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
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
He was vague about his past and it was clear to me that something significant had occured in his life.
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
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.
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".
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?????
then find a photo.........omg.....it 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.
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
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.
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
Not sure if I will encounter Craig again. I can...but frankly my wife and I are spooked by what we have read here.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
* Yes Craig at times seemed nervous and unsure of himself. Figidty and distracted.
* I am not a plant
I do understand the skepticism. It is a testimony to the paranoia and fear that Craig obviously helped to foster in TWI.
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
Still not sure however that I will do this.
Hope everyone has a good Thursday!