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  1. 3 points
    Why were those SIX YEARS (1992-1998) so agonizing?.........not because of the good-hearted folks in Oklahoma, that's for sure. But because of twi's "mission-creep" from elitists at headquarters (cough, cough) who dogged the way corps constantly with faxes, corps teachings, reports, phone calls, verbal attacks, encroaching legalism and more......proclaiming (and further indoctrinating us) that we were the (only) faithful remnant of God's Household standing on "The Word." Yearly themes like......Living Sanctified, Crossing the Bridge into God's Prevailing Word, and the new, upcoming class series on The Way of Abundance and Power. The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse........is alive and well in twi's cult and its splinters. They use subtle, manipulating and intimidating guilt and abuse to strong-arm followers into compliance. Public teachings and themes all have an agenda to keep you in submission to their doctrines. Centralized abuse from afar!! Martindale was using the SAME techniques that wierwille used......only, the sex-crazed leader of twi (martindale) was not nearly as crafty as old man wierwille. Six intense years of Insanity on Steroids ........a link to where 3 years ago, I documented the systemic abuse and over-bearing intrusive legalism most specifically pronounced from 1995-1998 when all corps were mandated to quit their jobs and sign onto twi's "revelation project." Yeah, tongue-in-cheek......."revelation project" where martindale supposedly got revelation from God (cough, cough) that all corps be on twi's payroll and thereby, be available full-time to jump thru every damn hoop at the circus. What a growing, ludicrous farce it became!!! Read the link......and see how twi treats its field staff. THEN.......take note that ALL of these newly-exited corps (2016-2018)......especially the new splinter leaders, STAYED ANOTHER 17 YEARS into rivenbark's regime. NOTE.......having known most all of these corps people for over 20 years, NOT ONE OF THEM ever called us when my wife and I were smeared with a diatribe character assassination in September 1998 on a corps phone hook-up meeting. What happened to us...........has happened DOZENS and DOZENS of times. Wierwille did it. Martindale did it. And, I have heard that Rivenbark and DeLisle have done it. I knew every twi-president.......personally. So did my wife. Not one of them lifted a finger in our defense. Twi is a cult........not because of its beliefs, but because of its methods. Many splinters have surfaced in the past 32 years. How many of them have taken the time to uproot the poison ivy that is growing in their midst? People have died on Twi's LEAD program......yet, wierwille never addressed it publically to the corps body. Women were raped hitch-hiking to LEAD.......yet, no accountability by the "spiritual leaders." Sexual predation by wierwille and martindale was widely known.......yet, all the upper-tier enablers kept silent. Yes, Howard and Wanda and Rosalie were partakers of the sins. With her counseling degree, Dottie Moneyhands was involved in Florida with "counseling" twi-victims of rape/abuse. But hey. many of you splinter guys........keep whistling your merry tune thru the graveyard of wierwille's abundant living......er, redundant misgivings.
  2. 3 points
    Welcome, Zanezim, I hope you find some good virtual camaraderie here. I did. I spent 17 years in TWI (1970-1987) and the lovely, non-manipulative people I met but don't see anymore is what I miss most about that time. Over the years, though, I've made new friends whose love is not dependent upon whether I am like-minded with them about the Bible. Relief! Cheers and happy holiday season to you and to everyone here at GSC. Penworks
  3. 3 points
    Think you might need another category. Life as a whole; time in TWI; time recovering from TWI. That's a harder time to quantify. From when one leaves, to the time one stops thinking like a Wayfer, or stops startling at key jargon words that have acquired other meanings; or until one has abandoned unhealthy TWI concepts. I call the ten years post-TWI the lost years - I was there in body (even doing things that I ought to have enjoyed), but in such a state that my mind was only partly there and I was actually in a state of profound depression. I think my recovery didn't start till about ten years after being kicked out, and that was when I discovered Greasespot Café when I was preparing to crawl back to TWI. After that, it was - what? five years? ten years? - before I think I became a more clear-minded person and got back my enthusiasm for living. If you take that as 20 years (on top of TWI involvement) that's a very big chunk of pie chart. I thank God for his great protection and for the kind, loving, genuine, patient and helpful, Christians and other people he put in my way in that 20 years or so
  4. 2 points
    The coolest thing about Christianity is that it makes for a lot of wonderful friendships and relationships. I had to learn to not treat it as a company or a business or even an ideal that I was trying to put into action. In the beginning of my Christian faith I didn't see it that way but as time went on I gave little bits of that away in trade for my work, for acceptance and a social circle I felt I could depend on - boy, you find out real quickly in the Way that they really DO NOT have any friends when it comes to The Word, and in order to stay on year after year you have to basically just assemble and work with the others who claim to have the same beliefs. It's not a truly woven in "love" of God or anything else. I tell people today - if you were my friend back then, you still are. Don't give me a reason to change that and we're good to go. On the other hand, if someone did wrong by my then, or if I thought someone was a jerk, ass hole or self serving hypocritical liar then - I'm going to need to see that they've changed before I get involved with them to any degree. I don't feel bad about that, it's just the way it is. I can "love" that person best in the active sense by keeping a distance between us, and if things turn that we are in touch in some way, we can proceed from there. But I don't seek them out, nor expect they will me. Lastly, I consider myself a "free range Christian" and have used that term to describe my place in the church since the 80's when I left the Way. It's a big body of Christ I'm a part of and there's MILLIONS of brothers and sisters I haven't even met in whom God is living and working, as He is in and with me. I am also not a member of any Way or ex-Way groups, ministries, fellowships, splinter groups, societies or assemblies, fraternal organizations or businesses, be it formal or ex-officio. No books to sell, classes to offer or writings based on repackaged PFAL teachings to sell, and no allegiances to base my ties, involvements or agreements on, other than Jesus Christ and God. This allows me to participate as I see fit and God leads. It's working well for both my wife and I. PEACE! Life is a rich experience to be enjoyed, so enjoy it! It's pretty cool too when it doesn't suck and it sucks big time when it isn't cool. Make it cool, friend!
  5. 2 points
    We all belong somewhere. We all get imbued from childhood with various social norms. If we shift to a different community, we discover and may incorporate within ourselves different norms. Like when we change the place we study, or the type of work we undertake - or, as she points out, change the country in which we live. I found it hard to understand some American perspectives when I was in rez. And I know Americans found a non-US perspective very strange, at times. Even now, when I talk with American friends, they have a world view that sees my world view as incomprehensible (and vice versa). Neither is right, neither is wrong; open conversation opens doors of understanding. It's often said that learning another language helps deepen understanding. It's how people really get into the other language and perceive its different structure and the way it expresses ideas. It's not merely a word-learning exercise, but a mind-broadening one. I wonder if there are people here who are fluent in English, and Spanish or Italian or Hindi, etc, born of immigrant families, who could say something about who they are when they interact in the "other" language? On a related note, I lived overseas in yet another different country (English speaking) for many years. When I got laid off from my job in the UK, I couldn't find any work, despite oh-so-diligent efforts. After a few years of this, I thought, "What would I do if I were in that other country?" A change of mindset got me started into self-employment, and now after 7 or 8 years I truly have no desire to go back to my old employed way of life.
  6. 2 points
  7. 1 point
    Hi There, I recently left TWI almost two years ago after being involved for 27 years. I'm still trying to unwind it all, but I do want to say that over the years I would look at the information in this group and it helped me to eventually come out of TWI. I got involved when I was 13. Met my husband at The ROA, went Way Disciple Group 5, I don't know how often I will be able to come here, but I would love to talk with others who have done it too. Thanks.
  8. 1 point
  9. 1 point
    Don't remember him ever saying this when I was in rez and he was Prez. "Mass" simply means "meal." Same root word as the services' "mess hall." Not celebrate Christmas? No, just have a large decorated tree, a day or two off, and give gifts. Naomi W always used to give us a slimline "pocket planner," very simple. I still have mine. And a big dress-up best-clothes party, with escorts, corsages for women, buttonholes for the men. People were allowed a few days off to visit friends and family, but had to be back for NY Eve, ostensibly to pray in the New Year, but actually a party/Way Prods splash to celebrate the birthday of VPW (who was long dead before I went in rez).
  10. 1 point
    Running a Twig and believing the bull$hit that TWI fed us – something to the effect that the Jonestown tragedy was actually a government conspiracy operation to induce fear of cults.
  11. 1 point
    No Christmas! Happy household holiday. Happy HoHo....Corpse went on Ho Ho relo......Had to buy cards that were appropriate or cross out words and correct them.
  12. 1 point
    I vaguely remember a rewrite of the 12 days of Christmas - it became the 12 days of the class...it went something like: on the first day of the class my father showed to me believing equals receiving disclaimer - I don't remember exactly how it went or the main topic of each day/session...guess that's a good thing
  13. 1 point
    One of the most embarrassing moments of my TWI-life was happy household holiday carolling using those fake lyrics. Most of our victims didn't hear the difference but it was horrible nevertheless.
  14. 1 point
    In twi, it was fine to celebrate the Birth of Jesus- so long as you did so on September 11th (and looked down on people who celebrated any other day.) Celebrate Christmas? lcm used to claim that Christmas (named after the Christ Mass people attended) was named after the MASSACRE of the innocents by Herod. (So, the holiday of Candlemas would have commemorated the massacre of a lot of candles, etc.) Yes, when I was in, I knew he was wrong. But, could not celebrate Christmas or Advent. Mind you, in twi, it was totally fine to celebrate a Household Holiday (Ho-Ho) on December 25th, with a decorated tree, presents, carols, and so on. You were totally not supposed to celebrate Christmas. Seriously, I'm NOT making ANY of that up!
  15. 1 point
    On the flip side of learning another language – what Twinky and Waysider have said made me think of the opposite and bewildering effect that cult jargon may have on one’s understanding of the situation they’re in. Cult jargon can be a uniquely obfuscating language indeed. In my case I did not realize I was in a cult. I also like what Amber said in the video - - along the lines of when someone comes along and presents a new or different way of seeing something we thought we knew all about. That resonates with my Grease Spot experience – GS is a great asset that has always helped me cut through the cult jargon and group-think of TWI.
  16. 1 point
    Have you ever considered, or rather pondered and reflected on your life experiences questions about whether you have or had been exactly where you were supposed to be at any given time in your life? John 16:33 New International Version (NIV) 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” I am reluctant anymore to retrace my specific cult learning by taking apart or parsing scriptures the way wierwille modeled for us. So, I won't explore any of the Greek words in the quoted passage. But despite wierwille's admonition that "experience is no guarantee for truth," I will share insights from "trouble" I recall that I experienced. Without oversharing, I can easily cite my marriage which ended in divorce. It was a dark and stormy time. Well, much of it. Yet there were good times. And next week, my daughter will reach her 30th birthday. Her two children, my grandchildren, are truly the biggest joy of my life. But the divorce was hard. Much harder than anything I went through in MY time in twi. (Your mileage may (WILL) vary). I mention it to highlight that rather than having wasted 12 years of my life, my fundamentalist cult history provides context in which I can share stories that some of the more than 6 billion people alive today can relate to in the journey through this life. And telling my own stories is how I choose to carry out my ministry of reconciliation. TWI is no longer the "church" into which I try to recruit people in hopes they would find a path to reconcile them to God. Rather, twi is a major part of the context of my life that I can share with them to provide insight. Because in this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart. Jesus said he overcame the world. He didn't do so by getting rich, winning the lottery, or having an easy time of life. He did so by enduring more of the trouble than you and I have. That being said, I'll offer you this, from a daily reading of brief insights from Stoic philosophy. There's no group to join, or class to take. It's YOUR life.
  17. 1 point
    thanks for starting this thread – great input by all…lots to think about. I think there is a lot to what was said in the Daily Stoic you referenced – “The Stoics were right. We have no idea what life has in store for us or what it is saving us for—even as it kicks our foot and breaks our hearts. Whatever we are going through, whatever is happening to us, we must know that: we are where we are supposed to be right now. How’s that? Because we can make it be where we are supposed to be. By the actions we take and the choices we make.” (from Daily Stoic) I tend to look at life as a journey – and in a combination of experiences - - with people and situations (both good and bad) – and with hopes, desires and prayer – try to map out the way I should go. Since I left TWI, I feel like I’m more in the driver’s seat - instead of thinking like I have to be in the center of God’s will (I’m of the opinion God’s sovereign will is something known only to God); What I’m talking about here is more along the lines of God’s general will already expressed in Scripture – do good, love thy neighbor, be honest, etc.). The criteria for reference points on my map usually have some moral or personal consideration. Is this job I’m considering legitimate? Will it be a good move for my family too? Being in the driver’s seat means being aware of options and the responsibility and impact of the actions I take and choices I make. That not only includes learning from my mistakes, failures, good and bad experiences – but always developing critical thinking /good judgment skills. where am I supposed to be? Maybe it's also asking what do I think I am supposed to be at this point in time on my journey? What have I become? What am I becoming? Concerning God’s sovereign will - it looks at the bigger picture (whatever you can gather – especially as you broaden your horizons) – perhaps this goes along with the other thing of interconnectedness with others (that Rocky referred to in another post): When I think of the Lord’s Prayer “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” – I don’t think that is supposed to be an empty-headed desire; I think it goes deep into our makeup – of all that we are as a person - for us to acknowledge God’s sovereignty. Granted it probably refers to a future time – when God’s sovereign will becomes evident – but I wonder if it also has an eye on the short term – God’s will being worked out - in part anyway - on earth in the here and now – that recognizes the interconnectedness of us all.
  18. 1 point
    A) The Conjuring. B) Robert. C) Annabelle. That last one's the best-known of the 3, AFAIK.
  19. 1 point
    A vital part of learning another language is learning about the culture in which it is spoken. Japanese and Korean, for example, are steeped in a system of honorifics. Without understanding the intricacies of honorific culture, it's almost impossible to really learn these languages in a conversational sense. So, yes, learning another language and the accompanying culture will help to deepen understanding.
  20. 1 point
    Food for thought: 15 years out of my 70 in TWI makes 21% (rounded off). Googled that as a pie chart. The green represents TWI time. Gives me a lot of perspective! So much of my life NOT in a cult and JUST as much my life as the 21%. Just some musings on a Friday.
  21. 1 point
    Thanks, I went back and edited but the font is pretty small.
  22. 1 point
    Off topic: 61 years ago, today, JFK was assassinated. (11/22/1963)... Seems like just yesterday.
  23. 1 point
    When I was young I was never much into fowl, although I do enjoy their presence today. Seems I remember a fair amount of birds at and around the Way Nash though - accounting for Winter at which time that Central Ohio area sort of just...dies, or so it seemed to me the years I was there. There's a little of the "winter wonderland" feel but for the most part it's about as much fun as a runny nose, all chunky brown and wet. Don't know what birds like that. Spring though, seemed like there were plenty of birds around, and then summer - well, by that time the summer rains were coming so I'd assume the bird count might reflect the weather. Remember too that the Wierwilles were always banging around that 147 or so acres digging or moving or painting or building something so birds might have not found it all that inviting. There were always some birds around the "big Top" tent - pigeons? I guess they'd qualify as a bird although not my favorite.
  24. 1 point
    I've thought about that idea a good bit. I wish I could say that I knew from the start that it wasn't the only way God might want things done. But I didn't. I've also pondered the reasons and factors that led me to be open to Wierwille and his ministry. For me, having been born into a Catholic family was one. Then having Christian believers I knew (and others I hadn't known before) witness to me gave me food for thought... and certainly if I knew then what I know now... well, I can relate to your musing that you wouldn't have done it for as long. But I am thankful that I left when I did. Taking it a step further, my experience in twi is a large part of what made me who I am today. I will hit the magic Medicare age very soon (this month). I'm glad I won't be repeating some of the mistakes I made in my youth.
  25. 1 point
    Thanks, I started with a line and from there it kinda rolled. Genetics and environment.....seed, soil and care. Remember how in the Way's teaching there were no "accidents"? Everything was a result of our believing, at least from our "positions in Christ" as "believers"? An accident is defined as "an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause." I think the word "chance" is the money shot there - as if something just "happens" that we by "our believing" were not able to have control over. In Way terms we were ALWAYS able to believe God for HIs promises in the Word and in so doing we were always able to receive God's will in living action and form. It's all a semantic card trick though - I'm positive Dr. Wierwille knew that "accidents" aren't really ever possible as pure "chance" by definition but that they only live and function in our own world's of understanding and perspectives. In other words, there's ALWAYS a cause or reason for everything in life but it's only when something happens outside of the expected or "normal" path and range of possibilities that it is an "accident" and at that time, call it by whatever name or label we wish, it is what it is....and if it's completely unexpected and was something neither we nor anyone else planned for at that time and place, then it's an "accident". But it can't be without cause. Two things I see a lot of in the Bible's history are serendipity (the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way) and gestalt (an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts), two non biblical words that describe what I'm thinking. Again, "chance" being something entering my field of vision unexpectedly but not without cause. Gestalt covers the ability mankind has to "fill in the blanks" as it were, in a list of factors, allowing for perceptual organization. We look for pattern, structure which in turn produces meaning. The Bible covers how man can see God through His creation, and that God has declared Himself in it and through it. Similar kind of thing. Wayfer teaching was based on silos, like silo'd thinking. In the Bible mankind makes their plans, good or bad, but God's design is at work and is ultimately served. To the average Pastor or Priestess struggling on their next sermon or where to get more donations, serendipity's gonna bite 'em in the ass before they see it coming - and when lightning strikes the conditions of it's presence announce it's coming, but only if we're paying attention. So, yeah. Like the phrase "everything happens for a reason" - sure, but the reason may not be that it's part of the Big Guy's Plan, it may just be because I did something really stupid. Or something really smart. I think the idea of you joining the Way being a susceptibility to joining a cult is possible, buuuuut my guess would be it's not solely that. I never felt I joined a "cult', although I certainly had a year or two where I deliberately extended VPW a range of authority and accountability over what I did to allow for me to learn what I wanted to learn. But I always knew he was kinda living his own dream there in Ohio, and that while he had his own motives that weren't exclusively self centered he was definitely working in his own interests.....in other words I knew from Day One that what we were doing there wasn't the only way it could be or even should be done, rather it was the way he decided he wanted to do it and that now I in turn decided to participate in and contribute to. A lot of the earlier vision he'd discussed went south, and perhaps he'd never had any intention of doing some of the things he talked about but clearly the direction he went in was creating it's own set of dominoes, causes and effects, that would push the Way forward on it's own path - one that was very much of his own making. I was young, "if i knew then what I know now", I might do the same thing but I wouldn't do it for as long.
  26. 1 point
    Thanks Rocky.......lots of great insight. There are plenty of ways to supplement this *very real human need for belonging* .......besides going to classes and parking one's butt in a chair. Look around and partake of the vast avenues of BELONGING to something bigger than self: Community.......volunteer work, charity walks, habitat for humanity, red cross blood drives, committee involvement, parks and recreation, safety, etc Religious...........bible study groups, choirs, programs, youth groups, children's activities, daycare, grieving and group participation, societal issues Self....................golf outings, cards and game nights, book clubs, bowling league, bike club, 10-K runs/walks, get a dog and go to your nearest dog park Academic..........take night classes at community college, attend lectures, go to World War II Museum, study different cultures, learn a new language Hobbies.............find other enthusiasts of your particular interest, bee-keeping, woodworking, bird watching, kayaking, camping You belong........get out there and find your true passions. The world is a BIG and EXCITING SOCIAL EXPLORATION....... Do NOT allow some little cult leader to coerce your butt in a chair...... When peer pressure and coercion is involved.......subjugating is not far behind.
  27. 1 point
    Thanks Everyone. I appreciate the warm welcomes. I honestly have no idea how many people are left there. They keep that stuff pretty close to the vest. I can say though, that when I went WayD in '99 there were probably 50 to 60 people going out on the field from Gunnison, the West of the Mississippi group. The last WayMag I saw had pics of the folks going out and the groups were significantly smaller, as in the 5 to 10 range. Also, a development that would affect the numbers involved is the split that was the final straw for us. Yes, there has been another split up. A number of WayCorps had apparently started a group to discuss some grievances that they wanted to address to address to Rivenbark about how she was running things and how people were not seeing signs, miracles, and wonders. And the teaching from HQ had become uber stale. Ok, so I'm trying to remember and I may have some of details wrong, but this is what happened to the best of my recollection. This group began calling themselves Revival and Restoration, because their original intent was to reform TWI not leave it. I believe they first sent a letter outlining their "challenges" and solutions, and their intent to be respectful and work together with the BOD to figure it all out. I think they did call for the resignation of Rivenbark though. Anyways, Rico Magnelli, I think, had a meeting with her after the letter was sent where she summarily dismissed everything and, If my recollection is correct basically fired him. The letter was signed by some names you might know like Fort, Roberts, Moynihan, Horney, and Carter, to name a few. Anyways, this group had a list of grievances, including financial transparency, BOD accountability, and punishment of way corp for questioning Rivenbark etc. There were quite a few accusations. Anyways, our branch coordinators, whom we loved very much, were dropped in a backhanded way of just not being given an assignment. Also, the folks who had been our area coordinators for only a year, The Stiles were dropped for questioning Rivenbark. So this group has broken off from TWI and has reformed. Last I knew they were still calling themselves Revival and Restoration. My husband and I had been eyeing the door for some time, so we took it as our opportunity to leave. I still love many people involved in both groups, but I am not interested in being a part of any of them. I've had my fill of authoritarianism. I have the letters and other emails describing what went down. Maybe I'll go back through them and refresh myself, idk. I know some of you said you left around the time I joined, which was only a couple of years after "the fog" in 1990. When I first joined my fellowship was a very relaxed sort of hippyish deal. I smoked my first joint there, and had sex with someone in that fellowship for the first time. As time went on it became more and more controlling, and much more conservative. At one point we were instructed that it wasn't wise to go anywhere alone. Also, we were supposed to let the state leadership of any group know if we were even just traveling through their state so that we would be "spiritually covered." My husband and I, who were in our early 20's, were thoroughly reamed out at a meeting in front of everyone of course, that we attended on a trip we were taking because we hadn't let anyone know we would be in that state on our way to our destination. There was a "homo hunt" at the rock of ages in 95. Martindale became obsessed with homosexuality and in included in his version of the foundational class The Way of Abundance and Power that the thing that Eve partook of was a lesbian relationship with Satan who appeared as a woman, and Adam accepted it. (They subsequently just left that whole thing out of the foundational class they recorded after he was kicked) I often wondered if it was because of the alleged relationship between Donna and Rivenbark. When everything went down with LCM we were instructed not to look up anything to do with anything about the ministry or any of the people involved on the internet. Of course, this was to "protect us from the fiery darts of the wicked." After LCM left, everything became super boring and repetitive. Say what you will about him, but LCM was at least charismatic and entertaining. Rivenbark has a quieter gentler form of control and abuse. Over the years people tried to get us to move to HQ, but I was always struck at how robotic and fake anyone who went there came back. We actually did end up deciding to go into the way corps in 2003, and had all of our paperwork in when I ended up accidentally getting pregnant with our first child. Thank God for that. By the time we were eligible again, my husband had decided it wasn't for him. Shortly after I found out we were pregnant we moved back to my home state because I wanted my kids to have their grandparents close, and my father was dying. I was a new mom and I was traveling the hour and a half to visit my dad as much as possible and my fellowship coordinator had the audacity to "encourage me to spend more time with the household that I was." At that point I had started to see how much the ministry had come between my family and myself and I was trying to heal those relationships. I basically told him that my father was dying and I was going to get every minute I could with him and that I would never again put the ministry before my family and he would just have to get used to it. That was the first time I ever remember standing up for myself. from there it took 14 more years to officially leave. That's the short version of everything. It wasn't all bad, but I'm still working through things. I feel like an idiot at times for letting some of the stuff go on, or being involved with some of the things I was. For the last couple of years since leaving I have thrown myself into other things. I think I just needed some distance. After appearing on a podcast to talk about my experiences a few months ago, I have started to realize I need to work through some of this stuff now. I appreciate your listening. I'm sorry if this jumps around and is choppy. I find myself a little lost for words when it comes to some of this stuff, which is very unusual for me.

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