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  2. Hey, am trying to post this in a relevant recovery thread... So! Review- What is it that attracts some ppl to the claims of a cult leader especially in uncertain times? And what are some better paths? My thoughts for starters: 1) Do NOT Look for safety in an uncertain world without tools to discern con artist leaders with their abusive practices. Recommended: GET TOOLS! Look Only to God, or do what grounds You if you need that. 2) Do NOT Latch on to the idealistic idea that ONE human leader or system (theology, culture, political group, denomination, etc) can have THE corner on Truth or Best Practices, etc. DO- Enjoy exploring, debating, allowing for nuances, differences in experiences, cultural backgrounds, etc. Look to the Bible if so inclined, for a look at how the early church enjoyed diversity yet stayed faithful to Jesus teachings and sound doctrine. 3) Do NOT Buy into the idea that sacrificing to/for these idealistic, black-and-white-Truth-carriers is logical and good. Let yourself get burned out, stay in co-dependence. DO find your own balance re: giving and healthy self-care, etcc. Thank you again for providing a good place to process these things!
  3. Probably pretty high. I saw it recently on cable, and they do tend to play the same movies several times a month (especially since there aren't any NEW movies). George
  4. It wasn't their biggest hit (by a long shot); but it did pretty well. George
  5. What a mind picture, A dog pukes and laps it up. Just like sick Fido the dog, an abused person will go back to their abuser. They will look in the mirror and see their swollen face with blackened eyes, and justify the beating they have received. Then, once again, returm to be beaten once sgain. Those sexually abused, because the have been groomed by tneir abuser, will also return for more abuse. They maybe in great pain and hate it, but will go back for more. It seems the only way out is for someone else to assist them. They just do not have the ability to completely do it on their own. Another person has to remove Fido from the vomit, or it will keep on eating their sickness. Equally true are humans who are being abused; someone, a website, a book must show them they are worth it, and assist get the help they so desperately need.
  6. Funny. This morning I turned on the TV and the first channel was playing Spaceballs. What are the odds?
  7. I got the group now. I'm working on the title.
  8. Wow, JJ, well done! I so ID with the highlighted sections above!! Pretty amazing what we can endure sometimes... So glad you have reconnected well with families, and thank you for processing/telling your amazing Life Story here!
  9. I had heard it. Some of the lines I could "hear" in my head. The current song is from the early 70's. Husband and wife team. I had SUCH a crush on her... George
  10. Correct. The Empire's space ship "transformed" into a giant maid robot, to remove the atmosphere from a planet. Shortly thereafter, it would go "from suck to blow." George
  11. As a former lawyer, and occasionally I did a bit of work in matrimonial matters, I never really "got" abusive couple relationships and why one would keep returning to the abusive partner time after time. I knew the "theory" (if you like); but I didn't understand the gradual erosion of boundaries. "If he keeps hitting you like that - just leave!" Later, processing my experiences post-Way, ah! then I "got" it. Emotionally. Whole different picture then.
  12. I would not have recognized it to save my life. If I've ever heard it, I was a small child and it didn't register. I don't think I heard it even then. For that matter, this one isn't ringing any bells, either.
  13. Fleeting but I'm not getting it George. Must be something like early 70's or late 60's right? And BTW, George have you ever heard the song "Another Day" or do you remember it or for that matter WordWolf?
  14. Sandra Bullock Hope Floats Harry Connick Jr.
  15. Catwoman Benjamin Bratt Demolition Man
  16. I think being in TWI is like being in a toxic relationship. It proved to be a one-sided relationship - something very bad and draining to my intellectual, emotional, physical, social, and financial health. It’s been some 34 years since I left the cult and have come to realize that TWI is like a parasite.... It needs the life, money and energy of followers – this is a one-sided relationship and by far outweighs whatever the cult supposedly provides its followers. A cult needs people – it depends on them for its very survival…I think cult leaders want to have a lot of power over followers to properly manage their “resources” and ensure that no talent, energy, money…whatever is wasted on anything outside the cult. Annio, that Terror, Love and Brainwashing book by Alexandra Stein sounds interesting – I’ve put it on my wish list to check out sometime – thanks for mentioning it.
  17. THIS. THIS. This is why I could not leave the group for so long. 1. My family went into the FC when I was just over the age limit. So, my entire family left me behind. - RELATIONSHIP WEAKENED 2. Abandoned, I had nowhere else to go, so I obeyed my parents and went WOW so that I could have some kind of support around me. WOW became my family. FAMILY RELATIONSHIP REPLACED BY TWI 3. I stayed in Las Vegas with some of the WOWs on my team afterwards - where else would I go? My family was still in FC for another 2 or 3 years. FAMILY EVEN MORE WEAKENED 4. Family was made Mark and Avoid. Mosqueda called my Limb coordinator so that he could get to me before my family was able to call. FAMILY RELATIONSHIP DESTROYED, DEPEND ON TWI ONLY 5. I tried to keep connection with my family but was told by my Limb coordinator that I needed to "put God first" and that my family was "operating devil spirits, especially your mom." 6. I Marked and Avoided my family. For YEARS I had no contact with them. The only people I had around for support were from twi. 7. I decided (at the pushing of the Limb Coordinators) to go WD. 7a. Coincidentally, I finally accepted calls and a visit from my brothers, and then my parents at this time. Started rebuilding those relationships again. 8. I was treated as "special" when John Rupp called me and asked me to go on Staff as a WD - what an HONOR! (puke) 9. I went WD, met this guy who wasn't raised in the Word, who stood up against leadership when they were wrong. 10. HQ people (WC) tried to separate us. Told us "NO DATING ON THE WAY DISCIPLE FIELD." OH NO, STOP RELATIONSHIP BUILDING! 11. The night WD ended, we started dating. 12. Engaged in 3 months and stayed at HQ - both of us were afraid the other would break up if we left HQ (didn't figure this out until years later.) 13. We both finally had someone we could really talk to and trust. Started figuring out just HOW HORRIBLE HQ was - and that it wasn't just in our heads, and it wasn't us who was "out of fellowship." 14. Married at HQ the next year - probably too early in our relationship. My family came. REBUILDING FAMILY. STARTING A NEW ONE. 15. Left HQ, moved out on the field. But our eyes were opened, and we could see that it was just as messed up on the field as it was at HQ. 16. When my husband realized that he wasn't treating me well AS HIS WIFE, he turned to his leadership for help - they told him he was right to treat me that way because a man is the head of the house. TRYING TO ERODE AND ERASE THE RELATIONSHIP 17. Married for 3 years, and got pregnant. Husband had stopped attending fellowship at that point, and I was wavering. My fellowship coordinator shows up AT MY JOB and asks how I am doing. I tell him I am pregnant, and he responds "oh, is that a good thing?" FAMILY ISN'T GOOD TO THE WAY BECAUSE IT GETS IN THE WAY OF CONTROL. 18. We finally ghosted TWI and moved out of town, leaving no forwarding address. We were able to do this BECAUSE of my husband's family, who we are very close with. 19. Happily married now for 15 years. Our daughter turns 12 tomorrow. I have a better relationship with my family than I ever have. We talk weekly. TWI can suck it. IT WAS THE RELATIONSHIPS THEY KEPT TRYING TO DESTROY. IT WAS THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT GOT ME OUT. MORE HARMONY IN THE HOME?? That was a LIE from hell.
  18. Ghosted - I would have been on staff from 2003-2005. WD on staff in 2003, married in 2005. I probably knew your folks. I was also raised in The Word (TM) and got out. It is PTSD. Don't downplay it, that place causes serious trauma, and when you are raised in it it makes it worse. Know that there are people who understand, and if you need anything feel free to reach out. I come and go as needed on this site to help manage my own PTSD, and to help others when I can. Sending love - it gets better the longer you are gone.
  19. Last week
  20. Last post for now! Re: the fear factor for some who stayed in twi into the 2000's (that I know of), and another contrasting person: I may have shared before... When I visited HQ in '09 and had my car tires about 3 inches onto the property, the Security guy told me to leave. I engaged him a little, told him I just wanted to pray there for a bit as I had not been back in 21 years. Got no where of course. Then I asked "What if I don't leave?" The paranoia was very apparent- his eyes just kind of glazed over and he appeared to dissociate; the terror of not doing his job well enough? Outer darkness awaited!! I left. The second time I visited 3-4 years ago around Sunday afternoon service time, and couldn't resist taking pix of some of my favorite places, and got a security fellow who was more feisty; when I explained that this had been my home and I'd been in the ministry for 14 years, etc, it got competitive! He had been involved for 30+ years! I tried to establish that we wre bro and sis in Christ, but to no avail. Oh well, such were my adventures upon returning to HQ!
  21. Food for thought? Hope of interest to some... Am processing a little/lot more, heh heh: from an article based on the book ‘Terror, Love and Brainwashing: Attachment in Cults and Totalitarian Systems’ by Alexandra Stein © 2016 (She quotes other authors from time to time); "There are five features of a totalist system I had identified based on Arendt and Lifton’s work." - 1) "... the leader is both charismatic and authoritarian. ... "Not all leaders want to get rich, gain sexual favours, or grab political power. But all want utter control over others." [Yep] 2a) "‘In the centre sits the Leader, separated by an inner circle who spread around him an aura of impenetrable mystery’. These leaders rule over isolating, steeply hierarchical and closed structures, some with front groups serving as transmission belts to the outside world." [Loyal wow's and way corps were promoters? The early power grabs and reassigning way corps often without their needs/requests being considered; sending out wow's by "revelation"..." Maybe sometimes, I really don't know... 2b) "...followers [way corps in residence, ppl at on staff at root locations], face a triple isolation: from the outside world, from each other within the closed system, and from their own internal dialogue, where clear thinking about the group might arise." [Lock box, Chris Geer's role, other virtual pimps, fire hosing repetition of PFAL and other classes, etc] 3) "The third element of totalism is the total ideology:... The exclusive belief system is controlled entirely by the leader, empowering him or her through the creation of a fictional world of secrets and lies." [Yeah, the dispensationalism IMHO, hidden plagiarizing, vp's perverted sexualized stuff...] "‘After a while, things that seemed preposterous seem normal’ The fictional, invented quality of the total ideology reinforces the confusion and eventual dissociation experienced by followers." Damn! "...no questions or doubts are allowed. Should you voice your concerns, a network of monitors will turn you in for reeducation. Should that reeducation fail, then you are cut from the group, never to speak with your former compatriots again." [I definitely experienced that in Sept '88 when I and others were not going to be loyal to LCM; best friends M&A-ed us...] 4) Here's where it gets pretty deep and psychological; not all in the way were/are thusly trapped I think, but I was...] "For a totalist system to wield complete control, the leader must tap fear. The process of brainwashing that totalist systems engage in is one of psychological, coercive manipulation where the leader or group alternates terror with ‘love’. Bowlby said that when we are frightened, we don’t simply run away from the fear, but run to a safe haven, ‘to someone…’ – and that someone is usually a person to whom we feel attached. But when the supposed safe haven is also the source of the fear, then running to that person is a failing strategy, causing the frightened person to freeze, trapped between approach and avoidance." [Again, obviously some experienced this more than others. I had experienced lots of trauma with my parents and in a first marriage, and had no where else to go... Until I finally recovered enough from the traumas to Look Only to God, begin to question the spiritual emptiness in the Chris Geer fold, and begin to explore other Christian groups.] 5) "Having disabled logical thinking about the traumatic relationship, the leader can then introduce even more of the fictitious ideology to explain away and redirect the follower’s terror. It’s a positive feedback loop with a biochemical element: physiologically, the victim is engaged in an effort to manage their cortisol or anxiety levels by seeking proximity to a safe haven, but never succeeding in attaining adequate comfort. It is for this reason that we can predict that cultic systems will attempt to interfere with and control any alternative attachment relationships a person might have. To fail to do so would allow the follower to find a safe haven elsewhere and potentially escape the emotional and cognitive control of the group. This is the same thing we see in controlling relationships such as in cases of domestic violence, of the Stockholm Syndrome or, frequently, with pimps and prostitutes, as well as in human trafficking." [I did not stick around long enough to experience this, but a few folks I knew did.]
  22. Ah, gotcha T-bone, Rocky, and Galene And thank you waysider for the colorful table-stabilizing idea! Seriously, I suppose some ppl who have never known any Bible whatsoever would benefit from learning about Romans 10:9-10 e.g., SITing, and various other Bible verses. Maybe they could benefit from some truths, and then SPLIT! when the pressure starts being applied. (I know about a friend's son who was being pressured to give up his epilepsy medications and save $$ for their foundational class, and who finally stopped attending local fellowships...) So I will resist the temptation to respond to a request for materials by sending em my ripped up pages with lots of cross outs and comments in the margins!
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