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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/21/2009 in all areas

  1. 7 points
    <takes a seat and pulls out a menu> Hello All- There's quite a bit to unpack from 30 years. Bare with my rambling thoughts as they all get down. A third-generation "legacy", I only knew TWI as truth absolute. A child of the 80's, I remember growing up and having The Way being the only way. I took each class in the entire class series the exact week I was eligible, and repeated every chance I could. I only knew LCM as the fount-head of all things godly, and worshipped with (at) him through the birth of the new class. I soldiered on through his fall and stood behind my identity as a chosen part of the faithful remnant throughout the early 2000's. I pursued a degree and lead fellowships, certain I held forth what I knew to be the epicenter of the spiritual world. Once I got close to graduation, the promise of getting a job became VERY real. In a market the began to shrivel, I went from interview to interview, each time putting in hours of deliberate, thoughtful prayer and reflection, certain that the God I knew dwelt in my fellowships and that I was told would never let any wrong befall would come through in the clutch. Each time, nothing. Each time, disappointment. Each time, words came from those more seasoned as "Renew Your Mind", "It's not the spiritually best for YOU!", "God's got something bigger for YOU!". This was the first time I needed to prove God had my back. Long story short, I cobbled together enough to get by, but nothing close to the Eph 3:20 I was told time and time again. I got married, to an amazing and supportive spouse, who left her church to join up. She realized if she wanted tot be with me, she had to drink the Koolaid, and drink she did. She practically did a keg stand with that Hawaiian punch. Together, we weathered many situations that were far from the rosy scenes painted on STS tapes (or CDs or VHSs). Real life was hard as hell, and the God of the lectern and the magazine was not as quick to come through. There was always an explanation, mind you, but should not have to be this hard. "Maybe we're not studying enough. Maybe and hour daily is just a start.". "Are we giving enough? We're at 20%, but could we do more to prove our commitment to God and not our paycheck". We ABSed our meager earnings, lived in apartments, drove our terrible, leaky, beaten cars, and gladly taught others on how much God loved us and would provide. Any positive event in life was championed as proof of TWI's system. It began to seem like a lens that made all the bad not their fault and any positive thing their cause. Perspective. Fast forward to a fourth generation being born. Numerous requests from insiders to go on Staff and change from within. By this time, my life had changed. The grind of finally getting (and keeping) a real job meant hard work. I began to feel like everything in the ministry was a motion. Same old collaterals. The articles in the magazine were SOOOO predictable, as were the overly scripted services. Title, personal anecdote, verses, three main points, conclusion, blanket "Let's continue to..." statement... repeat. I felt as if I wasn't learning anything. To challenge myself and scratch my own spiritual and intellectual itch, I started my own studies and digging. ANy time I would bring these up, I was chastised for going solo and delving into what was already researched. I should re-search what is already available. By this time, I could hear an introduction and immediately know which verses would come up. One STS, I wrote on my wife's notes five verses. Sure as dang, each one was ticked in the course of that scripted speech teaching. I stopped taking notes. I stopped putting time into my teachings at fellowships. I started coasting. I could see others going through the same motions. I used to talk about all of the interesting connections and parallels the moment a great teaching was done. Now I saw how quickly others began talking about their week, their boring lives, their.... anything but the bible. Truth was, it was the collaterals being taught again and again and again. LCM was disavowed, never to be mentioned. All that was safe was the collaterals. So that's were everything went, and still are. Last flash is to the moment I realized how crumby the long-term TWI plan is for those out in the field. Find a menial job, work hard and don't rock the boat. Try to witness but we only need seats for the class- if it's just a connection, move it along. SELL SELL!!!! Find an apartment, move every few years, drive a 5 year+ model car (and keep that cardboard so you don't mess up the driveway). Long-term planning? You don't need that. God's got you. I woke up one day to realize my parents have no retirement and no equity of ANY kind. I didn't want that. I began looking at houses and tried every way to get one without getting a loan. Couldn't do it, so I tried to ask permission. Another post needs to explain this hot mess, but needless to say it was not on the menu. I forged ahead to the disapproval of many. Kid number two arrives- I stop going to STS. Our last trip, I don't even open my bible. I hear and scrutinize the entire presentation better than I had every encapsulated with my notes. (Oh the notes, but I digress...). On our way home, my wife says "What an electrifying teaching!". I let the air clear for about 5 seconds and say "Was it?". Her face was as white as the audience at any given STS. We then discuss very openly our current role in the ministry and where we saw our spiritual lives. Needless to say, it was the beginning of the end. We limped along for a few more years, mainly because of the sweet people that genuinely did care about others and the large family/friend connections. This is certainly a fact that cannot be overlooked, but we were killed with kindness and not won by spiritual truth. We eventually decide to skip fellowship for any convenient reason, attend other church services on Sunday mornings, and try on many religions/denominations. It came to a road that lead to us moving and telling our new coordinators we were out. I felt it necessary to go out on my terms, not middle-fingers a-blazing, but with a truthful talk. We left about two years ago. There were some rough times, including much anger that has not fully gone away. I still struggle with what could have been or should have been, a fact that I can't completely let go of, but am getting closer. I burned my syllabi and collaterals, but still have their haunting memory (and .pdfs! that's a fun post as well!) in my mind. Religion is no longer something I value, and, current spiritual beliefs aside, I was able to emerge with clear and cogent truths I hold to, truthfulness and integrity being paramount. I have spiritually sherpa'd a few others out of TWI, and gotten immense satisfaction for helping them think and process, not just bad-mouthing their religion. It's rewarding to truly help people, not blanket their needs in retemories or promises of a brighter day that never comes. It's rewarding to see them break the chain of mediocrity and a quiet life of apartments and ABSing to pay for staff cars (another post). I loved helping them and reassuring them the devil will not take them should they decide to take off the name tag. My bourbon is getting low, as is my battery. Time to refill both. I have lots to say, and not sure how much/when to do it. I have many damning things, but not sure how it could help me or others. I don;t want to go back to the post-exit anger and rage that consumed my evenings (too late for that today! Oh well...), but I think a healthy processing and sharing for those who discover this site (like I did) will help clearer thoughts and heads prevail. I know TWI is not the epicenter of the spiritual world. I know TWI is pyramid of those working the ladder upward. I know TWI is a shell built on a few books and lock-step loyalty. I know that 30 years is far too much CollateralDamage.
  2. 7 points
    Don't know if you will remember me....I was on about 13 years ago, then not until now. I started out as chinson ... then married Stevelw! .... and kinda dropped off the map. Update: kids are all grown, still very happily married to Stevelw! , got a masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and am now writing my dissertation for a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Working as a mental health therapist and loving life! Wanted to get back to "the spot" cuz so much of my life was made better by the loving people on this site and the support, friendship, and occasional kick in the butt... So...Hello Again (music from the Jazz Singer with Neil Diamond swells)
  3. 7 points
    I thank all concerned parties for helping me cope with this kind of situation. I will not take it to heart any longer. I am rubber and they are glue... :) I know my heart and my capacity to love and I won't let my joy and peace be eclipsed by their immature and vindictive nature. I wish no evil will and in time they may sense my patience and compassion. Yes, I sometimes (maybe often) speak openly against the Bible but I do it with a desire to know the truth and not just believe it because someone else says so. I have no fear in putting God to the test... I am tired of the divisive nature of many of the scriptures (three religions killing each other for many centuries) and these people just prove my point about the dangers of how the orthodoxy has radicalized their minds. I am moving on and I will, take it as a compliment. THANKS! Yes, I'm making lemon-aid, extra sweet and the cherry pits I will plant in my backyard and try and grow a tree. Much Love DWW
  4. 6 points
    Like I said on the other thread that referred to this letter, the delusion continues. For one thing, the "accuracy of The Word," is a mirage. If you don't believe that, try looking at any number of different versions of the Bible and see the differences. It's pretty obvious to anyone who reads carefully. To me, this letter is evidence that the signers are so enmeshed in the ideology that VPW dreamed up, I doubt they will ever change. But I am proof people can extricate themselves and really change, so I can't predict what will happen with these folks, despite the decades they've invested. I can tell you that in about 1998 or 1999, I contacted Do+tie Mo*nihan, who was at the time the Limb leader of Florida with her husband, Bob. I had found their phone number in the telephone book (ah the pre-internet days, at least for me). I was divorced, attending college, and working full time. I had been out of TWI for more than 10 years. The reason I called was to ask how her experience in graduate school for mental health counseling had helped her help people in TWI. I was considering going into that field. I also wanted to find out how she could justify continuing with TWI knowing of its extreme problems. At the time LCM was still president. She met with me, but she had asked if she could bring another 3rd Corps grad, a TWI-ordained woman with her, someone I had known over the years, too. Understand, I had not seen either of these women since 1987 at HQ just before I escaped. I said sure, bring her. We met in a café in Winter Park, FL. During a friendly, but surreal conversation, at least for me, I asked Do+tie why she had stayed with TWI. She said she wanted stand with her ordained husband. She also said she was a simple believer. Let the research be done by others, she would believe it,. like Uncle Harry used to say. It was then I told her flat out that TWI had never been a research ministry. I had been on the research team, which she knew because she was at HQ when I resigned from the team. I told her that "The Word" was whatever Wierwille said The Word was. Period. She looked shocked. She turned to her friend and they exchanged a glace I knew too well. I'm sharing this because it is not news to at least one of the signers of this document (Do*tie) that The Word was of Wierwille's making, yet she and the others persist in their delusional beliefs about Wierwille and the Bible. Those two things combine to make a strong tonic. In my view, this letter is proof of mind control if there ever was proof. Any ideology that tells you that your feelings do not matter, only The Word matters (which VP said all the time) is abusive. No one deserves to be abused. No one. People who were abused and continue to rationalize it, continue to name it something else, continue to dismiss it, will only continue to perpetuate it. What I recommend is that we keep sharing our stories here. You'd be surprised who might be reading them. There is another way of life, a better way, than offered by The Way International. We need to share our stories with our children and grandchildren. I can't tell you how many second generation Wayfers (or who they are) have contacted me about my story in Undertow, thanking me for shedding light on TWI, telling me it has helped heal them. If TWI was so great, then why do they need healing? Why do we need healing? Isn't it a pity that it's all come to this? That VPW's legacy is pain, confusion, and destruction? My hope is that the generation my daughter is a part of will someday see these GSC posts and learn from them, look through this window into their parents' pasts and understand the seriousness of mind control and its collateral damage. Sadly, they are a part of it in some form or other, some more than others, but many are still in denial just like their parents. Spread the word about helpful resources. I'm hoping to be part of a healing solution, which I think involves serious education. In my view, one of the best books for understanding all this is Bounded Choice by Janja Lalich. To those interested, you can check out Lalich's book and others at your local public library. In 1987, libraries were the immediate source of my healing. Then came people I could trust who did not have any stake in my life other than to encourage things that served my best interest, not their ego. Cheers, Charlene Lamy (former married name: Bishop) Edge former marked and avoided 2nd Corps Grad
  5. 6 points
    Thanks for posting this, Rocky. It made me laugh in amazement ... then sigh with disbelief ... the delusions continue ... really, the delusions began with VPW.
  6. 6 points
    What a total load of bullocks. How much more inventive can TWI be, in belittling people? Most everyone you meet has a debt - a mortgage - that they are working to pay off. It's cheaper than renting, often. (Even though my mortgage is quite a lot of money, it would be nearly twice as much to rent a similar place - and I couldn't rent anywhere remotely habitable for what I pay in mortgage... a grotty bedsit, maybe?) (Actually, I couldn't even afford to rent a place!!) Debt has risks, true, but there are risks in not having debts. Much better to help people think about their money in a proper manner, learn to budget properly, and work out the best way to borrow if there is really no other way. My church hosts a Christians Against Poverty debt centre to help people in debt. Helps them manage finances, gives them a compassionate hand up when they're crushed by debt, sets up debt plans and even bankruptcy (so as to give a fresh start). Isn't that a better way to encourage people with debt - rather than beat them over the head with Bible verses? And the gentle compassionate approach - guess what! - leads some people to choose to become very thankful Christians.
  7. 6 points
    In regards to the recent trend of "is twi worth our efforts anymore"...my opinion is that if twi is faltering and shrinking for "various" reasons...it's not the time to let up on them...now is the time to put the boots to them and finish them off...after that, we can go after the splinter groups like nazi war criminals... This entire Wierwillian philosophy of "power of the mind" should probably be labeled as witchcraft...his disciples continue on like mold growing in a dark damp place. I am repulsed by what they do to people. They rape the mind and ravage the soul. ...Because of what they have done...I will continue to do the Mexican hat dance on their faces.... Any thoughts?
  8. 6 points
    I first posted at Trancechat and then Waydale...and now GreaseSpot...whether it's still relevant or not to post about twi depends on your personal perspective. As long as people make bad decisions there will be organizations like twi. It seems that some folks are masochistic enough to continue with their various splinter groups and re-invented cult nonsense...the nefarious nature of this beast is control and abuse...and it seems that there will always be people who enjoy this particular form of self mutilation. Me?...I still post about twi and their gawd awful "tadpole cults" that have spawned in various places...because they stole 13 years of my life and I'm not done speaking my mind about them...probably never will be either. They lie in God's name and steal the innocence of unsuspecting youths. They take your money and bleed your soul. They are parasites that suck people dry and discard them...they are lowlifes of the worst kind. old news?...no more than the third reich is old news. I see that the Germans are putting a near 90 year old man (who's dying) on trial for war crimes that happened nearly 70 years ago...As a wise man told me recently... the bottom line is about revenge...is this any different?
  9. 6 points
    Thinking about this stuff for a few days now...Sowers?.... Let me see if I got this straight...The grandson of the grand pubah (who just happens to have the same name) starts a "thing" that closely resembles the waycorps training, even borrowing their main objectives...word for word. From all accounts, their doctrine is aligned closely to what Vic taught... ...and now this guy shows up proclaiming himself a sowers grad...and wanting to be pals with everyone. As far as I'm concerned, he can kiss my foot. plain and simple...if you follow the doctrines of victor small wierwille, you are a loser...been there done that. What these people believe is flat out wrong and destructive to people. As far as it goes, they can spread their poison elsewhere. I have no toleration for these sons of britches...none at all.
  10. 5 points
    The announcement that you, Jean-Yves, will be twi's next president has reached GreaseSpot Café. Knowing you from those early days in Quebec City, and your WOW year in Toronto.......I am not surprised that you rose up thru the ranks of leadership. Clearly, in your former years, you had discipline, drive and heart-felt compassion for others. When you were assigned to one of Toronto's WOW teams, I personally made sure that Rene and Sonia [ if I remember her name correctly] were in your WOW-family.....Rene needed extra attention being wheel-chair bound, and Sonia was so innocent, lovely and beautiful that I knew you'd be the right person to help them. And, after your in-residence year......I was honored to perform your and Michele's wedding in 1988. As twi continued to endure Chris Geer's call to "return back to the wierwille-indoctrination doctrine" with his arrogance assertions......twi went thru turbulent times, for sure. Martindale, Don and Howard were thrown back on their heels and were reeling in a defensive posture for a number of years. During this time, you and Michele were staffers at headquarters and saw much of the destruction of people's lives. Yes, for 28 years......you have been intricately ensconced at the upper-tier levels of twi-hierarchy and groomed by "leadership" at hq and therefore, removed from understanding the emotional, physical and spiritual abuse that has been thrust upon the followers. I am saddened, Jean-Yves, to see that you never connected the dots of this abuse and evil. The scriptures give us wholesale examples of how the Pharisees burdened the people with guilt, shame, and fear to maintain their positions of power. You see, Jean-Yves.......there are reasons why some 480 clergy and 3,000 corps grads no longer follow the doctrine or tenets of wierwillism. The mog-doctrine was a fraud perpetrated by wierwille to enrich his power base and control over the youth. Even back then, the older folk were abandoning him left and right......as even wierwille had noted that time and time again. And, when wierwille schemed to offer the sunset corps an "opportunity" to build a cabin at their expense at Camp Gunnison [that twi would later inherit upon that person's death]......NOT ONE ELDERLY CORPS PERSON bought into it. Notice how the elder corps were skeptical and suspicious of wierwille's shenanigans.....even though they were "corps trained?" Clearly, the days of Rosalie's tenure as president has been little more than manage the perceptions......after all, twi really doesn't have a research department any more, do they? And, the teachings are bland regurgitations that were scoffed at even by wierwille's pfal class renderings of religious veneer. Why would a "spirit-filled believer with all power" NEED to read his/her sermon? And then, is there really any full-sharing fellowship going on......or are people just going thru the motions? I think, if you were really honest......you know the answer. So....its not really a "Research, Teaching and Fellowship Ministry" is it? Perhaps, you will slip into the big chair and be able to make BIG CHANGES during your tenure......to elevate Jesus Christ in his rightful and honored place as lord, savior, and mediator between God and man. Perhaps......you will turn the ship 180 degrees and get back to true Christian values where believers are guided by holy spirit within. Perhaps.....you will be able to clean the ranks of arrogant and abusive leaders that have sat in their seats of power at headquarters for 30+ years. But if you are going to make any difference whatsoever......you will have to keep Rosalie and Donna from whispering in your ear on a weekly basis. All the best to you, Jean-Yves. Just know that "the power of that office" is not of any significance in the sight of God......UNLESS you use it for good, to unburden and heal the brokenhearted and those [still] in captivity. [Luke 4:18] .
  11. 5 points
    One of them on my list is my bro-in-law....So I can tell you AT LEAST one or two on that list really haven't changed. I did mention on here a way back, a list/book was being compiled to address decades long areas of concern. I mean, seriously, anyone with any even half a sense of decency have already left and moved on and enjoying their new life of 'abundance & power' I agree whole heartedly with DWBH..the ones calling for 'change', where would they even BEGIN to address the wrongs and hurts THEY THEMSELVES inflicted on those that had sense to leave ??? maybe they could start with just once again, reading Gods' Word for enjoyment and understanding ?? maybe then, verses like this would leap off the pages at them... "therefore if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember your brother has something against you, leave your gift before the altar and go your way and first be reconciled to your brother and THEN come and offer your gift before the altar" - Jesus...Matthew 5:23,24
  12. 5 points
    Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to report that I'm still alive and well . . . even after leaving TWI. It's been a while, but I went and got myself into debt (a mortgage) and I've started going to college. To top it all off, I sporadically attend various churches in search of a church home, BUT (this is gonna freak everyone out for sure) I don't tithe. And, you know what? Once I got over the whole idea that I was "no longer under the protection of the household" I've been able to live my life and realize that it's infinitely better without TWI. In fact, as I write this, I know for certain that I've had more than "2 drinks".
  13. 5 points
    As someone who's still a Christian, I found nothing in your posts to draw my interest-which is why I found nothing worth commenting on. What I found was some link-dumping (just a link with no real commentary), and some cheerful blurbing (boy howdy, this is some great stuff!) Since this is a DISCUSSION forum, I expect to actually DISCUSS things. People who show up with just links usually are members of an ex-twi group who are posting links to their ex-twi group....and sometimes they pretend they're not a member of the group. (On an unrelated Christian board, I once ran into a drive-by post by Jeff of CES who said, in effect, "Gee, I found this website with some unusual stuff on it. What do you guys think?" with a link to his own content from the CES website. I responded immediately and called him on it. He never replied. Either it was a true drive-by and he never visited again, or he cut his losses when he realized he was caught. So, your posts. They were vague comments about someone's content on YouTube. They didn't even have the direct links to the content. So, I would have had to look them up to find out about what you WEREN'T saying about it. On message-boards, playing coy (being vague and indirect) usually backfires in either the short or long-term. I don't know WHY you posted that way. I just know that it's a formula for keeping me DISinterested.
  14. 5 points
    Like Sonny Boy Williamson said: Don't Start Me Talkin', I'll Tell Everything I Know. Warning! Link contains "The Devil's Music".
  15. 5 points
    If there were no GS then there would be one less resource for people to recover from the negative impact of the Way International. One of my relatives has a rare disease, OT - tremors. There are only a handful of people diagnosed with this disease across the world. She had great deliverance over the course of the last couple years when these folks got together and shared their stories, they even had a retreat. Hearing similar stories helped her to adjust to her disease, feel not alone, and since the two meetings she talks about them a great deal. Just seeing another human adjust to the condition and live a 'normal' life helped her so much. Like her, we who have experienced TWI also have a rare disease. I will be the first to admit I am damaged from it. The experiences there have affected aspects of my entire life into today. There aren't many people in public that can relate to me regarding this experience. it affects a lot in my life. I could ignore, that, suppress that, or admit it and heal and adjust. But admit it or not, my 'normal' life is a lot like my relative trying to adjust. To me the real heroes of The Way International experience are not the ones in lofty places, with condescending attitudes, being installed with pomp and ceremony into the highest offices of the organization that is growing less relevant every year. Not those who bury their heads in the sand, "thinking no evil" like the 3 monkey statue shows. Not those who use others to advance themselves. Not the enablers. No, the real heroes of The Way International are found on these pages. Those who tell the truth. Those who expose the lies, the control, the manipulation. Those who share real life drama about escape and adjustment. Those who say what everyone is thinking in the audience but are afraid to express to anyone - yes the STS sucks. Like every Way production. Boring, read teachings, whitewashed messages, all lies. The truth is what happens behind closed doors, where they are meeting out of fear. If you want to see a real hero from the Way experience, go look in the mirror. It's you. You survived. You told the truth. You, my friends on Greasespot, are the true heroes, not the moral midget being installed as President or any of his Pharisee buddies. Or any of the various hucksters selling versions of lies for their own profit. You are the true heroes. Even if you're damaged like me.
  16. 5 points
    Just wanted to revisit this thread.............and say again...... ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thank you, DWBH.......... For the past 18 years......i.e. Waydale/GSC........you have shown impeccable integrity towards spotlighting twit's doctrines of error, their culpability, and vehement resistance to come clean. And, to me, personally.........you've offered support, strength and kindness in every possible way. I have no words but to deeply thank you for it. At every step along the way, you've never divulged my identity or confidences....unless I provided it. IMO.....YOU are "the real deal." You stand head-and-shoulders above any of those listed in your post (below).....OR all the others in that 1985 clergy listing.......and I knew most everyone of them. Some of those men (and women)......like Dr. L0nnell J0hnson and others......exited rather quickly and moved into lives and careers that, if they'd spoken out, it would have been of great detriment to their careers,.....thus, for them, I understand. And, according to my count.....22 of these clergy have deceased. But OTHERS ........would coward away and/or used their positions to further exploit the deception for filth lucre sake and donned the mantle to lord over others. But you, DWBH.......are NOT like them. To me, you are likened unto those who heralded the days that would come.....yielding a rise unto David, a righteous Branch, and a King that would reign in the eternities. You are STILL standing tall.....still in there, giving "jeremiah-esque" warnings like thunderclap.......to the likes of Monsieur de Liar. I commend you far, far greater than my own brother-in-law who, to this day, STILL holds to wierwille-doctrine and has been instrumental for over 20 years in a top-tier role as wierwillite-clergy in a splinter group. May the Lord have mercy on those corps/clergy who have not turned from this wickedness and, thus, have blood on their hands. With most humbled thanks, skyrider
  17. 5 points
    I found - abject misery. I was committed to TWI, they weren't committed to me, and threw me out with max ignominy and slander. Lost everything - everything that I hadn't given up previously, to follow the dictates of TWI. What did I find? After 10 years, I found GreaseSpot Cafe. And then - I found out about the lies, deception, ill-treatment, and that the way I'd been treated was nothing to do with me or anything I'd done - it was merely the modus operandi of TWI. And then what did I find? I found healing, peace of mind. Joy in life. Hard times, but I could thrive in them. Great friends, some of whom had "been there" all the time for me. Restored relationships. People who were kind and gentle, and truly loving. Freedom to love and serve. No condemnation. Daily, I find something of the years that the locust had destroyed, being restored to me.
  18. 5 points
    Skyrider Thank you very much for sharing these hardhitting personal life stories. Im ready to give my background in the next couple of days in the new member area Oh and btw Happy new year 2017 to all GSC posters
  19. 5 points
    very true. little known video of Craig's Homiletics Teacher
  20. 5 points
    Defining Moments in Time: I grew up on a wheat farm six miles from a small, rural town. Our farm house was small and my three brothers and I slept in the basement with concrete floors.......and the winters were bitterly cold. But life was good. My kindergarten class was in a country schoolhouse four miles northeast and grades k-8 numbered around 32 students. Yes, a country school house......and I chuckle to myself, "How old ARE you?" And, no......I didn't walk to school, barefoot. (haha) I still have a framed picture of those 32 students, with my three older brothers, from that little country schoolhouse. The next year my parents made the decision that we would start going to the public school in town, because the school bus drove right by our house each morning and studies, along with team sports, would help expand our growth. Besides the wheat farming, we had corn and alfalfa to irrigate. I was nine years old when my dad thought I was ready to drive the tractor in the field, alone. The fact of the matter was largely due to size not age; when one foot could reach the clutch and the other foot the brake, I was "ready." But hey, I didn't mind.....it made me feel needed and raised my status with my older brothers. The irrigation of the corn and alfalfa took on whole different aspects to manage. For a number of years, we had some cattle and hundreds of sheep. I learned a lot about sheep that embedded deep impressions when, years later, I delved into the scriptures. Life on the farm was a load of challenges and plenty of hard work, but it opened up whole chapters of fond memories of wholesome living. Along with school activities and team sports (football, basketball, golf and track), we were involved in 4-H and I snagged several blue/purple ribbons for my black angus heifers. As farm kids go, we had our share of B-B guns and birdshot to ward off pesky sparrows and vermin attempting to nestle into many of the outbuildings. The first weekend of November each year marked the opening season for pheasant hunting......and, for years, we had relatives who came from out-of-state to join us. Later in life, my dad and one brother spent ten years of time, effort and investment raising 1,000 pheasant and 1,000 quail chicks, each year, [and 80 acres to habitat preservation] and turned them loose in the county....all on his own dime, anonymously. Growing up, we lived 22 miles from the largest lake in the state......so there was water skiing and fishing to be had. Of course, farm work was definitely six days a week, so this wasn't like weekend after weekend. There was work to be done......and my dad started his day, every day, at 4:30am. He did not look favorably on us boys if we were still in bed after 6am......"sleeping in" [anything after 6am] was cause for a stern look. Thinking back on those memories, I recall that phrase....."Tough times make for tough men." I suppose there is some truth to it. With all our diligence and hard work, more prosperity followed......and years later, when all three brothers were off to college and beyond, I traded in my 350 Honda motorcycle for a new 900 Kawasaki [4 carburetors, 112mph in 1/4 mile]. Fast times.....and lots of high school dating. My senior year, our football team was #1 in the state in class C division football. An undefeated season. I played starting halfback on offense and defense. Life was good and fun and memorable. In the spring, I decided to go out for track....even though I'd been on the traveling golf squad my junior year. My track coach was thrilled, my golf coach shrugged. Amongst several events.....100 low-hurdles, 220 yd dash, long jump.....I found a place in the mile relay [each of the 4 guys runs a lap, 440 yards]. We broke the school record three times.....and came in 2nd in the state finals [a school record that held for 28 years]. The following year, I headed off to college......to major in business administration. I really enjoyed the marketing classes my second year, but also had this growing interest for spiritual/biblical truths.......and then, months later, a guy with a nametag who told me he was a "wow-ambassador." Two months later I took pfal.......and repeated pfal class twice more. After the spring semester ended, I dropped out of college........to go WOW. In many way, my recruitment was similar to Charlene's account in Undertow.......change the names, locations, dates......but the recruitment tactics and deceptive marketing of pfal/twi was the same. I was led to believe in "biblical research" and that by God's grace, I could walk circumspectly with that Christ-within spirit. So much of twi's ploy has a basis of truth.......but the "bait and switch" is hidden from view. Systematic and subtle indoctrination. I, too, could write a book......but it would have much of the same content, same guilt/shame/fear cult tactics, warnings from family/friends, conscious and subconscious red-flag warnings, and escaping from deceptive cult. One of the things that I've always contemplated is.......leaving twi is like jumping off a moving train. You know, at some point, that you don't want to go to that destination [an idolatrous end]. You want off.....but you also have a wife and kids in tow. Yeah, I'm ready......are you? Uh oh, the wife is not sure......now what? You can't voice your plans to jump, because others on the train will tell their supervisors....and confrontation will mount from all sides. All those inter-personal relationships.....your "friends" and co-workers, your wife's, your children (activities/friends/school)........when do you jump? Where is there a "soft landing?" Who will be hurt? How will life change? Maybe, I'll write a book entitled, "Just Jump"
  21. 5 points
    I've consulted with the mods (no I haven't). Well, with all the mods who check in regularly (which means me and pretty much no one else). The ban stays. No politics.
  22. 5 points
    My point is that the ripples of The Way's extremism are far reaching--through generations, not just those that got involved back in the 60's, 70's and 80's. How terrible to feel as though the community that shaped you would want you to be dead.
  23. 5 points
    I was talking to Rumrunner one night and mentioned to him that we could easily start our own splinter group and start raking in the bucks...we both laughed and we both knew that it was true...any former member,( especially with corps experience) could put together a package and market it...start a website, put together some tapes and get your tax exempt, corporate splinter group on the road and moving... Call it..."The love of Christ truth ministries international"...sounds good...hmmmm, maybe a theological degree from some mail order outfit would help... ...of course we were joking over a few beers... ...makes me wonder about these guys who actually did it...and how they sleep at night.
  24. 5 points
    and whoever anonymous member marked down the last post.. lets look at a few facts and reality here.. the numbnuts down south failed to "get a life".. perhaps one or more did..but what happened? Now their little camping "adventure" is cloaked in darkness.. why? It wouldn't survive the light of day.. feel free to disagree all you want..
  25. 5 points
    Or perhaps old puke from last night's bad drunk. It's still fun to make fun of memories of them worshiping over the porcelain god and speaking in liquid screams. Shot 'o Drambuie anyone?