, and went over different scenarios about what I would actually do if I were to cross paths with him. Part of me feared him (he could be an intimidating presence), and yet in the end I decided I would treat him with kindness whether he was worthy of it or not, in hopes that some day that act of kindness would be recognized for what it was -- kindness -- not extorted obedience based on fear.

Anyway, your post reminded me of that dream; hence, my "go with your Christian side."

Because of your background and interests, my guess is that in some ways your visit to GreaseSpot is part curiosity, part research, part a study in the group dynamics and residual effects of cult life. Whatever brought you here, I hope you don't sacrifice whatever kindness motivated you to connect with Craig in the first place in your attempt to understand his past life. You have it. He needs it.

Hope you enjoy your stay here.

Take care.
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#3 User is offline   bliss Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 07:22 AM

Ditto what Laleo said.


Heck, if we are true Christians, then, by all means, you don't judge, you just DO!!

Right is right, no matter who the person is. Nobody said it would be easy.

Maybe he needs help to get to a place to apologize! We are all sinners, just different degrees. (not to God, only to eachother)

I always teach my children, " never be afraid to do what is right! "

No exceptions.

If we didn't help him, then we are just as bad as TWI. They area afraid to do what is right, because it would expose the wrongs.

Lets take the high road on this issue.

Thanks Freud for your insight and concern.

(.'-:|:- ~b*l*i*s*s~ -:|:-)

He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Isn't that what it means to know me? ~ Jer. 22:16
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#4 User is offline   Jung Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 09:23 AM

I have been good friends with Freud for many years. When he told me that both of us had encountered a former cult leader I was intrigued. I was acquainted with this man who I only knew as Craig (no last name) in a completely different context than any type of religious group. When Freud directed me to this sight and I looked at some of the pictures I am sure that the man we both met is LCM. My conversations with Craig were mostly superficial (usually about football, occasionally about religion). My impression was that he was pleasant but reserved. He often walked with a limp (perhaps an old football injury?) and frequently carried around a small book in which he would make notations (perhaps a personal journal?) I did not get to know him as well as Freud did but I would not disagree with Freud's impressions of Craig. In reading these many posts I can see that LCM hurt many people. Some posts were skeptical that Freud's post was legit. I sincerely hope that those who are suffering can find some comfort in knowing that Freud's description of Craig is an accurate one.
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#5 User is offline   johniam Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 09:37 AM

Freud....Jung....friends for years.....cute.

This is interesting. There is evidence that continuing to see LCM could be genuinely helpful to him, or genuinely dangerous for you guys. During my 18 years in TWI I had 2 very brief encounters with him, one before he was TWI's president and one during. Both times he was very nice. Yet, one poster has revealed that LCM came to a play rehearsal involving that poster's daughter. He sat down and just looked at her for intimidation purposes or something like that. Really creepy.

This reminds me of the Ananias in Acts 9 whom God told to go minister to Paul. Even LCM used to jokingly read that scripture and had Ananias tell God "what did you tell him THAT for????" upon hearing that God told Paul a man named Ananias was going to minister to him. It doesn't seem like the risk is as great, but who knows?

I echo what others have said; thank you for posting this. Anything you can tell us is appreciated.
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#6 User is offline   SafariVista Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 09:50 AM

View PostFreud, on Apr 19 2006, 01:39 AM, said:

His ex-wife seems to be as over the top as he was.



Had wondered if they divorced...

Craig sounds as though he's in a rough place right now.

Hope he finds the courage and strength to really change and let those he's wronged know with an honest apology.

So many lives were affected, so many varied degrees of pain... (even some deaths!) :(

Thank you for sharing here Freud & Jung (Sigmund & Carl? ;) )

:wave:

This post has been edited by SafariVista: 19 April 2006 - 09:53 AM

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#7 User is offline   TheHighWay Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 09:52 AM

Dear Sigmund,

Your posts ring true to me.

I know for a fact Craig worked at Bally's in Toledo as a personal trainer. I went there and saw for myself. It was within a year of his being tossed from his throne at twi. At that point, his personal bio (which all the personal trainers wrote and printed themselves) was a perfect picture of the Craig I knew while living and working around him at Emporia and HQ... while the other bios were printed on plain white paper and spoke in terms of "I did it, I can help you do it, too", his was completely highlighted in yellow, filled with corny jokes, and clearly the writings of someone with a hefty ego. (there is an old thread here somewhere where someone actually got a picture of the top half of his bio)

I do not doubt you have recently encountered a man who seemed "broken" and "lost". He had it all. He lost it all. That's gotta hurt, whether you were the biggest scumbag on the face of the earth or not; whether you did it to yourself or not. But is it true remorse? I seriously doubt it. I believe that people CAN and DO change, but I believe they must first come to a true self-realization. It's easy to say something bad happened, and blame others. It's much harder to admit what part you played, even if it was just that you were manipulated by a manipulator. To really conquor our past, and move on, I think we must ask ourselves, "why did I join this group? what was I hoping for? why didn't I see/heed the warning signs? why did I stay as long as I did?" --- if the shoe fits, people, if the shoe fits --- You have to admit to yourself that you made mistakes; even if those mistakes were out of innocence, naivete and good will. -- Let's face it, some of us simply made the mistake of trusting the wrong people.

The man you describe sounds to me like someone who is still wallowing in the "why me?" stage of hurt, not someone who is facing the hard truth about himself.


But, your posts have made me think a little deeper about Craig's situation than I ever cared to before:

1) Freud says he got the sense that Craig was "underemployed". As stated by another poster, a good job at UPS (or wherever he is now working) is not a bad job for the average Joe. But if Craig still has a sense that he "should be" SOMEBODY, then he will definately feel that he is underemployed. And, if he dares to think about what his life would have been like without twi, I'm sure he knows that with a college degree under his belt he probably could have at least risen to middle-management in some company and be making more than he is now.

2) What about Donna... what the heck kind of wife stays in her comfy home, with her comfy job and her comfy friends, forsaking the man she is still married to? Make a real choice, woman... either you love the guy and care about him (ie- go BE with him and help him through this) OR you don't care a whit about him, only about propping up your own image (ie-divorce the guy, already!!!) --- Freud refers to her as Craig's "ex-wife"... Freud, did Craig refer to her that way, or is that your assumption... I thought they were still married, just living separately? --- if they are still married, that's gotta be playing with his brain!

3) If twi is still supporting him in some capacity, as has been speculated here (with some supporting evidence: the big-wig twi doctor and the deed to the house; his visits to Gunnison), then how can he truly dismiss everything he was taught to be and do? In his own mind, if he had truly done wrong wouldn't they sever all ties? And what is the current leadership telling him to justify their two-facedness... we really do support you, Craig, but our lawyers won't let you be king anymore? You really messed up, Craig, but since you were once God's man we cannot raise the back of our hand to you? How can he make a clean break, if they don't let go of him?


At any rate... I would go with the words of Ronald Reagan: trust, but verify.

I am one of those that was "outed" by the WayGB because I posted on a forum. My local leadership confronted me with copies of my posts. They threw me out of their ministry, I lost a job over it, and it was the final straw which broke up my marriage. If you have more encounters with L. Craig Martindale, and you feel you can help him face up to his past and find genuine healing, go for it. But at all times protect yourself and your family, and watch your back. You don't really know what's going on with this guy...

This post has been edited by TheHighWay: 19 April 2006 - 09:57 AM

I'm not sarcastic. I just have a heightened sense of irony.

Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
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#8 User is offline   GT Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 10:02 AM

Did he actually say he was divorced?

Craig would make a great research project -- the cult leader that fell. If that's something you have an interest in, you hit a gold mine.

His journal is probably a witnessing journal. TWI teaches people to write down their contacts, who - when - where, so they can follow up latter and see if you're more willing to be suckered into their group. It also provides proof that you are doing your witnessing like a good little TWIt. Craig probably types up a summary of his witnessing activities and submits them to Rosalie.

From your description, sounds like Craig is doing the Way Disciple program incognito. Work a low-level job, make just enough money to survive, spend several hours a week witnessing to people. Could it be his "spiritual probation" work? You know, he's been on spiritual probation for almost 6 years now. Is Rosalie dangling the possibility of his return in front of him, like a carrot to a horse?

If you want a good look at the history of The Way, I suggest reading Karl Kahler's book, "The Cult that Snapped - A Journey Into The Way International". You can get it off his web site: http://www.ex-way.com/
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#9 User is offline   ChasUFarley Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 10:30 AM

Thank you for not running off into the night, Freud. I appreciate that you've come back to post with this rackus group. They certainly can get passionate about things...

And thank you Jung, for also posting.

I've never doubted for a moment that Freud's posts were legit. Actually, I expected something like this to come up on the forum a long time ago because Craig works, has children, etc. - someone, somewhere would cross his path and make the connection of him to TWI. I can imagine how you felt when you realized who he really was...

But I'm curious - What did you think when you discovered this information? Do you plan on ever discussing it with him?

(My questions are for Freud and Jung - whomever wishes to respond.)

Thanks again - it's certainly given us posters on this board a lot to think about.
"The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity,
but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?"
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#10 User is offline   satori001 Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 11:41 AM

I don't think anyone in his present circle has a thing to fear from Craig. The warnings almost sound silly.

I find myself kind of hoping he would go back to school, if he could swing it, and try to get his life together - possibly for the first time. "Underemployment" is probably typical of TWI refugees, thanks to the way they mostly isolated themselves from "the world." If you don't keep current, your "job skills" are undermined by the constant changes in business, culture and technology. You may not even see it, but others will, especially job interviewers.

Whatever expectations we may have of Martindale, we may be waiting a long time for that kind of "closure."

Pity as I may this image of Craig in his present state, it's quite easy to imagine him as he would have been, had he remained at the helm of TWI. That thought eases a certain, mild discomfort considerably. He is where he needs to be for now.

That little book is an indication, to me at least, that he may be in some kind of therapy.

This post has been edited by satori001: 19 April 2006 - 11:46 AM

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#11 User is offline   J0nny Ling0 Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 11:46 AM

And Drs. Jung and Freud,
there are other ExWay groups that are not as, shall we say "Anti-TWI" as you will find at this site. There are many who have started splinter groups that only have a sorrow for what was lost to them in what was once The Way Ministry. I will try to find the websites and then post them here for you:

Christian Family Fellowship (CFF) http://cffm.org/doc/calendar.shtml

Spirit and Truth Fellowship http://stfonline.org/

Christian Information Center (CIC Word) http://www.cicword.com/

Another Way Ministry http://www.anotherway.org.nz/index.htm

And hey GS guys, what's the name of Vince Finnegan's bunch? They are pretty big too. But you could Google Vince I spose...

And so, just for the record, there are many many Ex Wayers out there who have simply "moved on". whereas many here are angry about their time in The Way. But many many are not angry, only sad that the whole thing fell apart. There is definitely a difference between the time before the death of VPW, and the time after the death of VPW and the subsequent "split" that occurred after a man named Chris Geer wrote a document entitled "The Passing Of A Patriarch", a cyber copy of which can be found here at this site.

The days before the Passing Of A Patriarch "came down" were far more peaceable times in The Way than after "The Great Shake Up". I for one had quite a good time while in The Way, although at the time, I was unaware of the hell so many of our Sweet Sistahs were going through at the literal hands of top leadership. I was actually an ordained Way minister, but I seemed to fellowship with others who were just trying to be simple folks like me. I guess; "birds of a feather flock together", and so I hung with really wonderful people. However, my "elevated status" did bring me into view of hierarchichal bull...., and into contact with some pretty egotistical a-holes. But as a whole, my time there is not something I regret. What I do regret was my not having the insight and cojones to speak up when I saw some things running amuck in the areas of leadership on the field where I served. Although, I did confront a few LC's (limb Coordinators) about what I considered idolatrous conduct. I was pretty low level really, which suited me.

Anyway, since you two individuals are researching what you have found, I though it only fair to show you that there are other offshoots besides the Grease Spot Cafe, whose general opinion is different than what you will find here...

Jonny Lingo
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#12 User is offline   laleo Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 11:46 AM

Freud, and his sidekick Jung . . . speaking of delusions of grandeur, isn't this just a tad pretentious? . . Oh, never mind.

Welcome to GreaseSpot.

If either of you know, and you may since you've had "religious" conversations with Craig, I'm curious what his current beliefs are, or if he has any current affiliation with another church/organization.

This post has been edited by laleo: 19 April 2006 - 11:49 AM

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:00 PM

Whether or not Freud, Jung are on the level does't bother me so much. But I do wonder why someone with no interest in TWI wants to post and ,furthermore, assume the role of an analyst in an apparent attempt to "reconcile" us to LCM. Some people have more time than others - so be it but I stand by my earlier opnions about LCM's alleged personal sorrow and pain. If he does feel this way it is only because he got booted from the limelight and his exalted position. NOT of out any sense of having done wrong to anyone. I know enough about human nature to know that the bully types seldom come around and never face the music about their abusive approach.
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#14 User is offline   SafariVista Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:16 PM

Diazbro said:

Quote

But I do wonder why someone with no interest in TWI wants to post and ,furthermore, assume the role of an analyst in an apparent attempt to "reconcile" us to LCM. Some people have more time than others -


It's not everyday someone runs into a known Cult Leader

:spy:
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#15 User is offline   diazbro Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:20 PM

View PostSafariVista, on Apr 19 2006, 01:16 PM, said:

Diazbro said:
It's not everyday someone runs into a known Cult Leader

:spy:


Okay but Freud mentioned that he didn't really know much about TWI and even if he did meet LCM why the interest
in getting people here to accept the image of LCM as a remorseful man ? What is his (or her) stake in all this ? What
is the payoff ?

This post has been edited by diazbro: 19 April 2006 - 12:21 PM

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#16 User is offline   krys Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:36 PM

Who's idea is it that Freud is attempting any reconciliation? Freud himself said something else on the original thread....

Quote

Again...this is all new to me. I have no agenda or plan beyond getting this info off of my chest.

Why can't we just take these individuals at their word - at least for the present time. We were so manipulated by the organization that we seem to read ulterior motives into things where they may not be.

Freud at least has stated that he's experienced in cult thinking and dynamics; I suppose therefore that he also has an idea that at least some of us would find at least partial closure in knowing where Craiggers is in his life now.

Diazbro - I'm sorry this post falls directly after yours because this is not aimed at you - even though it was your response I used. It was the most convenient for me, that's all. We have such a tendency to jump and squabble and bristle at things without knowing all the facts and in doing so, we could cut off our noses to spite our faces. It looks like I'm singling you out, but I promise I was not...your statement is just an example of the negativity particularly on that other thread.
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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:43 PM

Thanks, Krys. You beat me to it. :)

A bad day free from TWI is better than any good day in TWI.

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#18 User is offline   J0nny Ling0 Icon

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Post icon  Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:47 PM

Diazbruh. You said;

Quote

But I do wonder why someone with no interest in TWI wants to post and ,furthermore, assume the role of an analyst in an apparent attempt to "reconcile" us to LCM.


Dizbruh. Who says he is trying to reconcile us to LCM? He didn't say he is trying to do that, you said it. All he is doing is reporting what he has found. He is not trying to "get people to accept Craig as a remorseful man". He is simply reporting what he has found and thought it would be of interest to us.

This irks me Diaz, because, "it happened the way it happened" not the way we want to twist it. That's one of my pet peeves about this site and many posters here. Things happened the way they happened, and even though there may be plenty of reasons to be angry with TWI and VP and LCM, things still only happened the way they happened, and to speculate and then take it further into a "present truth" is not honest. The bad things done by our previous leaders are bad enough, no need to add to them. At any rate, I am talking about these two guys here and what they have reported, and I do not think it fair to them to say that they "are trying to get us to be lieve that Craig is nice now", which would be twisting what is really happening here. Unless of course they are not who tyhey say they are, and one of 'em is really Craig. :blink:

These two guys Siggy and Jung, have simply got to be very very tantalized by this whole thing. Think about it! They meet some guy who happens to be a part of their circle of friends or co-workers. The guy seems to be carrying an inordinate amount of mental baggage, is kind of bland and not flamboyant, and seems to be under-employed meaning that he "certainly seems to be capable of a better, higher paying job". And then, while surfing the Net, comes upon the guy's name, and eventually, the Grease Spot Cafe. Now wouldn't that kind of blow your mind if that happened to you? Geez, these guys have now heard Craig's rantings on audio, read of the things that he did as we all know he did, learned that he mis-used millions of dollars and thousands of people! And so, provided that his report about what the have seen in Craig these last two years is accurate, the contrast must be glaring! Of course they are going to have an interest in it. It must be like an unexpected Pandora's Box to them.

What do you want him to do? [i]Invent
that his actions resemble a megalomaniac whacko just because it doesn't fit our last description of him? He seems to simply be reporting what he is seeing, and I for one would rather see Craig penitent than still be "breathing out threatenings and slaughter".

And so, could what Jung and Freud report here be a facade put on by the "current" LCM? Sure. Could it be a true change in the man? Sure. I don't know the answer to that. But I do know that none of these two are endeavoring to get us to accept Craig as a "changed man". It seems as if they are simply reporting what they have found...

And let's not ridicule them because of their names; Freud and Jung. I mean, we have lots of unique names here, most of which are tongue and cheek, just like suspect their names are...

This post has been edited by Jonny Lingo: 19 April 2006 - 12:57 PM

"Drill Here, Drill NOW, Pay Less"-"More Oil From American Soil"
www.americansolutions.com/
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#19 User is offline   Belle Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:48 PM

When craig talked about religion, what did he say? Were there specific topics he wanted to discuss? Was he sharing stuff or asking questions?

Does he talk about his kids at all? I wonder how their relationship is. :(


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#20 User is offline   J0nny Ling0 Icon

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:58 PM

Yes Belle, these are things I am interested to hear also...
"Drill Here, Drill NOW, Pay Less"-"More Oil From American Soil"
www.americansolutions.com/
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