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  1. 6 points
    DWBH, what can I say? Thank you SO much for the love and your comments. I can’t quite find the words to tell you all how much I appreciate being welcome here. To answer a couple comments - I have 4 therapists and am on a battery of meds. I’ve been doing this latest round of hard work with said therapists for a year and a half. I think what has discouraged me is how deep the injuries go into my subconscious mind. But I am and will continue working. Being ME here is a big step I’ve wanted to take for years. Thanks again for the comfort <3
  2. 6 points
    Hey, all. It’s been awhile since I’ve stepped into the diner. I’m outing myself today because it’s too painful to keep my silence anymore, and I’m struggling right now. My name is Leah - I’m LCM’s oldest child. I don’t know what to do next...I feel like I need to speak, but I don’t know what to say. I’m just so tired of hurting. Penworthy, it’s lovely to “see” you here. I so appreciate your compassion...
  3. 6 points
    Insanity is often quoted as......"Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." ..........but with cult-splinter insanity, I find myself wondering if they are doing the same thing over and over again desiring the SAME results. With nearly 20 years of internet exposure..... Waydale and Greasespot Café.......surely IF these corps leaders had an ounce of integrity and empathy for others, they'd see the errors of their ways, no? What do ALL of the cult offshoots have in common? A self-appointed leader claims to have "the Word" and teach "it" to others. He offers up dissention and disagreements with martindale or rivenbark........and gives wierwille adulation. Without objective reflection and further seminary training or study, he tweaks the wierwille-teachings only slightly. Same pyramid structure is implemented..........same centralization, same lording over others, same rules on giving money. Now that you've met the *new boss, same as the old boss*..........how can you possibly expect DIFFERENT RESULTS? After exiting The Way International Cult.........how many got entrapped into another splinter group for another decade or more? Insanity right? And, within these various splinters......how many more twisted perversions were promoted and propagated by the spiritual elite (cough, cough) among us? The Geer group plunged into the posthumous indoctrinations of geer's idol, wierwille. CES/STFI grafted in new age, self-help quackery like Momentus and personal prophesies and nose spiders. Egads! And, CFF took you back to the nostalgia "good old days of twi" when that young blood was coursing thru your veins. Oh, the memories....... Here a splinter, there a splinter.............everywhere there is ANOTHER splinter. Whether the R&R group will get rooted is still questionable.......but Rico's upstart - Oikeos is another baby cult that is flailing its arms and legs. Nourished on the milk of "Wierwille's Word" this infant will grow up in the image of wierwille...........same result, same outcome as its mother-cult. IMO.........these splinters have NOTHING to do with serving and ministering to others, but rather are SELF-SERVING OVERLORDS. These corps cleave to the cult model, because they have no real-life job experience in the real world. At best, they would be hard to find middle management jobs, sales jobs or seek self-employment. There are near-zero employers out there who are willing to hire a 56-66 year old man who has been fossilized into an obscure "Christian" group for 35 or 40 years. Two years ago, I documented a timeline of my experiences during the Martindale Era.....Insanity on Steroids.......and it was crazy then. But now, seeing these corps who stayed ANOTHER 17 YEARS of Rivenbark's Reign of Error.........and now, wanting to claim the mantle of *Leadership* is laugh-out-loud appalling. What a bunch of weasels. Until they clean and sanctify themselves from all of wierwille cult, top to bottom, thoroughly and throughly............they are a blight on the body of Christ. They disappoint and diminish and destroy by seeking opportunities for filthy lucre's sake. Beware of their pernicious ways as they twist and pervert words to indulge and profit in this seduction. They seek those who've had their minds grooved with cult indoctrination and servitude, rather than do the hard work of reaching others. Beware of cults. Beware of groupthink. "In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. " Friedrich Nietzsche
  4. 5 points
    Hi Leah..........welcome to the Café. For those of you who grew up at hq and had parents in leadership positions, I can only imagine the hardships, scrutiny, challenges and fear that were embedded into your psyche at such a young age. As you distinguished astutely in an earlier post.....it sounds like you are well on your way to separating your "cult self" from your "authentic self." And further, you have now established proper boundary lines with your family and loved ones by openly and publically stating what is acceptable, and not acceptable, to you. Good for you! Keep claiming what is rightfully YOURS.......an "authentic self." Individual sovereignty........to think, explore, believe, live, challenge, and commit to the passions that burn within your soul. My wife and I exited twi nearly 21 years ago after, what I would term, six turbulent years as leadership in Oklahoma. Suffice it to say that I spent time with your parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and some of your first cousins. Look how their lives have changed in the past 20-something years! Commitments changed. Perspectives altered. None of what they were, or weren't, committed to should hold sway to YOUR goals, passions or self-esteem. You have every right and reason to pursue this journey of self-exploration. And, from the sounds of things.....you've read some good books and, for years, have read threads here at GSC. Good for you. Go at the pace that fits your schedule. Most all of us have a past of *burdens, hurts and fears* that we are working thru or have overcome........hell, I went thru 10-days of deprogramming to fight my way back to my fiancé and then, dealt with years of being estranged from my parents/family. So, yeah......I can relate to the challenges one faces of self-authenticity and autonomy. Live on the sunrise side of the mountain......and greet the days that are before you. You are a brave woman and I commend you for it.
  5. 5 points
    Welcome, Leah. About time!! You will get a lot of support here.
  6. 4 points
    (Hope OK to do this; don't want the discussion to be buried in the old way tapes!) A few quotes from the Old Way Tapes thread that are on this excellent needed topic IMO, and my thankful reply: He was grooming us to extend our bounderies of acceptance. (Sorry, the belows didn't copy well) [Waysider posted: He was grooming us to extend our bounderies of acceptance.] [T-Bone posted: I agree. Wierwille’s modus operandi was in developing an undercurrent that grew stronger as one became more involved with the organization (like joining programs and staff). Undercurrent: an underlying feeling or influence, especially one that is contrary to the prevailing atmosphere and is not expressed openly; a current of water below the surface and moving in a different direction from any surface current…teachings available to the general public were seemingly benign promoting study of the Bible, offering keys to overcoming adversity and finding fulfilment in life. All that supposedly wholesome sounding Bible stuff on the surface hides the undertow. You'll find it's all about wierwille's skewed interpretation of the Bible commingled with lies... Your hopes and dreams become entangled with the busy work of the ministry. Any false sense of happiness and fulfillment really depends on how much you commit to an organization. Christian, beware these are treacherous waters! The deeper you go the more you find wierwille’s influence leading you further and further away from the simple and honest life of a Christian. Wierwille was like Captain Nemo and my experience in TWI was like twenty thousand (or more) lies under the sea.] Me, Annio now: Well expressed and Ah YES, THANK YOU!!! These posts are extremely helpful to me for several reasons- 1) Am still recovering from various way ministry abuses and they give needed big picture context 2) Have had discussions with an old friend recently who still connects to/with Chris Geer folks; now I can see more clearly the reasons for her continued adulation of vpw and inability/ unwillingness to accept the trauma that I went through. 3) I can see parallels betw the modus operandi of vpw and Harvey Weinsten, Jeffrey Epstein, Catholic priests, et al. Weinstein was a bully in general, several ppl testified, so naturally this can extend to a man's sexual relationships with women who need his support/connection to advance their careers. A male assistant said working for him was like "being in a cult". Vpw was a bully with power in general, and used sex as a way to bring "privileged" young women into his inner circle using his false mog persona. There are numerous parallels between all of these predators, the normalizing cultures around them, the addictions they had, the sense that they were untouchable re: the law/consequences, etc. 4) All of this is building up my desire to DO something. Since I left the way in '88 and transitioned with others into Chris Geer's fold for a good while, and since CG led me to the motor coach in '80, I did research and found his home address: 13 Casselton Rd, Raymond, ME, 4071-6727. Maybe I will write him a letter... Maybe I will write Kris Skedgell about how much her wonderful book Losing the Way meant to me; she was at the family camp where I took PFAL in '74 (and where a young man just about seduced me)... Maybe I will contact the young leader who helped himself to me during my way corps interim year (so ironic that vpw taught [oh so benignly as has been said] that 1 Cor 7:1 could read "a man should not help himself to a woman"... Talk about reverse undercurrents...). We shall see... Maybe CFF folks would give a listening ear? That would be helpful. They have alot of my trust in other areas; DWBH's sharing about his conversation with Kevin Gigou and I think Sarah, confirmed my positive regard for them. 5) And all of this is building up my desire to find some closure, as much as is possible here on this earth. We shall see! Yep, I have been able to process alot by posting here; apologies if I share too much info... So good to know you all are here!! And maybe I can support others on their journeys from time to time. Cheers, and best to you all!!
  7. 4 points
    I like the total of 1 comment at the very bottom of their web page. But I must say...I really like the comment. LOL
  8. 4 points
    As for motives, since we have so much information on vpw's life and comments, we can trace a relatively clear path, at least in his own words. We know that vpw told the early corps that he considered business, music AND ministry before going into ministry. (Yes, looks like he got into all 3, I know.) So, going into ministry was a CAREER decision, not a calling. We know that he claimed that in his first 2 years in ministry, each of those years, he seriously considered giving up. So, going into ministry wasn't about CONVICTION, but about convenience. We know that he took "Homiletics" or preaching, as his area of study- not "Bible history" or anything rigorous- he picked probably the softest option. When he was into his second year as a preacher was when he first heard the idea that the Bible was the word of God and that he didn't believe it prior to that. (We don't know what he based the first year's sermons on, but it wasn't on the idea that the Bible was really special.) We also know that he inflated his credentials- like when he claimed he took ALL of Moody's correspondence courses, but according to their records, he never took ANY of their courses. (They have records of all completed courses, and there is NO record of him having turned in even one course.) We know that, around 1970 or shortly thereafter, vpw began claiming he heard from God Almighty back in 1942, in a promise that doesn't hold up to scrutiny. We know that, according to him, his first thought when he supposedly heard that was that EVERYONE WOULD LISTEN TO HIM if that was the case. We also know that he's cited snowstorms that didn't exist to punctuate events he later claimed were important. In 1953, he went to a convention where he met JE Stiles and learned from him, later plagiarizing the entire contents of Stiles' book on the Holy Spirit for his own publication. Of that day, he claimed the city was in a blizzard, and planes, trains AND buses were all out. (There wasn't even a single flake on the ground.) When confronted with this, he never claimed anyone was mistaken- instead he claimed that angels answered the phones at the bus depot, etc and lied to him each time. All of that says quite a bit about the man, and that's hardly everything.
  9. 4 points
    Lotza things kids, Having been around during that period of Lynn 's exit and having spoken with him twice the year he skated out, John Lynn's "quitting/getting fired" from the Way Ministry was kinda self serving. It benefitted him in several ways: - He crafted his own exit message around his personal involvement and culpability in the things that were "wrong" with the Way Inc. I mention that because when he and I spoke the first time about his leaving, he didn't want to talk at all about issues I brought up to him that I felt he had some accountability for. - He was able to personally attack all of the Trustees and anyone he wished without any chance of their rebuttal or responding. - He created and managed the environment in which he WOULD deal with anything he chose - He was able to start teaching what was to become a long string of half-assed-theories-of-the-week ideas unchallenged, while claiming he was walking in "Doctor's Footsteps" (which he told me over the phone). And when I told him he and I both knew ANY deviation from PFAL would have "The Doctor" shoving his foot up his ass he just chuckled and said "well, we'll all know someday" and continued to blab on. When I last spoke to him in - 1987? - I was still formally attached to the Way Inc. via my then-current Corps assignment but I was very aware that the Way Nash's leadership structure was in rack and ruin and I had no rose-colored expectations that it was going to get better. IMO however, Lynn did no great service to anyone in "revealing" the evils of the Way Trustees that he didn't get a lot in return for. It set the stage for all his future efforts and effectively made him an heir-apparent for all the ex-Wayfers who still needed a nipple to suck on and a warm crotch to lay their head on while being taught "the Bible" again and again and again and again. And again. Other than a phone call in the '90's when he was traveling around with a new book to sell and a coffee can to collect money in when he taught, I have had no contact from him at all. I wouldn't get involved in any of his enterprises, listen to him talk or buy anything he was selling. I'd love to engage in any number of normal real life activities, if the opportunity fell into my lap but other than that I do pray for his health and healing. Over the years I've heard and seen a few things here and there that he's done and - maybe it's just me - but he's turned into a terrible speaker and teacher, IMO. He's not really "funny", which everyone likes to say to get you to listen...."He's just as funny as he ever was".....and I'm not hard pressed to find yet another LOL jokester. I'm sure he's about as good as anyone would be who's been pounding the book for this many years but it's been years since I was dependent on the Teaching Teat of Ex Way Teat-chers. Seriously - there's a lot of sludge out there. As long as they mean well and do their best, I'm fine with it, just don't try to tell me it's next level stuff or particularly meaninful or anything like it. But my Gad-a-mitey, this is ancient history. Why do I persist, and to what ends? I guess it's a way to sort through the detritus and dust and pull out the odd dime or quarter lost in the cushions. God bless 'im but if the intent is to carry on with the message of Christ and salvation to the future generations it's time to give this bullshit a rest and focus on "GOD'S WORD" instead of whether or not one of us old and breaking down former wannabe-s can still punch our old weight. I would say this with no equivocation however and with all the state and stature it deserves - Lynn is the Undisputed King of The Church of JAL. All hail the King of JAL!!
  10. 4 points
    Same pattern.........always. Rivals wait for opportunistic time Head Minister passes away or retires When not promoted to big chair....plots strategy Abides time to "break away" and be in charge Find chinks in their armor/doctrine Isolate his splinter group from "wrong doctrine" Be sure that support ($$$) is firmly in place Behold.......another offshoot grows in the midst Nothing new under the sun...... Heck.....wierwille's "thriving ministry" only lasted 12 years (1970-1982) Then, he retired......and the infighting started.
  11. 4 points
    Or, for something completely different along these lines, there's a very compelling argument for doing away with bible study altogether in a "shocking" book called The End of Biblical Studies (gasp!) by Hector Avalos, PhD. Prometheus Books. 2007. Just sayin … there is an alternative viewpoint for those interested in questioning the value of continuing to hammer away at biblical texts in hopes of recreating "the original." Even if we did reach that goal, what would we have? A text that still contains contradictions (four different viewpoints in the 4 gospels), violence against "unbelievers," in the Hebrew Bible, condemnation of homosexuals, subjugation of women, etc. Just sayin … let's take a look at bibliolatry and get honest about that. Perhaps this is a topic for the Doctrinal thread. Sigh …
  12. 4 points
    You know why I come here? To be judged by people who don't know who we are, why we're here, what motivates us. I love being called bitter by a total stranger making a blanket statement in a drive by post. Welcome to Greasespot, Your Honor.
  13. 4 points
    Hey everyone, I’ve been looking at this site for years and decided to join. I was raised in The Way and just left in 2017, with my husband who was also raised in The Way. We left after seeing the deep corruption and evil within the organization, and after becoming Christians within 24 hours of each other. We have found true freedom and healing over the past 2 years in getting to know Jesus as our God, and though our families have rejected us, have found an amazing family within our church community. Both my husband and I desire to help those who are struggling with leaving The Way, and who are struggling with doing the brain surgery required to unravel all of the lies. We have been able to maintain our faith through this process, and actually understand what “freedom in Christ” means. Personally, I am still working through a variety of issues resulting from my upbringing (both from TWI and a rough parent situation). Counseling and inner healing ministry have been incredibly helpful, and I am hopeful that with time, I will be completely free. Our prayer is to see The Way die completely, and we pray for healing to those who have left but still hold onto the harmful beliefs that the cult teaches its followers. So many people leave TWI but are never truly free from it. My husband and I are available if anyone has questions, or if you are hurting and need a friend who understands what you’re going through.
  14. 4 points
    Those who intentionally hide and dismiss wierwille's plagiarism, research foibles, and sexual predation AND have made it their business to lord over others.........THOSE SPLINTER GROUPS are worse! At the starting gate of splintering from twi, they are hypocrites before God and man.
  15. 4 points
    Back when lcm drove off 80% of twi in 88-89 with his "line in the sand", a fellow with the screen-name of Cesar Salad said he thought the biggest problem with lcm was that he wasn't able to get humble enough to "wash the apostles' feet" and so he wasn't fit for ministry work, since it was for HIS OWN glory and not for Jesus. It's no different for any other alleged "leader" that vpw trained, or vpw's machine trained. They all want to be the top dog- so all of them are UNWORTHY to be ministers. All of them want to be SERVED and not to SERVE.
  16. 4 points
    In my view, even though it's often revolting to read VPW's own incriminating words that illustrate how deranged he was, it's a valuable way to gain understanding of how he used classic cult leader tactics to keep us Corps from thinking independently and to make himself appear blameless in the face of evidence to the contrary.
  17. 4 points
    Parkland consumed our entire metro staff for the better part of a year. I talked to parents, interviewed witnesses, and have attended all but a few court hearings, sitting a few yards away from the young man who committed this monstrous act. My byline is on one of the 20 articles submitted. The fingerprints of every staffer can be found on every article. If ever there was a team prize, this was it.
  18. 4 points
    Oh Leah, I am so happy you are here. You know I love you and am here whenever you want to talk! I had no idea that you were BecomingMe. Wow! You are cared about here in ways you'll never fully know!
  19. 4 points
    Hi Leah! Don’t you dare quit! You ARE on the right path. It’s right because YOU are choosing it. YOU are determining who YOU are! That is the single most difficult task of human development, and at the same time, the most rewarding and fulfilling. That’s why I said, “don’t you dare quit”. You will make it to your authentic YOU if you just keep on going. Damn the hurt, the pain, the fear, the shame, the guilt, and the weariness. Just keep on keepin’ on! According to the 8 stages of human development, the 4th One is “identity formation”. Usually, according to the data, it occurs between the ages of 20-32. It follows adolescence, (12-19), and it is THE critical stage of human development. Observe the usual activities people in the age range 20-32 are engaged in these days in our frenetic culture.....college, trade school, the military, all crucial development tools which help one to self-determine her/his occupation, basic philosophy of life, and accepting who you have decided to be. For most of us here, those were the very years we got involved with TWIt. The TWIt cult stunted our development at the most critical stage. Dictor paul’s psychiatric dysfunctions and perversions, along with the Nazi-like authoritarianism and militarism of his corpse program produced what I term, a forced adolescence upon all wayfers, because the way took over determining our identities with it’s cult indoctrination and a rigid military-like discipline in order to “be the best” according to what the cult determined was “best”, period. But, the incredible cognitive dissonance we all experienced between what wierwille said and what wierwille DID became too much for us to bear, eventually driving our “authentic” selves back to the surface from under the smothering mind control and extreme peer pressure from the cult, and, avouding a psychological breakdown, we summoned enough personal courage to get the hell out of Dodge and retake control of our own, authentic lives....lives WE choose and people WE choose to be with. That’s where the anxiety and depression become an issue. There is so much cognitive dissonance that it usually requires professional help from a licensed counselor in order to sort it all out. It is, unfortunately, a necessity for most, because we have no sense of ourselves outside the complete dominance of the cult in every part of our minds and bodies. Our personal human development was detoured by a destructive religious cult, but by the strength of will and reason, WE now get to determine who and what we are according to OUR standards, beliefs, and desires. This takes time and a bunch of getting used to, but the end of adaptation is FREEDOM, liberty, and confidence that you can do it again as often as necessary. As you can see, I too can ramble! LOL. But more importantly, I want to strongly encourage you to keep on going! YOU ARE on the right path for YOU. We’ve all been at multiple crossroads in our lives, and we are here to help, to listen, to encourage, to inspire, and to hug whenever you need help along your journey to self-actualization. A cool glass of water and a cold, juicy peach on a hot day, passed on to a fellow traveller with love, unspoken understanding, and a joyful smile to help you hang in there baby!! That’s the GSC. As you said, by the grace of God, you have a full life! A loving partner, 2 lovely babies, a good career doing something YOU love because YOU love it and trained for it. YOU did all that! YOU! And YOU will conquer the current difficulties with the help of others also traveling the freedom road to self-identification and rewarding fulfillment......you’ll see REAL fruit of the spirit in your life and you will be happy and at peace. Don’t you dare quit! We love YOU because of who and what YOU are. You belong. You are free to be you. Just do it! We’ll help in any way we can. Peace.
  20. 4 points
    Well, I only feel comfortable speaking for myself, and I’m not so great. Working on it, though. I have a life that is full and that I’m really grateful for - two little girls, a husband (also a former Way kid), a career that I love in education. Now if I can work out really detaching the old way programming from my head, I’ll be all right...
  21. 4 points
    Gimme the sermon I heard in church last Sunday, any time. I really think that many of these people at R&R started out with a desire to love God, but got sidetracked along the way, fell into the ego tramp, and now they're climbing the greasy pedestal. Mary likes to hang about and talk to people, especially newbies. Is that because it gives her the opportunity to show off her supposed knowledge? It'd be nice if one or some of them spoke about the six months or year or more that they had spent volunteering daily (or at least weekly) at a shelter for homeless people, or for battered wives, or helping drug addicts, prostitutes, child laborers, and such like. You know, the ones with no money and a hard attitude to life. The ones who call "do-gooder" hypocrisy for what it is. Some place these teachers get their hands dirty in the sh-t of life. Fab opportunities to see people really turn their lives around; it's a very slow process.
  22. 4 points
    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.
  23. 3 points
    Mornin' y'all, I was born into this ministry about 21 years ago to two Way Corps(e? lol) ministers who worked at HQ from I don't know when to 2013. That means- yes, your logical inferences are correct- I had to spend my entire childhood living in f*cking New Knoxville, OH. There were, I think, only two other kids my age who were born in '98 and stayed through '13; certainly there were none whose parents were fired in '13. So I'm sure whatever poor guy they've got monitoring this has already deductively identified me- but I don't care, I've already put my name to a review on Google Maps. 2 stars, I have only good memories of the food, especially that dope foot split pea soup. To give you an idea of the enduring psychological pain I've got, just writing that opener means my arms have started shaking and my mind has sorta gone blank. The shrink at my college told me I've got PTSD, though she was a PHD student so that's no official diagnosis. In the few years I've been out, I've managed to forget a lot, but I see that y'all are curious for what goes on past 2000, and I think it'll be a good exercise for me to try and remember. So any questions you've got about HQ, or even through R&R- my parents still keep up with that- I'm right here. I'll just use the rest of this post to detail the circumstances of our leaving, since I think they're pretty emblematic of the, uh, dank authoritarian vibes leadership has kept up past the Martindale era. In the 2011-2012 school year I was in eighth grade and I developed this illness which was pretty bad- kept me out of school almost every day in April of that year. My attendance freshman year was even worse; I think I missed close to 1/3 of all school days. What was this illness, you ask? The main symptom was very intense physical stomach pain- which doctors couldn't explain after 2 endoscopes and a colonoscopy. My personal theory is that it was literally a physical incarnation of the stress I was under, since it sort of magically disappeared about 6 months after my family left NK. Correlation =/= causation and all that, but whatever. So anyway, I go into sophomore year and rack up like 7 absences in 3 weeks and NKHS tells my parents look, ya kid is a straight-A student who easily passes his tests without attending class but we just can't do this relationship anymore because we're unwilling to bend our absence policy. So I'm politely shown the door to this alternative online high school. That's all it took, folks. See, Rivenbark apparently does not believe that online school is a place that good Way Corps should send their kids. So two weeks after my parents make this decision, she gets Phil to summarily fire them from their severely underpaid HQ jobs. (Thank god, maybe they still have time to save for retirement.) Then about a year later, they're booted from the core. It was my dream to be a Way Corps member through 9th grade, guys I was 100% sold. Now I flinch when I hear church music- I heard Rise and Shine a couple months ago and had a full-on mental breakdown. My parents have gone from making me speak in tongues to pleading with me to not give up on God. My honest response to that is that whatever God I believed in in childhood is 6 feet under, the new meme is judging people based on their actions and words instead of automatically hating gay people. I think I love them too much to ever say that, especially since sometimes I think otherwise about the first part. Anyway, thanks for reading, peace.
  24. 3 points
    Being separated physically by many miles from our families presents it’s challenges. On our minds quite often is how they are doing, what’s the latest movie they watched, how is life with the new boy friend, did they gat the package you sent? Endless little things that make our hearts grow fonder each day. When I was in the Navy in Viet Nam, without a doubt, mail call was the high light of our day. We could not wait for a letter from home or a package containing cookies or candy. A picture of our family or buddies was the absolute greatest thing. Finding out the grandparents were doing just fine was vety comforting. I wasn’t married or had a girlfriend, but my shipmates who were, longed to know about their children’s school grades and who their latest friend was. I witnessed grown men completely break down when they got a “Dear John” letter. One even jumped ship and swam ashore to the Viet Cong. My daughter and her family recently moved away from home. A promotion sent them a 1,000 miles away. Adjustment at first was quite difficult, but gradually it became easier to accept. Enter modern technology. The separation has been so much easier to accept because of IM, Facetime, and the multitude of other communication devices. My daughters family just got a new puppy, and seeing the happiness in my granddaughters faces is immeasurable. Watching them chasing the pooch or him running them down is so much fun. Viewing them live as they open their birthday gifts is so neat. Just watching them for 15 minutes drawing their latest cartoon character, or seeing them staying within the lines coloring a teddy bear. Seeing my wife’s face light up as she so intently observes their every movement, is priceless. Yes, modern technology has allowed our family to stay up to date with each other. Is it as good as physically being together? No. But, it is certainly better than waiting weeks for a letter to arrive.
  25. 3 points
    "The thing though with you guys, it looks like in a clique, you are comfortable in protecting yourselves and when a new kid in the block comes is with something you don't like (which is quite clearly a commandment in God's word) he gets a hiding. Wait till you face Jesus Christ- and your face will turn pale for rejecting what is clearly a commandment of God. I have showed you in so many ways why it's an immutable commandment of God- and scriptures, left, right and centre- I dont have any hiddent agenda unlike TWI. But if you want to analyse yourself not to do God's sabbath keeping commandment -so be it- all the best-see you at the judgment seat- where I also will be examined It's like people on gsc gang up on me. I am not saying everyone is like this but most except for one other person I know and have stayed with and respect Contrary to what I think I have not be "torn" to pieces ( I laugh)- that's absolutely not true- "torn" is what you think- anyone can talk rubbish without focussing on bible chapter and verse and that's what's happeining. People cannot come back to me and point out what a verse is saying contrary to what I have been pointing out (I am not boasting- but what I have researched and know- I am to explain- If there is something I cannot explain I will gladly take time to research it and explain when it is clear to me) Most people dont do this - they go on about technical analysis- T-Bone would be the best example. If all you guys are interested in technical analysis rather than the word of God then go for it. The nay sayers wait for someone to give a reply then they pounce on an insignificant phrase which they can tear down and just chow down on it instead of focussing intently on scripture verses and learning the honest truth from the word of God." A) Everybody here has been new here at one time, and mis-stepped. I know I have. There are so many different points of view here that if it looks like EVERYBODY is disagreeing with you, you might reconsider if maybe, just maybe, you're so far off that NOBODY can agree with you. When they ALL agree on something, it's pretty rare. I mean, when me and Allen ALONE agree on something and disagree with a poster, that's rare and a big warning sign! :) B) If everybody here who respects the Bible AND believes it disagree with you, and you claim to do both as well- take it seriously. C) I know you THINK you've been logical, and represented the Bible fairly, and that anyone who raised a contrary point was disagreeing with the Bible. You're seeing a completely different version of the thread than everyone else is seeing. I know the easy way to approach it is to blithely claim ALL the other posters are hallucinating, hate God, are possessed, are dishonest, etc. I'd recommend the other approach- maybe, just maybe, everyone else sees something you don't. D) There's a lot you can learn from the posters here. However, you have to be ready to consider that people who disagree with you may have something before you can actually learn from the posters here. "When the student is ready, the teacher appears."
  26. 3 points
  27. 3 points
  28. 3 points
    In a galaxy far, far away...............I got involved in The Way International, because they were offering a foundational class on the Bible. At the time, I was in my second year of college and out cruising on my 900 Kawasaki this one Sunday morning when I stopped at a state park to stretch my legs and two WOW ambassadors approached me. I attended some twig fellowships and signed up for pfal........and took the class. There were 12 students in this class......everyone was under 25 years old. Add two WOW years, Way Corps training.......and its potent mixture of manipulation and indoctrination.......and my transformation into a cult was complete. Corps coordinators had us jumping thru hoops to avoid public embarrassment, guilt and fear in nearly every closed-door meeting. Wierwille taught many corps nights and would rail on those corps leaders [4th, 5th and 6th corps -- mainly].......calling some "cop-outs" for leaving him. When Barr1e Hill went thru her deprogramming experience and came back to twi, and later Monty Pelt0......wierwille had them on main stage telling their stories of escape. See......"twi was your true family." The "Us verses Them" teachings were a daily occurrence. My involvement in twi lasted until 1998.......after six agonizing years as Oklahoma's Limb Coordinator. And when martindale was ousted in 2000 by twi's lawyers, no less.......that should have been a big fricken clue as to how rotten twi had become. But STILL......lots and lots of corps remained committed to twi-servitude. And now, FINALLY.......after 16 years of Rivenbark leadership, more corps have had enough and splinter cults are cropping up. Ric0 Magnelli is heading up Oikeos and Bob Moynihan, Michael Fort and Ed Horney are spearheading efforts for Revival and Restoration. Splinter cults run by Corps Coordinators.........surprise, surprise. The guys who were the most steeped in complicity AND hypocrisy want to get behind the microphone and lead others?!?!? NO THANKS. In my opinion........splinter cults are WORSE, not better. Maybe it's just me, but I think Matthew 23 speaks volumes of seasoned Pharisees who make it their business to run roughshod over other peoples' lives. I think that the Lord does NOT look kindly upon them. How many times did they bind heavy burdens upon us, grievous to be shouldered.....while they themselves regurgitated "the law of believing" in their teachings to us. All those crappy teachings on *the wooden spoon* at the Indiana Campus. All the Group Confrontations and Yell-fests over one corps person who no longer wanted to jump thru some damn hoop. All that disgusting MOG-doctrine crap......where wierwille was "the man of God of the universe." And, demanding that way corps stay loyal to the board of trustees......even when it was blatantly obvious that the "twi-debt policy" or the"no-pregnancy policy" was God-awful tripe. Or, the "mark and avoid" policy. Hypocrites!! Woe unto you........hypocrites [shut up the kingdom of heaven against men] (verse 13) Woe unto you........hypocrites [ye devour widows' houses and for a pretense make long prayer] (verse 14) Woe unto you........hypocrites [make disciples twofold more the child of hell than yourselves] (verse 15) Woe unto you........hypocrites [omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith] (verse 23) Woe unto you........hypocrites [make clean the outside of the cup...within is full of extortion and excess] (verse 25) Woe unto you........hypocrites [whited sepulchers.....full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness] (verse 27) Woe unto you........hypocrites [you build the tombs of the prophets and garnish the sepulchers] (verse 29) The Lord Jesus taught it plainly for all to see..........scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites. Got it? Corps coordinators..........ppffffftttt. You guys should have YOUR BUTTS in the seats learning from others.
  29. 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.
  30. 3 points
  31. 3 points
    I understood your reply, Lifted Up. People have different styles of responding to things they quote. And sometimes the function doesn't work as well as one might expect. It would be fair to say that everyone who gets to, say, 25, has some baggage to "process." Heck, even by 5 years old, some have already waaaay more than their fair share to have to deal with. Unfortunately, TWI burdened anyone with more than a passing acquaintance, with a lot of unnecessary baggage - guilt, fear, intimidation, abandonment by God, sexual mores shot to pieces, family relationships shattered - they took our vulnerabilities and exploited them; they took our strengths and told us we were relying on our own strength not God's (not even on the abilities that God himself may have given us). No wonder many escapees were confused (at best) and terrified (at worst) when getting away from the place. Oh yes. TWI leaders were very good at "confronting" people (what an aggressive term!) and not at all good when it came to being confronted themselves. They thought God was in their every word and action, or so they'd have the minions believe. Most churches would prefer to "come alongside" someone with a difficulty - whether a difficulty caused by lack of knowledge, or a difficulty from their own wilfully inappropriate behaviour of some sort. We are ALL sinners by nature. And we ALL need grace to extinguish our sins. Real grace and loving kindness, I mean. Not pretend grace to match the often pretend anger and the definitely pretend faults.
  32. 3 points
    There's a new video on TWI's law of believing. The law of believing is an important teaching in TWI. VP Wierwille taught that people cause good or bad results in their lives (wealth or poverty, life or death) by their positive or negative believing. Few recognize that Wierwille taught an atheistic system (even though he believed in God) that he learned from Albert Cliffe, not from the New Testament. Those who accepted Wierwille's teaching struggled with the conclusion that VPW must have caused his own early death by cancer.
  33. 3 points
    9. We do not believe that “faith” is a force generated by the human mind that automatically brings either good or bad into one’s life. To me, that's a very bizarre statement, and reads like it's designed to appeal to the ex-Wayfer crowd. I talk to lots and lots of Christians of all stripe and no one is struggling with or promoting the idea that faith is a force generated by the human mind that yada yada.... Faith is trust, and confidence in, about, towards something. "Pistis/Pistueo" in the Bible, a firm conviction, belief, a trust - IN SOMETHING. The bang is in the buck. My exposure to the teachings of VPW in and around PFAL included what certainly sounded like him teaching "believing" as some kind of tangible "thing" that would produce a result when it was at a certain level. "Build up your believing", got used a lot in that context, and the very idea of Christians as "believers" was both their belief in doctrine as well as their "believing walks", what they did with those doctrines. If you "weren't believing" it had a sense of your tank being half full - like you were convinced but not REALLY convinced, even though you may have done the actual thing that needed to be done and didn't get the "results".....because you weren't "believing"....even though you were. It was kind of like a dog chasing it's tail though and every once in awhile it bites it and stops then starts again..........meanwhile all it really amounted to was trying to saturate your thinking and resulting actions with enough of what God instructs you to do so that your "faith" will then be towards Him. It used to seem sometimes like VPW actually repudiated God's grace when he's teach people to not rely on it - when people like me were thinking "fuk, I rely on it all the time, I NEED IT!!!!"..................and I guess what I think he really meant was don't be a lazy ass and avoid doing the work you're supposed to and expect someone else to do it for you. But they're not really the same things, that's not relying on "grace"> The trust and confidence of pistis/pistueo has significance in the Bible because it's GOD WERE' TRUSTING IN. Pneuma hagion is HIS GIFT, TO US. VPW was trying to build a generation of Uber Christians, The True Believers, who knew THE TRUTH and would WALK IT like it hasn't been walked since the first century. In fact, many of his early protege's tanked and were mostly just successful at being good employees and mimics of him in the family business. He died of cancer, alone but for a sidekick, pushing aways all others who might have actually given a crap about him as a person. I'd rather not exit this temporal crust that way. I can say without any doubt whatsoever and complete confidence that today, the greatest cargoes of life come in over seas of grace, in the vast ocean of God's eternal Will. Two words I caught in PFAL that I hold to today are "alignment and harmony".....rather than build an egocentric prideful bucket of pig shit over MY BELIEVING and all that I DO I have found it much better to try to live each day in a harmonious peaceful relationship with my heavenly Creator and Father and put my trust there. That's always worked, and even "back in the day" I was learning not to show up to my Mental Prayer Hut with a box of my believing and demanding God do this or that or whatever. In fact though, God did answer my prayers quite literally one day by reminding me that there's a lot of things I can "do for myself".....like just...go on. There you go. Go do it. Yep, you're fine. Go ahead. I'm with you. Yes. No - YOU CAN'T GO OVER IT AGAIN WITH ME OKAY YOU CAN BUT REALLY.....why not just go on. Do it. See? Right - okay, now do it again...yep...... Anyway, I learned some of that from Lynn too, as when I was around him and worked some with him he could be on the one hand a very nice, hard working industrious person but on the other, as kindly as I can say, something of a flat earth kind of mentality, intellectually. Not that I'm Einstein, but yeah. No.
  34. 3 points
    As many of you know, I stepped back from active management of GSC a few years back. I left the management in capable hands. I had a nervous meltdown. Disagreement turned into verbal battles. I always wanted this place to be a safe haven for those that left or was in the process of leaving or was thinking of leaving. This would be a place of solace. Lately, for some, attacking seems to be the color of the day. Why the need to attack? Why the need to call people names. My attitude has been if you are getting in vicious place, step away from the keyboard! The internet is rampant with vicious bravery behind a wall of anonymity I only have one word to those guilty of this, Stop! At least on this site. And as an aside, the hosting company has been double billing me, we are trying to work this out. If the site is not accessible in the next few days, don't worry.
  35. 3 points
    You WANT to be a believer? You HAVE to be a follower? ENTER into the world of The Way Ministry's Doublespeak. The language that deliberately obscures. Phrases that use sleight-of-hand to disguise. Descriptions that intend to distort. Definitions that reverse the meaning of words. The Way = The Way International (a follower by twi-servitude) The Way = the Lord Jesus Christ (a follower by making him lord of your life) HERE is how to be a follower of The Way International............. : "The Way is a fellowship of the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ for the manifestation of the more abundant life. A follower of The Way is filled with and manifests power from on high, holy spirit, and freely avails himself of fellowship meetings for spiritual nurture and growth. The Way fellowship is cemented together by the Spirit of God with each individual believer being transformed by the renewing of his mind according to the Word of God." NOW.......look at the Doublespeak of wierwille's use of phrases and words to define his "ministry": the more abundant life manifests power from on high spiritual nurture and growth renewing of the mind the Word of God Wierwille/twi has obscured and distorted each one of those terms in class presentation (pfal). Is "the more abundant life" physical or spiritual? Wierwille "looked around" and states (in pfal) that he SAW PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT CHRISTIAN living more of an abundant life that the church-going Christians. Is "manifesting power from on high" simply speaking in tongues in a believer's meeting......or is it a DAILY walk with your lord, mediator and savior Jesus Christ doing that which is pleasing to our Heavenly Father, loving and serving Him? Is "spiritual nurture and growth" defined by taking all of twi's classes and THEN, upgraded classes years later? Or, is it more deeply embedded in a deep, trusting spiritual relationship with our Father walking in His love and His light? Is "renewing of the mind" simply a matter of adhering to pfal material and twi's claptrap? Or, is it a moment-by-moment process (enlightenment?) of trusting Him and letting His will be done in our lives (as a vessel - pouring out in service to another)? Is "the Word of God" merely the teachings and plagiarized material from victor paul wierwille? Or, is it far-superior and excellent in power, deliverance and fulfillment as prophets of old spoke as they were moved via the holy spirit....whereby we have some of that mighty Word of God today in the written holy scripture? I believe that some of what I was taught in pfal/twi had a basis of truth in it...... I believe that much of what I was taught in pfal/twi was distorted, obscured and twisted..... I believe that most of what I was taught in pfal/twi wilts in significance to what is truly "power from on high"....and truly, The Word of God. .
  36. 3 points
    All too true. Re: going to the Lord in prayer. What we were encouraged to do was recite our lift list while speaking in tongues. In retrospect, it now seems more like we were trying to invoke some sort of magical spell.
  37. 3 points
    So true...........they are just not EQUIPPED with the right tools and ropes to get out of this cult rut and rot. THAT is why GSC is so damn important! More than three decades of splinter cults.......Lynn, Finn3gan, Seed, Carr, Burt0n, Hendricks, Rea-hard, Rood, Sann, Sides, Quillen, McMullan, Geer, etc, etc........and now, the latest two groups, Magnelli via Oikeos and these ex-corps coordinators spearheading R&R. Years and years of more involvement and fellowship....followship UNTIL the indoctrination (Momentus) or scandal became too blatantly obvious. And then, a mini-exodus from a mini-splinter cult. Some have died. Some have faded away. I find it incredulous that believers (cough, cough)....indoctrinated followers STILL are trapped in this mindset. Don't they read others books and material besides the wierwille books and class syllabi? Don't they have an independent thought that they can call their own? How rigid and boring it must be to go thru life having others dictate the boundaries of your existence (rut). Looking back on all this......as I've stated before, "I tend to see wierwille in terms of his narcissist pathologies to acquire power and dominance over others. It was only after he had "cornered the market" of stolen and plagiarized work from others that his "ministry" came to the fore and he made greater strides of controlling others. Dependence on twi was the alpha and omega.........not independence. Everything in the cult was a sequence..........of followship. Not once in all my years in twi did any leader encourage me to "go to the Lord in prayer." Every cog in the twi-machine functions on OBEDIENCE TO WIERWILLE-DOCTRINE..........not biblical authority."
  38. 3 points
    This was Jim Doop's last post. .......[bold-faced for emphasis]
  39. 3 points
    I do have something to say on this topic. In 1995, as part of an elaborate ruse to terminate communication between me and someone in another state who, unbeknownst to me at the time, was being abused by clergy, myself and my husband were asked to excuse ourselves from fellowship to put ourselves under the care of Bob Darnell, but then escalated to "not being welcome at the Way" by Ohio Limb Coordinator Dave Patterson under the most dubious of circumstances. We were totally blindsided, having not done anything unseemly at all. We would get information here and there as to what was going on, with each new doctrinal atrocity being taught absolutely flooring us. We even sat in our car for six nights on that road that Bob Wierwille lived on to listen to the ROA 95 teachings on AM radio, stunned. We lived in St. Mary's, and when someone from HQ would encounter us in public, they would run away on the other side of the street or another aisle in the store, with the exception of a very few people who obviously were not totally buying into Martindale's shiite. Finally in Spring of 1996 word got to us that Martindale was talking crap about someone at Corps Night and that John Shroyer had enough and got up and walked out. Well, John was ordained and recognized as Corps but he never was in residence, and I had always admired him because he was to me always the epitome of a real pastor. A down to earth guy who took care of people, didn't preen and fawn, didn't flaunt and vaunt himself. He had been made to give up his great house in St Mary's that he had for years and sent to Florida, where really good close friends of mine raved about how well he cared for people. I was so glad that someone finally had the balls to stand up to the maniacal narcissist. I phoned John and he told me that Mike Magel, of Premiere Labels and Word in Business reknown, and Frank Connerty, of Prison Outreach had also been on Martindale's smack talking list, and gave me their numbers. It was great because Frank was right there in St. Mary's. Well, as you know, those three guys started a splinter group, the topic of this thread. The group is the Christian Family Fellowship Ministry. But I was there from the very start, and I can tell you at the beginning it did not follow the track that John Lynn, and Vince Finnegan, and Dan Moran, and a lot of these other clowns took. For starters, it wasn't John's idea. He and had Maryann moved back to Ohio. At what point, I don't know- I don't know if they had already been called back when he walked out of the service, because I know that in August of 1996 Bob Moynihan sent out a monthly newsletter in Florida calling John a "Unfaithful Servant" because Gail Winegarner visited us in St. Mary's with his son Fritz and showed it to us. (Gail called Bless Patrol "The Gestapo.") John was working for a water softener company, selling water softener units. To my knowledge, he had always had a job for most of his life, even though he was ordained clergy. Getting back on topic, it was Mike Magel's idea to start a ministry. Premiere Label was the label company he had sold (if memory serves) that he talked about at Word in Business in 1993. When the non-compete was fulfilled, he started another label company, Star Label. He told John that if John wanted to start a ministry, Mike would back him. John said let's just do a fellowship. So, a handful of us started meeting in the lunchroom Star Label every Sunday. We wanted it, there was no hard sell or coaxing. People were hurting because they were getting kicked out and abused left and right. There was a book titled "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church" by Jeff Van Vonderen that John recommended. It really summed up what The Way used to recruit, retain, and abuse followers, and the template is applicable to many types of abusive relationships. Before you knew it, the lunch room was not big enough, a place had to be rented, and people from other states were constantly contacting John. Yes, they made the decision to incorporate, but they also made it flexible, so that if they needed to add or change, they would do it. I was an eyewitness for the first few years, and they definitely kept it real. Of course, my regular involvement predated before all the lurid details of VPW's sexual predation coming out; Kevin and Sarah Guigou first started coming around in late 1997. I was regularly active up until I divorced and left Ohio in February of 1999, when I went to New Jersey and then onto South Africa. After that, I would make it back whenever I was in the states for large scale events or visiting Ohio, getting down to the fellowship center that was built and dedicated in 1998, a modestly sized building. My last visit was in 2006, after a five year absence, and having not seen John for four years since he had visited New Jersey. He passed away a few weeks later. Judging from the website, there seems to be more of an element of rigidity to the group now than there was when he was alive; I remember on the day of the dedication in 1998, him talking about that what was important was how a person lived, and treated other people, and so what if someone believed in the trinity. He said it was okay to believe in the trinity. He used to also make a point of saying it didn't matter if people didn't tithe, that it wasn't a requirement. In 1998 he published a booklet titled "Compassion." something I used to gift people, something no one has ever complained about receiving, regardless of their religion. He also once suggested people read the book "In His Steps" Really, what John posited people do was so opposite of what had been indoctrinated by the Way, and a lot of the splinters. I can honestly say that with him, it was never about the money. PS/Addendum: Hey, Michael Fort, if you ever come here to lurk, I just want you to know that every time I've ever heard Bob Dylan sing "Like A Rolling Stone" for the past 24 years, I thought of you, because I knew your day was going to come. And Oh, By the way, fornicate you.
  40. 3 points
    I’m so !$#%ing proud of you Leah. You’ll find your freedom in unconditional self love. Keep going sister, you are not alone.
  41. 3 points
    Without going into too much detail, Satan is the Biblical enemy. And what does he represent? Evil? Lies? Sure. But what else? Questions. What was Eve's first mistake? Questions. Considering a view other than the one dictated to her. Curiosity is the enemy of religion. Resistance is the enemy of nationalism. Defiance is the enemy of the slaveholder. To be clear: I do not worship Satan. He is as imaginary as the God who put the tree of knowledge in the same garden as the man and woman whose consumption of its fruit would lead to eons of unnecessary suffering. Satan is religion's way of telling the skeptical theirs are not questions but unholy influences. I worship neither your imaginary friend nor your imaginary enemy.
  42. 3 points
    As cynical as I can be, I would refrain from making such a blanket statement. I think there are some who are sincerely trying to do their best and are not in it for the glory. That's not to say there isn't some ego involved -- a splinter group, by definition, is led by people who think they can do a better job than the group they left. But to declare them unworthy to be ministers... I don't know. It certainly applies to some, but I cannot see where it applies to all. Sincerity may not be a guarantee for truth, but it is a guarantee for sincerity.
  43. 3 points
    Hey Leah, I was friends with your sister growing up, and we may have met once or twice. As evidenced by my username, I grew up in TWI too and my husband’s parents are still Way Corps. We left TWI recently, and though your experience growing up at TWI’s HQ and enduring the devastating things that your family went through are much more intense than anything I was subjected to, I understand the position of being an adult with a family and working through all of the pain, hatred and identity issues that accompany leaving The Way. If you need to talk, I can add you on Facebook ❤️
  44. 3 points
    Hey, you cult-parents and rah-rah splinter group parents............listen to your grown children. Stop and think about those early years of parenting and why you wanted kids. Remember all the pain-staking hours you went thru to protect them? The hundreds/thousands of hours you poured over them with love? For most all, the "cult-standards" soon became your "family-standards," right? The wooden spoon....silence at open meetings.....confining, suffocating, overbearing. Meetings, meetings and more meetings.......where kids (under 12) were isolated from parents. Then, at age 12.....it was thrust upon them to partake of these classes and heed its direction. All of this was unnatural to a child's world......reaching out to explore the wonders of life. Here at GSC.......for several years now, the second generation of twi-cultees have been speaking out. The hurt, anguish, depression and damage has taken its toll on the identity formation and psyche of many......especially those trapped at HQ. Invariably, it was/is the most sycophant, zealot "leaders" who disregarded their children's needs.....and ran roughshod over their wellbeing. Blinded by cult-obedience, the corps leadership was constantly attending classes, meetings, set-up meetings, after-glow meetings, confrontation meetings, etc......all efforts of twi-servitude, not God. The crazies were off the rails......and the whole damn train went crashing into the ravine. Years of wierwille's teachings on "Us versus Them" [even church leadership were seed of the serpent].....stay with the twi-household or you're outside God's protection.......cop-outs, lose your rewards, ....then martindale's greasespot by midnight, homo-purge, other purges, cross bridge to promised land, the prevailing word.......everything on the conditional relationship of strict obedience to cult-doctrine!! Add, the backdrop hysteria of Geer's poop paper......firings, secrecy, exodus, insinuations, innuendo, infighting, splinter groups......no wonder the youth caught in this crossfire at hq went running for the hills (colleges and elsewhere) to escape the bullets. Splinter groups who strictly adhere to wierwille-doctrine and practice? REALLY?? My brother-in-law........NONE of their kids want anything to do with his splinter group. Yet, the parents trudge on like it's their duty to "stand for truth" and make others miserable..... Where is the LOVE? For God's sake, parents..............LISTEN to your grown children. Listen with your heart.
  45. 3 points
    A message that has been said more than once and will likely be necessary again sometime. For the record, I have a belief system, but I don't need to label it... other than Deist. I still tell people IRL that I'm Christian, but I'm not really dogmatic in that regard. I do, however, zealously cleave to knowledge and understanding I have gained, especially as a result of experience (i.e. school of VERY hard knocks in some instances) and an attitude and desire for lifelong learning. I mention this now because a new member mentioned sometimes believing she's atheist and at other times agnostic. As far as I'm concerned, that's perfectly fine. Also, some people may wonder about why us old-timers still frequent GSC. Well, unless we were born in a twi family, we were drawn to twi in large part because it gave us a sense of belonging... for whatever reason. Well, setting aside how much I think I know about anything, I enjoy drawing insights into group behaviors (aka psychoanalyzing the groups). And that has opened doors for me other than regarding twi. That's basically how and why I started getting published in local newspaper editorial pages more than 25 years ago. Not that my insights are always "the" right ones, but that they have at least some legitimacy. Anyway, I got sidetracked (tangents, eh?). My main point in the previous paragraph is that I feel a strong sense of belonging to and with people at GSC. To Leah, I would say now that I think there's probably a great deal that you have going on that you don't struggle with. But I'm glad you are able to recognize the opportunity and need for working on or dealing with those things about which you do struggle now. I can only imagine the intensity of the psychic damage from having grown up in the situation you did. Many of us know how intense your father is or at least was. In addition to what I said last night, I want to emphasize the deep admiration I have for YOU and the course you have been choosing and are now on. I hope you're able to make music out of the rocks in the creek over which the water of your life is now passing. And can dance (now or eventually) to that music.
  46. 3 points
    What does that mean. Dukie? LCM was insane, and caused so much pain and hurt? Because that's the reality. I suffered much because of this man and his perverted teachings. It has stolen many years of my life. It was painful. It isn't now. You will probably find most of the posters on this thread think similarly. We post here of our experiences, not because we hang onto the past in an unhealthy way, but because it seems that many still don't know or understand. It sounds rather like you are one of those people.
  47. 3 points
    Thanks Grace, I haven't been around here much for a long time, and had never seen that link from Penworks (Thx, Penworks, BTW), but on all the other pretty current. I was at the reading of POP at corps week in '86. Have read portions since. My gawd, that poor man, look at the burden on him and how he really serves and shields the MOGFOT and how he tries so hard, and no matter what he just keeps trying, and the hurt and pain of OUR beloved MOGFOT, oh, I wish I had been there.....sob sniff tears.....NOT. I also know two fellas, 8th and 10th, who flew to Gartmore with another Rev back then to get an OK to go around the overturned eighteen wheel "Yuk" twig, or get instructions on what to do. They wanted to see Geer. These three were doing the run around on their higher ups at HQ. Another mutiny inside a mutiny like the little Russian dolls. The one where DWBH was confronting all of 'em seems like. They were going to wrest back this "thing" away from them, or do whatever had to be done, and get it back on track. And, it would have been just as awful. Firstly, DWBH would have had to confront at least one of them, too. That was a sprout of the first offshoot...it died. Asked my old Bro' in person 3 years ago, "Why did you go?" "To find out how to save the minus-try." Said his plan had always been a "career" in the minus-try. He had climbed up to Limb Coor. by '85. "So, what did he tell you? Anything? Or, did he just sorta' look at you with that psychzoid I'm getting revelation don't mess with me kinda' look?" Hardly nothing, he says....a whole week! Hope they were Scotch drinkers! Hope it wasn't raining on your parade there in sunny Scotland! Honestly? It's really kinda' super hard to see miracles and have joy and love and those things without the Holy Spirit, who, best guess, had to grievingly depart from Twit, if it ever was really there much at all because of the corruption and sin. But, to me, most especially, the Holy Spirit had to leave because of the denial of Who Jesus really is...the Christ...the Logos in Person! Not a Book. Found in That Book...not the Book. Knows my name, every hair counted, loves me as the Good Shepherd that He is, Was, Always shall be. Mine. His. He's spoken of in the banned books section of the Twit archives: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. That's where I met Him before the way. He's still there. And, it seems, from what I've read, it didn't take long after the first coups of Heefner and Doop (not quite my time yet) for the fabric to begin to fray. Anyway, Grace, thank you. Boy, I sailed away on that one.
  48. 3 points
    It would not surprise me to find out that the Montana connection has something to do with Steve Sann. Wanna bet?? LOL!
  49. 3 points
    Jim, if you have the date of the story, the name of the paper, and the names of anyone ANYONE involved (like, say, the person who wrote the story), I can hunt it down. This is not.hard.at.all. The notion that journalists would not be interested in verifiable miracles taking place at hospitals is absurd on its face. And someone who was dead for TWO WEEKS only to hpp back up and ask for a filet-o-fish would have made international headlines. People here are being way too nice. This story is horse manure.
  50. 3 points
    I would like to point out, for new arrivals, that being a Christian is not a requirement of this site. People from a wide variety of belief systems and those with no belief system at all are equally welcome here. This public service announcement has been brought to you by the makers of.......

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