Conversations with Craig Martindale, 2004 - 2006

A Toledo, Ohio resident who goes by the name of Freud on GreaseSpot's forums and before never had any contact with The Way International, very recently found that he has been having conversations with The Way's former president, L. Craig Martindale for the previous three years.

Craig Martindale has not been seen by anyone, either by people in the ex-way community, or those still active within The Way International since he resigned his presidency in disgrace -- engulfed in multiple lawsuits alleging, among other things, sexual harassment and rape in 2000.  The Way's last official word on Craig Martindale was that the new president, Rosalie Rivenbark, and the other trustees were placing him on "spiritual probation" (a form of ex-communication), which has been his status for the last six years.

Freud describes Craig as a "sad, struggling individual" who "always seemed to be underemployed...a sense of having fallen from great heights."  As to his current employment Freud writes, "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."  It is in fact "one [which] requires him to wear a uniform of sorts. Frankly its kinda 'dorky'."

From Freud we finally learned the answer to the question The Way International has refused to answer these last 6 years -- is Craig and Donna Martindale divorced?  Apparently they are.

Freud's comments are contained in two topics in the forums, where you can read the entire conversations between Freud and the ex-way community:

My Conversations With Craig 2004-2006

Conversations with Craig Ver 2

Excerpts from Freud's posts:

Apr 16 2006, 09:26 PM


24 hours ago I didn't know this site existed nor was I aware that so many people had been deeply affected by a person who I met a few years ago. Here is my story...

A few years back....In a casual social situation I met a man named Craig Martindale. It was not a religious or work situation, just a casual social event attended by lots of other people. He asked me what I did for a living, when I told him, it became obvious that I had struck a nerve. It is important that confidentiality be maintained, so I will be vague, but some of my work centers around the various aspects of religious belief and the dynamics of cults and religious leaders. Craig was very interested in the topic and ended up in a long extended conversation on the issue. He mentioned that he had been active in a ministry and that he was a former pastor.

He was vague about his past and it was clear to me that something significant had occured in his life.

Over the next few years I had the opportunity to have several discussions with him regarding faith, reason, family, love and work. We avoided any serious discussion of his past ministry because it seemed to ellicit incredible sadness.

Frankly, my impression of this person was of a sad, struggling individual. He did tell me personal details of his life over the past several years, but I am not comfortable sharing this. I always came away with a feeling of " ...I wish I could do something for that guy". I discussed him with my wife several times over the years and in meeting him she was struck by a sort of blandness. Mutual friends made the same type of comments.

I saw him about a month or so ago...and I told my wife as we were leaving " I feel bad for Craig...he just seems to be dealing with so much".

Fast forward to last night....I am googling some completely unrelated, irrelevant terms,,,and deep in the google search...I glance at a link...something about cult leader abusing women...blah blah....since this is related to my interest...I follow the link. I then see that this leader is supposed to be in the Toledo area...and dig deeper....then I see see the name L. Craig Martindale...HUH?????

I then find a is him. I then find this site and others, the abuse of power, the draconian rules involving pregnancy and sexuality, the weird bible teachings, the whole "king" thing, and the sexual misconduct material.

I read messages that people actually made major life decisions based on Craig's word. That he live on multi-million dollar property...the weird film.........children wanting to pray to him...

I have been in a state of disbelief for the past 24 hrs. There is such a discrepancy between the person I have come to know...and the monster described by The Way survivors.

Now...I do not doubt for a second all of your experiences. I can tell you, and perhaps this will bring some closure, that he is, too me, a struggling individual who seems to be trying to rebuild his life. I can tell you that if he is sitting on significant wealth...he is hiding it very very well. I see no signs of affluence or power, in any aspects that I can see.

I read accounts that have him working at Bally's, I honestly don't know if that is still the case, but I can tell you he is working in a very modest, even meager position in the Toledo area. This is a job that I have not seen referenced on the net.

He always seemed to be "underemployed" to me...a sense of having fallen from great heights. After finding out what I have in the past 24 hours...I now understand.

Not sure if I will encounter Craig again. I can...but frankly my wife and I are spooked by what we have read here.

Well...that's my story. I'll respond to any inquiries of a general nature....I just don't feel it would be right to air any recent personal issues on the net.


Apr 19 2006, 01:39 AM


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 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.



From Freud's friend, Jung:

Apr 19 2006, 10:23 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.

Apr 19 2006, 05:05 PM


There persists a notion that I am here to soften Craig's image among ex-TWI members. I have not an ounce of desire to reconcille Craig to people on this group. How in the world could anyone gather that from any post I have placed here? I'm simple relaying my experiences with him.

I assumed it was common knowledge that he was divorced. He did tell me that this was the case...along with other comments concerning his family in general.


Apr 20 2006, 03:12 AM


So many things to respond to!

A few items

* The position Craig has is one requires him to wear a uniform of sorts. Frankly its kinda " dorky" if I may use a teenage term. Don't want to say more

* Yes Craig at times seemed nervous and unsure of himself. Figidty and distracted.

* I am not a plant smile.gif

I do understand the skepticism. It is a testimony to the paranoia and fear that Craig obviously helped to foster in TWI.

I MAY see him this weekend. Still unsure. At times I think...the heck with it. Other times...perhaps, just perhaps he would respond to my overture. If I do talk with him I will carry many of the concerns, anger and comments expressed on this board. And then perhaps I will have to run for the door smile.gif

Still not sure however that I will do this.

Hope everyone has a good Thursday!



Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 September 2006 )