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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
    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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. 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...
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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."
  20. 3 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 …
  21. 3 points
    Hello all, This is my first comment after finding these forums a few weeks ago. I was born in 1982 into a family that was part of TWI; my parents were part of a twig group in the Houston area. From what I understand, my family and a big chunk of people in the Houston area broke off and started a splinter group sometime in the mid to late eighties. My mom and stepdad kept most of that info from us, but I remember them warning my sister and I not to answer any questions regarding PFAL materiel if someone came knocking at the door. The day I turned 18 I left and never went back to a fellowship. This caused a great stress between my mother, stepfather, and I and I went nearly a decade without talking to them. Between then and now I have put in work to try to build a relationship with them, but it is a very small slice of my life that I can share with them or that they can share with me without treading into religious waters. Despite that, I felt like I have been on the right track with them showing up for weekly dinners and starting to get to know them a little bit again. That is, until my sister died last month. It was a horrible accident and she was far too young in her mid 30's. I took on the bulk of the funeral planning, as hospitality and events is my profession. It was really difficult to plan because it forced me to negotiate with them about how much their religion would be involved in the service. We decided on a non-secular event hall, which was easy because they would have had an issue going anywhere with any other kind of religion involved. The tough part is that they wanted their reverend to speak for an hour of the 2 hour service. I fought tooth and nail to get it down to 15 minutes, which they agreed to. He spoke for 40 minutes. It was so difficult sitting through his angry sermon, where he was talking about drinking blood, speaking in tounges, and then pitching people taking PFAL classes. WTF. I left so angry. For the first time I started examining how TWI and their offshoot really effected me and the people I love in my life. I grew up feeling extremely emotionally and physically isolated from the outside world, and I am just now (in my late thirties) figuring out how to come to terms with that. I am married and have a good job, but that has taken serious work. I have a hard time really opening up and connecting with people although I yearn for it and work for it daily. My dad was excommunicated after he and my mother divorced (she cheated on him with their TWI marriage counselor). This probably had to do with my dad being gay :P. He hid his sexuality from my sister and I because he knew it meant we wouldn't get to see him. He never missed a child support check even though he was broke and despite constant pressure from my mom/stepdad and TWI pressuring him to cut ties. Once he finally came out, my mom and stepdad really freaked out because they are convinced he has devil spirits. For just under two decades they have had a cool relationship with each other, only talking when it had something to do with my sister or I. During the funeral they were cordial during the planning process, but cool during the funeral. Anyone former TWI or current offshoot would ignore my dad and his partner of 25 years. People who he has known for decades just pretended he wasn't there. After I spoke my heart at the funeral speaking about my sister and her life, I started getting the same treatment. It turns out I offended people by talking about her dad and his partner in the eulogy. That made me feel angry and sad. It also made me feel proud for speaking my mind to a group that didn't want to hear from me. Anyway, I am sorry for the word soup and I hope that I haven't gone way off topic here. I am just looking for information now. I am researching the people who I know are in their group now. I want to figure out what offshoot they are a part of and where all this PFAL money is going, considering it isn't supported by TWI anymore. My parents hold classes and travel regularly to hold and attend retreats. I am dying to know how big the splinter is that they are a part of. I want to learn more and face this. Does anyone know of any major offshoots that have a strong presence in the Houston area? Am I allowed to list names in this group to see if any of you know any of these people? Thank you all. It has been fascinating learning about your experiences.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 3 points
    Hello. Have a seat. Feel free to look around. If you're new, you'll be shocked at some of the opinions, but there's few opinions universally held here. We disagree with each other about a lot of things, and find the discussions to be healthy. If all you're used to is twi or twi-lite, that may be a whole new experience, or even a shocking experience. Take it at your own pace. BTW, most of us may hold strong opinions- but that doesn't mean our lives revolve around them, or that we're very emotional about them. There are differences.
  26. 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.
  27. 3 points
    Exhibit C: Victor Barnard Exhibit D: Chris Geer
  28. 3 points
    Questions That Should Be Answered By R&R Leaders: Now that you guys are no longer with twi........are you, as described by wierwille, "cop-outs?" Do you think that you are possessed with *deceiving spirits* because you are not meek to twi's board of directors? If you are characteristically mislabeled (misjudged) and slandered......what about all other corps/clergy before you? Was wierwille using bully-tactics against others who "abandoned" his authoritarian rule? Since you've walked away from those who "taught you the Word"......have you lost all those rewards at the bema? Now that you are labeled "mark and avoid"......has your understanding of that term changed? Wierwille died of cancer.......do you still teach, as wierwille did, that cancer is a devil spirit? What about the "law of believing".......wasn't it misconstrued by cherry-picking scriptures? Let's address plagiarism. Wierwille stole B.G. Leonard's class and taught it as his own, didn't he? Books, articles, and sermons were "lifted" along the way....with hardly a mention to Stiles, Bullinger, or others? And, the "Red Thread" teaching was Rev. Oral Roberts "The Fourth Man" teaching......wierwille simply tweaked it, right? How about we talk about the *holy spirit field*..........if this was such a cornerstone of wierwille's ministry (cough, cough) why has it been neglected for the past 30 years? Who ever notes, in present-day reality......the demonstration of the spirit of word of knowledge, word of wisdom or discerning of spirits? Heck, I sat in the BRC in 1981 when Dr. Wierwille vehemently stated that an 8th corps guy had a daimon spirit......and after stern confrontation and fuming, wierwille walked away from this guy. No spirit was cast out and the corps guy went back to his unit, graduated, and went on LEAD staff. Huh? What are you guys doing to correct the DOCTRINAL errors that wierwille taught? What are you guys doing to "heal the bruised and broken-hearted" of those who wierwille and martindale sexually abused? Why are all of you guys "teachers?"...... Doesn't anyone have the gift of Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist or a Pastor? Sheesh.....it reminds me of the saying, "Those that can't do....teach." I've got lots more questions..............but this is a good start. And, another thing........you guys REALLY need to pull your head out of this echo chamber of self-congratulations and cognitive dissonance. Go to church for a couple of months and learn from them. You guys sound boring as hell.
  29. 3 points
    Step 2: Employ slippery slope fallacy Step 3: Do the non-sequitur/straw man two-step. If inerrancy is the lynchpin of your faith, you will be joining me in the ranks of unbelievers very soon. A reasonable person can only deny the obvious for so long. Regardless, there are a great, great many Christians who recognize that Biblical inerrancy is incompatible with the truth. The book has a LOT of errors and contradictions. It does not follow that recognizing the existence of actual errors and blatant contradictions will turn you into an atheist. But the cognitive dissonance that comes with dodging, denying, and never admitting an error is an error eventually gets to you. How much easier is it to say that different people telling a story passed down for decades transposed some of the details than to try to make those errors fit into one cohesive narrative that not a single writer managed to tell? Inerrancy is the atheist's best friend, I assure you. It should be noted that "the scripture cannot be broken" in John 10:35 does not refer to the New Testament or the gospels, as (assuming Jesus actually said it) Jesus said it decades before any of the N.T. was written. So we KNOW Jesus wasn't talking about inerrancy in the gospels.
  30. 3 points
    And the Pulitzer Prize Gold Medal for Public Service Reporting goes to the staff of the South Florida Sun Sentinel!!! That's us. Which includes me. But US!!!!
  31. 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 ❤️
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 3 points
    You can do it. We "hold the space" for you, as they say. When I say that, I imagine our arms around you, shielding you, providing good energy for you to stand on your own. As DWBH said, YOU have made this progress. YOU are a beautiful human being.
  35. 3 points
    Hi, this is Penworks. My heart goes out to you, Becoming Me. You have great courage. Take good care of yourself.
  36. 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.
  37. 3 points
    So do you get your salvation back after 20 years if you are good? hahaha :)
  38. 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.
  39. 3 points
    Welcome to this site, sastain, where you'll read many posts that reveal other sides to The Way story than what you'll find on its website or from Wierwille's loyalists. I was in the 2nd Way Corps (with Gerry Wre*n) and a member of VPW's research team. So I invite you to check out my own website at https://charleneedge.com for blogs on cults and fundamentalism, and The Way. Cheers to expanding our understanding of our Way experiences! Charlene Edge
  40. 3 points
    1. "Sadly, I cannot get this man to accept the notion that the Bible really is the word of God." Ok, let's start there. The Bible never calls itself the Word of God. That's part of the problem right there. The Bible speaks of the Word of God quite often, but it never has the self-awareness to declare itself to be that Word. Maybe, just maybe, you can be wrong about the Bible being the Word of God and still be a good Christian. 2. "I think he would like it to be..." Well, no one asked you what you think, did they? Maybe he has no preference one way or another and is just waiting for you to make a plausible case for your thesis. 3. "... but is overly obstinate and has an awful attitude towards God and his plan for man's redemption." A lot to unpack there. Has it occurred to you that maybe YOU're the one being "obstinate" with an "attitude" that won't budge no matter how many facts he presents to counter your preconceived notion that the Bible is the Word of God? Like, maybe YOU're the stubborn one, not him? Because he shows you the Bible, and you start making excuses. Oh, that's the Old Testament. God's different now. He's really kind and gentle. He did what he did before because he HAD to to fulfill the plan of redemption. Problem: The plan of redemption is only the plan of redemption because God wanted it that way. It didn't have to be. He could just accept an apology without shrugging his shoulders and saying oh well because someone found a particular fruit of a particular tree to yummy to pass up (He also could have put that tree ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET but instead put it right in front of two people who did not know good and evil; then said don't eat from that tree. Not exactly a strong case for omniscience. It's like I put a cookie on the table in front of my 7-year-old and said "Don't eat that," then walked out of the room. He's gonna eat the cookie. I'm not all knowing, and I know that). So your friend, I submit, is not stubborn. Rather, he's amused at the contortions you'll twist yourself into to deny what's obviously written. There IS not idiom of permission in the Bible. Bullinger, for what he's worth, appears to be the only one who makes an issue of it. It's hardly a scholarly consensus. The existence of other figures of speech does not verify the "idiom of permission" as something the Bible employs on a regular basis. It is, however, an extraordinarily convenient tool for believers to employ whenever their holy book shows God doing what no good God would ever do, even though the book is unambiguous about it being God who did it. But that's just the old testament. Unless, of course, you're holding back tithes from the apostles in Acts, which is New Testament. (Oh, but it doesn't say God did that. It was Satan -- even though the Bible doesn't say THAT either). The Bible is filled with examples of God saying he'll do something and then saying He did it. It doesn't say he allowed it to happen or he allowed Satan to do it. It says HE did it. Now, it COULD have said he allowed Satan to do it, very easily. Look at Job. Satan did those things. It says so. Yeah, he got God's permission, but it says that, clearly. There's no ambiguity, and there's no "this is how it works normally." A figure of speech is supposed to be a statement that is true in essence though not literally true. "It's raining cats and dogs" is a figure of speech. "This car can stop on a dime" is a figure of speech. A figure of speech is not supposed to be a way for you to get the Bible to say the opposite of what it clearly says just because what it clearly says is inconvenient for your theology. God ordered the execution of a man for picking up sticks on the sabbath. He didn't give man permission to kill the offending sabbath breaker. He gave man an order -- cast those stones! God didn't allow divorce. He prescribed it. He didn't allow Satan to kill all the firstborn of Egypt. He had it done. And he DID have a choice. When my kid offends me, I have a choice how to discipline him. You have no idea how many times my discipline has stopped short of killing him because he did his chores between sunset on Friday night and Saturday night! So here's a thought. Bear with me: Maybe your friend isn't the stubborn one in this equation. Maybe he's not the one being inflexible. Maybe, just maybe, he's given this far more thought than you have.
  41. 3 points
    Yes, Engine, I remember who K.F. was. His insisting people stand up when he entered the room definitely was something VPW taught us early Way Corps people. It was worse with men and women he ordained who assumed they represented God wherever they went. So much ego, so much b.s.
  42. 3 points
    mmph mmmpphh mmmmmphhh mmmmphhh!!!!!!!! MMMPH!!!! You are indeed entitled to your opinion and belief. You are not entitled to make assertions of fact without anyone challenging the assertion. Prove you produced a language. "It sounded like one to me" is not proof. You don't have to "ponder" what to speak to fake a language. In fact, you have to NOT, surprisingly enough. We discussed this ad nauseum in another thread. Feel free to explore it. It got a little out of hand at times (mea culpa) but the gist of the thread holds up. SIT is obscenely easy to fake.
  43. 3 points
    I got involved in Sept. 2009. In the following 2 1/2 years i went to all the classes, including advanced class and met and married my husband (he was in for 40 years), I saw so much unbiblical and unloving (downright nasty and hateful) behavior that I would have left by a year later. Eventually my husband saw these behaviors directed at me and we finally left together in 2017. Im an old hippie rebel, non-conformist and never really fit the mold.
  44. 3 points
    It would not surprise me to find out that the Montana connection has something to do with Steve Sann. Wanna bet?? LOL!
  45. 3 points
    When I think about my time in the Way Corps, I don't think I ever really fully identified with being a minister. I mean I was invested, and spent my early adulthood trying to be one, but I was always suppressing a part of myself to do so. Since I left TWI, I have spent years trying to rediscover who I truly am, and what my own ambitions are. I have observed that a lot of people never find their way back to themselves. They want to recapture that thing they had where they were important, and listened to, and looked up to. They think that's who they are and nothing else feels right. And you can't easily integrate into any other religious setting. So you roll your own. I feel sympathy for them. I notice as a cult survivor, I have a certain proneness to cult-like groups of all stripes. Art cults, fitness cults, education cults. I see them everywhere. I'm trying to understand and heal the part of me that needs them. Not posting as a counter point, just some additional thoughts. PEACE.
  46. 3 points
    Thanks DWBH.......appreciate it. This cult-splinter insanity strikes me again and again........when corps exit the twi-cult and start their own splinter groups. They desire to have the SAME RESULTS as the cult they left behind (cough, cough).......perks, privileges, adulation, no accountability, meals and travel reimbursed, leisure and flexibility, and control over others! Gawd........it is so damn obvious, NOW. With swelling words of vanity, they make merchandise of others. False teachers hiding their seductive ways (II Peter 2). Always a "teaching" ministry........ever-teaching and never coming to a knowledge of the Word Incarnate, Jesus Christ.
  47. 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.......
  48. 2 points
    Fun to speculate on the conversation in the prison cell between VB and Carmen T0rnamb3. D'ya think they'd spend time wondering why they were there, what they had done wrong? Perhaps VB would make Carmen a procurer again for him, this time of fresh young inmates so that they could be his bitches.
  49. 2 points
    First, to DWBH, please, let's keep it about content and not about people. And in that vein...I for one don't care one whit about what TLC might see or think on the matter. I only care about the actual quality of the argument and contribution to the discussion. [The bulk of this post was deleted as soon as I realized it was off topic. The following replaces what I originally wrote. If you saw what I originally wrote: I stand by it. But it's off topic.] Jesus specifically commissioned the 12 to preach the gospel to the gentiles. They didn't do it. THEN Jesus goes to Paul. Seems to me that if the apostles had done what Jesus told them to do, he would not have needed to commission Paul to do something as specific as the very thing he told the 12 to do. That is an explanation that is completely consistent with what the Bible teaches on every level. It does not insert an extraneous subtext of "first Israel, then etc. It's really not even a little complicated. This is what the Bible shows and tells. Why am I the only one quoting Jesus in this conversation? P.S. To TLC: I have twisted NOTHING and I am sick of you LYING about that. You are NOT entitled to LIE about other posters, so STOP LYING. You keep saying that I'm twisting your words when I am merely holding a mirror up to the weaknesses of your arguments. That you should constantly resort to false accusations against me is becoming tiresome. it only shows how little you have to contribute to the dialogue here.
  50. 2 points
    I assure you, that is NOT rambling. I'm in my mid-60s now, was 19 when I first met a wayfer and 31 when I exited the cult. I married at age 34. My (fairly short) marriage was tumultuous largely because I didn't grow up learning about personal boundaries and twi exacerbated the problem. I too have dealt with PTSD (not diagnosed) and depression and anxiety (diagnosed). I've also experienced grace in my life since. Lots of it. My two grandchildren are my greatest joy. I'm retired now and spend a lot of time writing and reading. Much love to you, BecomingMe!

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