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

  1. 7 points
    Ok, here goes. I grew up mostly at HQ - not in the frying pan; in the fire. The standards for children there were ridiculous. Basically, be perfect. Listen, remember, obey. Be a good example. Don’t be a stumbling block. Dress appropriately. Speak respectfully. Don’t be angry. Don’t be sad, be thankful. I watched some kids, especially as teenagers, become angry and rebellious. Others, like me, became as compliant and people-pleasing as a person could possibly be. I was complimented often on my “meekness.” In childhood, this meant a rather controlled atmosphere. As a teenager, it was absolutely suffocating. I’m now well into middle age, and I find that I have very little sense of self. The mental work I’m doing now is mostly about separating my “cult self” from my “authentic self” (as Steven Hassan labels it in Combatting Cult Mind Control) - I also think of it as new man vs. old man with the new man being false behaviors smothering my real personality. I’ve always thought I had pretty good self esteem. I realize now I feel fine about my cult self - being disciplined, keeping things clean, being a high achiever, serving others to the detriment of self. I have a deep self-loathing for that hidden authentic self that isn’t “perfect” - is spontaneous, joyful, sexual, angry, free, artistic, childlike, grieving. It’s taken months of counseling, thinking, reading, and agonizing just to realize this. Still working on how to let it out. Another part of growing up that still affects me is hyper-vigilance about “danger.” The idea that the devil was out to get us; and if you are “out of alignment and harmony” you’ll be outside of God’ protection; and we were taught that people we knew had DIED because they didn’t follow their schedules or didn’t follow their leadership’s advice; this adds up to a brain trained to be alert to the smallest inconsistencies in the environment (PTSD). Then put in the strong imagery of Athletes of the Spirit. My friends and I were obsessed with it. We learned the seed of the serpent dance and would argue over who got to be her and which devil spirits we got to be. That imagery was so strong for our young minds. Taking the advanced class made it even more vivid and more urgent. Then, if you were at HQ in the 90s, you remember lunch time. LCM would talk for hours every week sometimes, lecturing about the things God was “showing him” or about how we all needed to be so vigilant or about people - telling their personal lives and struggles to everyone and talking about how the “adversary” had gotten into their lives and how devil spirits were infiltrating their minds. Is it any wonder I was terrified to drink? To try drugs? That has seemed like a good thing to me for a long time, but I now realize I was so constrained by fear that the mere idea of losing control sends me into a near panic. It wasn’t good. And along with all that came the underlying belief that if I wasn’t all those “good” things - a strong disciple, believing positively, behaving according to the Word, doing what my spiritual overseers told me to do, blah blah blah - I wouldn’t be loved. Discipline of children was so strongly emphasized (and LCM criticized parents so heavily) that as a child, I subconsciously picked up that I wasn’t good enough and wasn’t lovable if I wasn’t right in line. Now, as a parent, I really do think at least my mother loved me unconditionally, and she told me that when I left the way. I have a lot of family left in the way. I stay anonymous because of it. Still afraid of losing their love over my “disobedience.” I guess posting here is one way for me to push back and not allow myself to be silenced, even if I’m not fully out there. Baby steps. In a lot of ways I was lucky. I went to college instead of going Wow or Way Disciple right away. I of course wanted to go in the corps - because how else were you really somebody? - but was lucky enough to get through college and realize I didn’t want to do that. I spent my 20s wading through all the doctrines I tried so hard to keep believing in, but I just couldn’t get them to make sense with real life. I rejected them. And didn’t realize the mess all this has made of my psyche. I was a true believer. I did the things you were supposed to do. I toed the line. I put my heart and soul into it. And all I got was this broken spirit.
  2. 6 points
    So, I’ve lurked here for a long time, and now with my heart pounding, have created an account and am saying hello. I’ve been out of TWI for over 10 years; it took me almost 10 before that to work my way out. I grew up in twi, birth to twenties. Now I’m working my way through diagnoses of PTSD, anxiety, and depression, all after I thought I’d dealt with the big stuff. I hope you all are faring better, but I’m guessing maybe not if you’re here. A book that is really helping me understand all this is “Combatting Cult Mind Control” by Steven Hassan. If you’re looking for a sometimes distressing but very revealing read, it’s excellent and totally relevant. Happy to be here and hope to “meet” some of you soon. :-)
  3. 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
  4. 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...
  5. 6 points
    I was involved with the Way International Ministry for over 20 years. PFAL class grad 1974, Advanced Class 1979, WOW Vet 1994-1995. I raised my family in the word, according to leadership. Three of my four children are Advanced Class grads. My oldest daughter went WOW after High School graduation, 1991-1992. When she came back home to Ohio, she married a wonderful man who was also raised in the word and involved with The Way International. When the "dang hit the Fan" - Martindale and the leadership doing their "mark and avoid" trip - my family was kicked out for standing up to leadership (NO disagreements allowed or condoned). However, my firstborn and her husband stayed in. So we joined the ranks, like so many other God-Loving families, of being split apart. We had many years of little contact. She moved around the country, and they became ever more active in the new regime headed by Rivenbark and crew. I started constant prayer when she informed me that her husband, herself, and my two grandchildren were committed to becoming Way Corps - #37. I have occasionally read the experiences of former Way Corps leadership who have left, on these forums. To mention I was "troubled" by the course their lives were headed is an understatement. They spent one year in-residence and became graduated Way corps leadership in the Post-Martindale Way international. Once again they moved across the country to serve in various leadership capacities. With the horror stories of experiences endured while living at Headquarters, I was disturbed (heart and soul) when my beautiful daughter told me that her family was moving back to Ohio and living as staff Way Corps at Headquarters. NO-NO-NO-PLEASE GOD NO!!! They were (WERE) on staff for a few years...and this is why I wanted to share the GOOD NEWS OF GOD'S DELIVERANCE--- My daughter and son-in-law have moved away from New Knoxville and they resigned their Way Corps status!!!!! HALLELUJAH!!! i have been praying for them to wake up and it took being on the inside at the Way International Headquarters to finally open their eyes to the corrupt rot that infests that Ministry. They bought a house and have secular jobs now. I just had a long conversation with my daughter and am thankful to know it was a fully-aware and committed joint decision to cut ties to the Way International and "lay low" in order to adjust to the real world. She didn't go into details, but my heart leaped within me for joy when she told me, "Mom, I quit drinking their kool-aid!" Our God Almighty is SO AWESOME!!! And His deliverance is available - in His timing. She's finally free!! Her husband and children are free!! I am so thankful that I learned the truth of God's Word via the classes and teaching of the Way, but after I left I experienced how large our heavenly Father is - He is not constricted in a box or by the dogma of The Way International. Now her family has that freedom to live a truly abundant life together. My prayers have been answered. God bless for allowing me to share the fullness of my heart right now. Above all, I know you all know what this feels like.
  6. 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
  7. 6 points
    Yes, I remember it well. It was at the end of my first year in the Way Corps. I'm in that film wearing a sweat suit, running down Wierwille Road with other members of the Corps. My to-be father-in-law at that time is the preacher on stage near the end who says, "May your tribe increase." He had no idea what he was really endorsing ... what a pity so many of us spent our youth as pawns spreading VPW's propaganda.
  8. 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.
  9. 5 points
    Welcome, Leah. About time!! You will get a lot of support here.
  10. 5 points
    Thanks Everyone. I appreciate the warm welcomes. I honestly have no idea how many people are left there. They keep that stuff pretty close to the vest. I can say though, that when I went WayD in '99 there were probably 50 to 60 people going out on the field from Gunnison, the West of the Mississippi group. The last WayMag I saw had pics of the folks going out and the groups were significantly smaller, as in the 5 to 10 range. Also, a development that would affect the numbers involved is the split that was the final straw for us. Yes, there has been another split up. A number of WayCorps had apparently started a group to discuss some grievances that they wanted to address to address to Rivenbark about how she was running things and how people were not seeing signs, miracles, and wonders. And the teaching from HQ had become uber stale. Ok, so I'm trying to remember and I may have some of details wrong, but this is what happened to the best of my recollection. This group began calling themselves Revival and Restoration, because their original intent was to reform TWI not leave it. I believe they first sent a letter outlining their "challenges" and solutions, and their intent to be respectful and work together with the BOD to figure it all out. I think they did call for the resignation of Rivenbark though. Anyways, Rico Magnelli, I think, had a meeting with her after the letter was sent where she summarily dismissed everything and, If my recollection is correct basically fired him. The letter was signed by some names you might know like Fort, Roberts, Moynihan, Horney, and Carter, to name a few. Anyways, this group had a list of grievances, including financial transparency, BOD accountability, and punishment of way corp for questioning Rivenbark etc. There were quite a few accusations. Anyways, our branch coordinators, whom we loved very much, were dropped in a backhanded way of just not being given an assignment. Also, the folks who had been our area coordinators for only a year, The Stiles were dropped for questioning Rivenbark. So this group has broken off from TWI and has reformed. Last I knew they were still calling themselves Revival and Restoration. My husband and I had been eyeing the door for some time, so we took it as our opportunity to leave. I still love many people involved in both groups, but I am not interested in being a part of any of them. I've had my fill of authoritarianism. I have the letters and other emails describing what went down. Maybe I'll go back through them and refresh myself, idk. I know some of you said you left around the time I joined, which was only a couple of years after "the fog" in 1990. When I first joined my fellowship was a very relaxed sort of hippyish deal. I smoked my first joint there, and had sex with someone in that fellowship for the first time. As time went on it became more and more controlling, and much more conservative. At one point we were instructed that it wasn't wise to go anywhere alone. Also, we were supposed to let the state leadership of any group know if we were even just traveling through their state so that we would be "spiritually covered." My husband and I, who were in our early 20's, were thoroughly reamed out at a meeting in front of everyone of course, that we attended on a trip we were taking because we hadn't let anyone know we would be in that state on our way to our destination. There was a "homo hunt" at the rock of ages in 95. Martindale became obsessed with homosexuality and in included in his version of the foundational class The Way of Abundance and Power that the thing that Eve partook of was a lesbian relationship with Satan who appeared as a woman, and Adam accepted it. (They subsequently just left that whole thing out of the foundational class they recorded after he was kicked) I often wondered if it was because of the alleged relationship between Donna and Rivenbark. When everything went down with LCM we were instructed not to look up anything to do with anything about the ministry or any of the people involved on the internet. Of course, this was to "protect us from the fiery darts of the wicked." After LCM left, everything became super boring and repetitive. Say what you will about him, but LCM was at least charismatic and entertaining. Rivenbark has a quieter gentler form of control and abuse. Over the years people tried to get us to move to HQ, but I was always struck at how robotic and fake anyone who went there came back. We actually did end up deciding to go into the way corps in 2003, and had all of our paperwork in when I ended up accidentally getting pregnant with our first child. Thank God for that. By the time we were eligible again, my husband had decided it wasn't for him. Shortly after I found out we were pregnant we moved back to my home state because I wanted my kids to have their grandparents close, and my father was dying. I was a new mom and I was traveling the hour and a half to visit my dad as much as possible and my fellowship coordinator had the audacity to "encourage me to spend more time with the household that I was." At that point I had started to see how much the ministry had come between my family and myself and I was trying to heal those relationships. I basically told him that my father was dying and I was going to get every minute I could with him and that I would never again put the ministry before my family and he would just have to get used to it. That was the first time I ever remember standing up for myself. from there it took 14 more years to officially leave. That's the short version of everything. It wasn't all bad, but I'm still working through things. I feel like an idiot at times for letting some of the stuff go on, or being involved with some of the things I was. For the last couple of years since leaving I have thrown myself into other things. I think I just needed some distance. After appearing on a podcast to talk about my experiences a few months ago, I have started to realize I need to work through some of this stuff now. I appreciate your listening. I'm sorry if this jumps around and is choppy. I find myself a little lost for words when it comes to some of this stuff, which is very unusual for me.
  11. 5 points
    When the rapture does take place, the world will not know it because so many people who CALL themselves Christians will still be here.
  12. 5 points
    yeah Rocky - I agree. I think of Twinky as looking at a bigger picture – “in the Christian world” as she put it; from meeting her at the Texas BBQ and going on things she shares in her posts, I really believe she is a woman with a mission AND with a compassionate heart for service; some of the stuff she shares about her street pastoring sounds like it could be in a new chapter in the book of Acts. I’m not qualified to speak about gift ministries or know much about them – but as far as I’m concerned she’s got something special up her sleeve – I believe she definitely has a calling...of course she brings a lot of good "things" here also - let's not forget that. folks like Skyrider and Don’t Worry often focus on all things way-world; they’ve got that warrior ethos – never leave anyone behind…they pack some serious heat - - as well as some serious therapy. They are the big guns that expose and obliterate the hypocrisy of “those lying, thieving weasels” (as Don’t Worry calls them); then there’s the healing side of their ministries (there – I said it… and I’ll say it again through an amp that goes up to 11 ) – then there’s the healing side of their compassionate ministries reaching out to those who were hurt by “those lying, thieving weasels”. I hope I haven’t embarrassed you all in some way – just thought I pass along some praise and encouragement. like Skyrider was saying the extent of the consequences is relative to one’s life and experiences…this stuff may not matter much in the Christian world at large - but it matters to me - since part of my life was in way-world. ...every once and awhile I get to feeling down about how I devoted 12 years of my life to a cult and however much mental baggage I’ve been dragging around since then. There’s the shame…embarrassment… the… stigma that some folks associate with cults…sometimes I don’t mind that…maybe that keeps me on my toes…maybe it’s something I’ve got in the habit of doing from technical work – where I double, triple and quadruple check some things cuz I know I’m not perfect – me or someone else is going to screw up or a part will fail – so be prepared. I often look at it as a challenge to do my best critical thinking if we happen to get in a doctrinal or philosophical discussion..i know I’m rambling here – but trust me I’ll bring it back to this thread in a minute or two. I’ve always tried to live my life like an open book – I have nothing to hide – I’ve really tried to live a good Christian life while in TWI and afterwards too! On occasion I have even shared with co-workers of my experiences in a cult as some tough lessons on the importance of a Christ-centered faith and giving heed to one’s authentic-self…the machinations of TWI went so counter to anything that had to do with your authentic-self… some of that crap from the mouths of those lying thieving weasels was really just blowing smoke up my a$$ - to make me think I was destined for greatness. I used to think I’d better go in the corps cuz God has some big plans for me…maybe I’ve got a gift ministry…I tried to picture myself as being the perfect PFAL believer spreading blessings and good fortune wherever I went…alright…about to reconnect to this topic in 3..2…1… If I would have stayed in TWI I believe I would have been groomed to follow – on a small scale – wierwille’s power grabbing style: I think I was a restless and unfulfilled leader - going through the motions of handling my TWI assignment – oh the drudgery...trying to act enthusiastic about moving “the word” – I’m wondering if that’s the equivalent of a woman faking orgasm.…and I was a searching opportunist – taking the same classes again and again, going to advances, special events, joining programs…looking for direction and opportunity to advance spiritually – whatever the hell that means…I was even like my Plagiarizing “mentor “ – making PFAL my own, writing songs about it; looking for other verses to prove some point wierwille had made…and listening to the ensnaring supplanter - I learned to choose TWI’s “household” over family, friends and whatever I was taught in the Roman Catholic Church…in ignorance I endorsed that usurping authoritarian…and revered the consummate cult leader – I volunteered to be isolated, immersed, indoctrinated so I could teach and recruit others. Reflecting on my life since I left TWI: I have such a sense of fulfilment from just trying to be a good husband, dad and competent technician. That may be underrated in some folks’ book but that’s my “ministry” and I’m damn proud of it! I also get a sense of fulfillment and some peace of mind from Grease Spot. To me it’s a far cry from getting the halfway-house-treatment by well-meaning Christians who try to take me on as their next project – that has happened several times over the years in different places where I’ve worked. I can figure out a lot of $hit myself, thank you very much – but there’s nothing like the cyber-camaraderie of folks who have survived a cult. Sorry for the long post, major detour and cuss words but I sure do feel better. Sweet dreams all – nighty night.
  13. 5 points
    Another wonderful post Skyrider....encouraging both critical thought and self-reflection. Your willingness to reveal your deepest personal “lens” view of experiences you witnessed or endured, without worrying about covering for your own naïveté at the time, due primarily to the vibrant idealism of youth at the time many of us got involved, is most admirable imho. I appreciate your honest insight and your reflection of TWIt “history” as you experienced it then, and as you understand it now, some 40 years later. I am far less “kind” to dictor paul than you are. From my own interpersonal interactions with dp, I don’t think he had near the cleverness you give him credit for, Sky. He was a spoiled little brat, sexually abused baby of an Aryan family of 8. His intellect was a C- at best throughout his academic career, when he wasn’t failing. He mastered one thing. Plagiarism. Vic was a charlatan from the beginning. But, he was just a small-time crappie in a huge pond of Elmer Gantrys in the 1940s who were looking to make a comfortable living and stay outta WWII. Plus, Adolph Ernst...his daddy...was a Nazi supporter in the German-American Bund founded by Lindbergh and Fritz Kuhn in 1936. Young dictor grew up in that racist, fascist environment, and they even spoke German in their home, before they learned English! So, dp’s “call to ministry” was nothing more than a fortunate turn of events which got him through a cheap Evangelical and Reformed seminary, and ordained as a clergyman in that denomination with his own church, St. Jacob’s in Payne, OH, as Skyrider has recorded. That began a bumbling, stumbling, rumbling, bull-in-a-China-shop romp through the Bible Belt Fundamentalist Jesus culture of the post-war Midwest. Quite a conservative area of the USA at that time. His entire Chimes Hour Youth Caravan “founding” of TWIt was just the beginning of his hustle. He saw what worked with kids, had a nice, steamy affair with Rosalind Rinker, and had his first child, a son, Donald Ernst. Then he got a promotion to a bigger, more important, better tithing E&R church in Van Wert, St. Peter’s. Got him out of Payne before his shenanigans could be uncovered, settled him into a comfortable, economically stable community with a built-in guaranteed flock to fleece. He was simply playing the denominational pastor game and really just wanted to be as big as his heroes, Oral Roberts and Billy Graham. At the AC at HQ in the sumner of 1972, dp said: “I’m not an Evangelist like Billy Graham, or Oral Roberts! I’m a teacher! I tried to reach out to them in the 50s to work together for the Lord. You know, when they pack ‘em into their tents and stadiums, get ‘em born again and then what?? Send them to ME! I’ll teach them the greatness of the accuracy of Gawd’s rightly divided word!” He said that right after he finished playing a tape of Oral Roberts’ preaching his famous 4th Man Sermon. Dic was just a greedy young ne’re-do-well from a hick German farm town in the middle of nowhere Ohio, who got outta the hard work of taking over daddy’s farm, or starting a business of his own like his brothers, by choosing the easy, well-respected con of Midwest clergyman, knocking up his HS sweetheart, and grabbing and groping his way through one small group of suckers after another. When he was lucky enough to stumble across folks like Peter J. Wade, David Anderson, John Somerville, Ken Klug, Walter Cummins, Jim Doop, Steve Heefner, and Donnie Fugit, it was THEIR gifts, abilities and enthusiasm that made dic’s class a hit, not dic’s personal presence. Often, his personal presence just caused trouble for everyone! He was a jerk in the opinion of many. Until those same men had the Bible ministry they loved stolen from them and brought under the iron fist of Herr Victor the First. The progress of dic’s new possession really took off when he got rid of his competition. He started the corpse in 1969 with Ken Klug in it, John Lynn, Pat Browning, Johnny Townsend, and couple of others. The famous Zero corpse. Started again in 1970 with the first corpse of 9, including 1 guy at ECU. Again, not really planned or thought through beyond the free-spirited idealism of young hippies who really believed ole Dic was teaching the word like it hadn’t been known since the 1st Century and there were miracles, signs, and wonders everywhere! Dic wanted a core group as disciplined and tough as the Marine Corps after the Zero corpse pooped out to get married and take care of other personal priorities. That’s why he loved ECU so much. John and Tim Somerville started the “work” at ECU. John volunteered for Vietnam Nam to prove the revelation and power manifestations to himself, and was truly a hero and esteemed warrior among his fellow Marines. Dic said if John could do all that for the Marines, why can’t I get people to do that for God and His word??! Why can’t God have a Marine Corps?? Hence, the concept of the way corpse was born. Again, no cleverly calculated, sinister, MLM plot. Just the continued outworking of one man’s pathology now gathering steam through a serendipitous cult of personality that was building around a completely incompetent, dumbass, perverted drunk. Imho, Dic had a lot less to do with building his cult than the first 5 corpses and the WOW program. It was those groups that most adored dictor, enjoyed the thrill and joy of genuine Christian revival when they first took that class thing, were free enough to just pick up and go wherever the man-o-gawd told them too. It was not dictor or the stupid class that got me into TWIt. It was my closest and most beloved friends. It was the power of miracles, signs, and wonders and no authoritarian control. As the money began pouring in, Harry and Vic figured they better invest it. Best investment?? REAL ESTATE! Emporia, Rome City, Gunnison, Limb homes in OH, IN, MI, NC, KS, CA, NY, all bought by TWIt in the early 70s. The Colleges, campuses, camps, limb homes, etc., were all money-laundering schemes that Dic and Harry stumbled into, which were then “perfected” by Howard and Don, and all the new early corpse grads flooding HQ and all the new “Root Locales” with millions of laundered abundant sharing dollars. The only names on ALL the deeds to those properties were those of TWIt trustees.....Harry Wierwille, Ermal Owens, dictor paul, Howard, Don, and da Forehead. That was it until the Allen lawsuit was settled. Whose names are on the remaining deeds?? Ohio? Gunnison? That’s when the real systemization of dic’s evil began imo. Dic himself was too dumb to do anything but drink and molest women while reading anyone else’s Bible teachings a couple of times a week in some quaint little midwestern hamlet in Ohio. He was a slick con. He knew the game. He was always on the prowl. He was clever, not intelligent. He was deceitful, and ambitious, not honest or humble. He was mentally ill....untreated, uncontrolled mental illness dysfunctionally working itself out since his teens. He was a charmer and manipulator, not by will, but by nature. No redeeming social value, spiritually empty, and intellectually vapid. So, though dictor paul was lucky enough to attract some very talented people into his sex/personality cult, I don’t give him credit for diabolically planning, thinking through, or conceiving what he eventually destroyed. Sadly, he used a lot of wonderful, smart, talented, authentically loving, idealistic young people, who loved Jesus and just wanted to do the right thing to pay for and fulfill his own hubris and lusts. A pimp and a whore and a bully. What a ministry!
  14. 5 points
    Freedom from the way international cult..........never grows old. Freedom of thought.......to explore the world in which I live. Freedom of speech........to disagree, or agree and explain why. Freedom of religion........or have no religion at all. Freedom of the press......er, GSC. TWI and the Splinters hate this site. Freedom from public character assassination......without representation. Freedom of privacy.........and fellowship and associations of my choosing. Freedom from mandatory meetings, meals and yell-fests. Freedom to be me. This list could be endless. The more I think about all the harassment and spiritual abuse that I put up with in twi.............I cannot believe that I stayed that long. The cult puppeteers were daily pulling the strings of what was spiritually important each day. What a load of BS. And, to this day......there are dozens of splinter groups that still idolize wierwille as the grand wizard........er, great one. Deceived and deceiving others. What a delusional way to live. Freedom. Fresh air. Life.
  15. 5 points
    Hey, Moynihan............... If wierwille had lived longer........maybe we would have seen him led away in handcuffs (like Harvey Weinstein).
  16. 4 points
    Hi There, I recently left TWI almost two years ago after being involved for 27 years. I'm still trying to unwind it all, but I do want to say that over the years I would look at the information in this group and it helped me to eventually come out of TWI. I got involved when I was 13. Met my husband at The ROA, went Way Disciple Group 5, I don't know how often I will be able to come here, but I would love to talk with others who have done it too. Thanks.
  17. 4 points
    Or, for something completely different along these lines, there's a very compelling argument for doing away with bible study altogether in a "shocking" book called The End of Biblical Studies (gasp!) by Hector Avalos, PhD. Prometheus Books. 2007. Just sayin … there is an alternative viewpoint for those interested in questioning the value of continuing to hammer away at biblical texts in hopes of recreating "the original." Even if we did reach that goal, what would we have? A text that still contains contradictions (four different viewpoints in the 4 gospels), violence against "unbelievers," in the Hebrew Bible, condemnation of homosexuals, subjugation of women, etc. Just sayin … let's take a look at bibliolatry and get honest about that. Perhaps this is a topic for the Doctrinal thread. Sigh …
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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!
  25. 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.
  26. 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...
  27. 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.
  28. 4 points
    Wierwille continues to be a polarizing figure of huge dimensions and consequences......as another generation of youth are indoctrinated by cult elders. Some view his life and "ministry" on par, or greater, than biblical prophets or apostles. Others have documented accounts of wierwille as a sexual predator, deceiver and opportunist. Few, it seems, have moderate views of the man. Of course, twi-headquarters and splinter groups, hold a superlative opinion of "Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille." They have a vested and profit-making interest in cheerleading his legacy. Splinter groups have little relevance without clinging to the wierwille brand and all that he taught. 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 is 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. To study the effects of wierwille's cult...........one needs to analyze the evolution of wierwille. I submit my thesis........ The Six Stages of Wierwille's Climb to Power The Unfulfilled Pastor..............church pastor in Payne (1941-1944) and Van Wert, Ohio (1944-1957).......restless and unfulfilled. The Searching Opportunist......traveling to seminars, retreats, and church camps looking for direction and opportunity to advance. The Plagiarizing Teacher.........starting December 1957, wierwille is now unhindered from church boards to plagiarize and teach others' work. The Ensnaring Supplanter........filming pfal in 1967, vpw uses preemptive strikes against family, church and community to entrap followers. The Usurping Authoritarian......wierwille power-grabs movements (Way West/East) in 1969-1970 and operates with stealth & subterfuge. The Pinnacle Cult Leader..........5 corps training campuses embody isolation, immersion and indoctrination --- to teach and recruit others. Base Camp...........scripture and homiletics training. From this starting position, wierwille could always rely on his "supplies" to climb greater heights. Who doesn't want to hear about God's love, abundance and power? Who doesn't thirst to know that a Merciful God will bestow health and prosperity to them and their family? Who doesn't hunger to know that a Righteous Heavenly Father will guide them thru life and into eternity? With homiletics training, vpw was adept at uplifting many who heard his sermons. But.............church was confining. And, wierwille was a man on the move. Clearly, his seminary classes and life's experience were limited. He needed to learn more, much more.....to advance his thinking beyond its confinement. His narcissism wanted to stretch its legs........and, besides, every seminar or retreat that wierwille attended gave him the opportunity to get out of Van Wert. Did it also give him opportunity to see other women? Probably. Wierwille was a man who didn't like boundaries. In the late 60s, he headed to California to check out the orgy action in Haight-Ashbury, didn't he? Yep. And, in 1953..........B.G. Leonard's class, The Gifts of the Spirit, changed wierwille's life and trajectory. It was THE ROPE that aided wierwille to climb higher, much higher. After leaving the Van Wert Church in December 1957.......wierwille, the plagiarizing teacher, hit the highways month after month to teach "his" foundational class and pay the bills. He not only needed students........he NEEDED faithful people to tithe to his fledgling work. From 1958-1967, wierwille was a one-man show........teaching classes, city after city. Wierwille's class and marketing strategy was to reach church people. What he didn't seem to grasp.........is that nearly 85-90% of these students went BACK to their churches and communities. They were not looking to be transformed or transplanted into twi-servitude for a lifetime. Mrs. W's book, Born Again To Serve, documents years of classes and confrontational letters that wierwille sent out at certain points of frustration. The Troy believers launched a mass exodus in 1960 when vpw and harry voted to move the Van Wert Headquarters to the family farm. They believed that the wierwilles could not be trusted in keeping the finances separate from the farm and The Way, Inc. The filming of the 1967 class...........had a subterfuge agenda. What was this new hidden objective? To entrap new students into his organization by destroying their old support systems of family, religion and community........and erect a new system, a spiritual family that replaced their "earthly family." In essence: A Cult. Add lots of homespun stories........intermix ridicule of church denominations......then, demand that all students ---- "stand with the ministry that taught them the Word. Having done all, STAND." Oh, and just write the teacher. Make sure to come visit the farm. See the wierwille barn. Meet "Uncle Harry" and "Aunt Sevilla" and have lunch in the Ecumenical BRC basement. Cult Warning: The agenda is to replace your "earthly family" with this NEW spiritual family, the Household of God. In 1969.........wierwille's narcissism flares up big time when Heefner and Doop [Way East and Way West] are pulling in MORE students and growing exponentially. According to Doop, he and wierwille had an agreement that 15% of all tithes would be sent to headquarters and the other 85% would stay in the area. [I will look for that GSC-information for confirmation.] So, what does wierwille do? He goes into their statewide meetings and power-grabs the movement. The Usurping Authoritarian HAS to be the Top Dog of the Show. Wierwille NEEDED young ministers and firebrands to advance his climb to power. The Corps Training Program was the final act of betrayal by wierwille. It will always entail "The Zero Corps"...........the ones who would NOT commit to wierwille's demands. Though wierwille turned the reins of this program over to others, he was always hiding in the shadows to plunder the youth. Spiritual abuse was part and parcel to its methodology. It was subtle and deceptive and devious. For years, wierwille traveled on his motor coach to these corps campuses and preyed upon these young, innocent corps girls. When he summoned the unsuspecting girl, she had no idea what was about to happen. The cult leader had reached his pinnacle of power over others. He was "untouchable." This 58 year-old sexual predator made sure that he had consumed several cups of Drambuie coffee so that he was well liquored up for these late night sexual romps. With absolute power over others..............wierwille had reached his summit and fulfilled his narcissistic pathologies. ~~~~~~~~~~~
  29. 4 points
    People it has been like 30 years since most of this stuff went down what the hell are you people doing here still discussing VPW and the rest [I noticed you "necro'd" a thread inactive more than a decade, just to say your peace on a long-dead discussion. If you cared about the subject, 30 years would be no barrier to you. But people were hurt, people died, and people are processing all the information NOW to get their healing and move on. Last of all, new people hear about twi, and they come here to learn about it- then steer clear. We help people by discussing all of this.] I see someone here mentioned this a place for healing - you are kidding right [Just as diabetes medication doesn't help someone who doesn't have diabetes, perhaps the help here is not useful to you- but it can mean life-or-death to another. You can choose to respect that and just let things run their course.] Ralph damn man revengence is mine dairy the Lord (why am I quoting scripture to you Oh My Gosh !!!) you have swallowed the bitter pill and I know you will just rationalize some argument to show I am wrong remember the scripture whatsoever things are pure of good report etc of course you do [Alexander the coopersmith did me much evil- The Lord reward him according to his works. There's warning about evildoers in Scripture. It's not all just shiny "sing Kumbayah and ignore those seeking to harm the flock."] damn you make me angry and VERY sad thwre is still time brother forgive forgive forgive the warning has been sounded long ago! [And it still needs sounding, as long as twi and its clones still exist. People are still arriving and seeking answers-and getting them. This allows them to heal, grow, and get on with their lives.] you are no helping anyone most of all Christ by continuing in this manner [Hundreds of people have posted to say the opposite. We don't know the numbers of those who never signed up to do that- but we know there have been plenty.] peace out
  30. 4 points
    R and R - Martin Luther's objections to Roman Catholic doctrine and practice led his actions. RC doctrine was a hybrid of the Bible's "saved by faith" or as Paul put it another doctrine that wasn't really another doctrine but a completely different animal of it's own kind. Luther also objected then of course to them selling Indulgences, certificates that gave remission of sins after one died. Now THAT'S a scam worthy of some effort. If you're going to absolutely degrade anything resembling even the slightest bit of good, then go all in - put one's eternal future on it and sell that puppy. Sit back and watch it roll in. Pretty nifty. If you're THE DEVIL. Anyway, Luther wasn't really trying to demolish or destroy the Catholic Church, he wanted to clean it up, purge it. He also had some ideas that would become popular later, like getting rid of the Jews in Germany. Anyway... Restoring and reviving is only important to people's lives. I can say that easily because whatever I lost through my dis association with the Way has been far outweighed by not having to be entangled with their bullsh it. The only thing I care about still today are the people involved, but if they're happy stewing and simmering there I can't do anything about that. Frankly I've never made it a full time job to "save" them from themselves. Cuz they don' a wanna change, so they's a not a gonna change, no matta wattah I do. Luther never got the RC's to change. Well, maybe a teeny bit sort of over years but not in any real substantive way that they would recognize. More recently I think it was Pope Benedict who tried to establish some ecumenical platform for RC's accepting a couple tenets of Protestant theology buuuuuut I think that's just window dressing on the ol' RC Childcare Store front. I mean, they're church face. Anyway - that's why I don't worry about what the next wave of geezers leaving the Way is doing. The only advice I would give them is they aren't young anymore, so there's not a lot of years to burn doing something you don't really want to do. So get busy livin' and get on with it.
  31. 4 points
    I had the forums hosted by others for a number of years. We were shut down when Twi made complaints. This happened, I believe, twice. So the solution was to have my own server. And then we wouldn't be shut down. I covered the costs out of my own pocket up until a few years back. I moved from a physical server to a virtual server a number of years ago to reduce costs. Donations are completely voluntary, you are under no obligation to donate. I chose the most reliable companies, not the cheapest so there would be the least downtime. Companies like SiteGround are great, but they can shut you down. I have to ensure that the site can't get shut down. I've used PHPBB and I've found that Invision is more robust and have better support when you need it.
  32. 4 points
    Let's boil the cabbage down, shall we? We were The Way's sales force. No salary, no commissions, just ridicule and chastisement if we failed to meet sales quotas. It's important to understand that PFAL was not the main product. PFAL and the accompanying series of classes were the enticement The real product, or goal, if you prefer, was to find people who would faithfully donate 10, 15, 20% (or more) of their income... paycheck after paycheck, month after month and year after year. Yes, they made a profit on the classes, but it was chump change compared to a lifetime of handing over your hard earned cash. It was a scam, folks. The sooner someone comes to grips with that realization, the more time and resources they have left to rise back up from the rubble. Sunk Cost Fallacy
  33. 4 points
    Remember that cigarette commercial............"You can take Salem out of the country but, you can't take the country out of Salem." While in college, I was studying Business Management and Marketing......and we delved into marketing techniques. How they work. What constitutes a snazzy slogan. What type of technique leaves a subliminal message that lingers. And, the "Salem commercial" was worth studying, because it encompassed all of those...........especially when the commercial ends by "You can take Salem out of the country but [Ding]...........and your mind sings, and fills in, the rest of the song diddy. THAT is what I think about the cult's pseudo-Christianity. You can keep smoking those twit-teachings, but you can't take wierwille out of those teachings!! You can leave the cult, but if you continue smoking those "rightly-divided" teachings.......you can't take wierwille out of the brand. For some 30 years, corps leadership have been leaving the cult-mothership ........yet, they STILL market the wierwille-mystique. They cannot separate Christianity from the "Wierwille-Cult Christianity"..... it's just not possible, in their minds. Wierwille is their mediator between God and man. He ushered them into the Age of Grace. It's his teachings that open the doors to understand "the word as it has not been known since the first century." He is the modern-day Apostle Paul. He is the one who found the keys to the "more abundant life." To them, wierwille is to be placed on a pedestal that is revered. Move over Jesus Christ.....there's a new man of God in town. The manifestations are a non-sequester, it seems. No one really takes them serious anymore. What a stark difference from the early-70s......when walking in power was the deal-breaker of being sincere or being genuine!! On one level......it seems, that they are simply marketing this message for ROI (return on investment). They've spend over 4 decades in promoting pfal......and now, after distancing themselves from the machinery want to call the shots and count the money. The R&R group is the latest in this endeavor. Gawd, it is so nauseating to see their pathetic pandering to the wierwille-adulation when GreaseSpot Café has been documenting this stuff for nearly 18 years. Yet, on another level..........maybe, these guys truly believe that wierwille had it going on........right doctrine, right practice, right on before God Almighty. Could it be that these guys are SO INDOCTRINATED and INSTITUTIONALIZED that they've lost all grasp of critical thinking? Just seems to me that I Timothy 3 would be enough to show gaping discrepancies of wierwille's manner of life as opposed to the Scriptures. Or, pointing out the putrid fruit of sexual predation, lock box doctrine, absent-Christ, etc........to name a few. All in all, I think it's about..... Saving Face Being Unrepentant Establishing a lane to run in during retirement Desiring to be the lead dog ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  34. 4 points
    Hi At A Loss! i am so sorry for the insane and totally unnecessary havoc wreaked upon your lives by the ignorant bigotry of moron wayfers. Greg Lewis was a loser before he was in the 7th corpse, and as usual, the corpse made him into an even bigger asshole and bigot! I knew him back then, and the fact that he was ever a limp coordinator ANYWHERE, let alone CA, proves how utterly and pathetically void of anything near “leadership” TWIt has been since 1986! The fact that an ignorant, talent-less, dumbass below average schlepp like Lewis would be assigned as anything above chair-stringer is yet more proof of the utter dearth of normal human beings in any nook and cranny of wayworld. LOL! If you were not so far away in miles, I would suggest you sue the shit out of them for kidnapping your grandson and estranging him from his father and paternal grandparents. That is illegal unless adjudicated by a court of law. Expensive yes! Maybe even prohibitively so. But, you do have the right to do so. Money may be the biggest hindrance. Whatever happens, DO NOT accept one ounce of bullshit from these morons. They are insane and immoral. They are a danger to the mental and physical well-being of your grandson. There are numerous effective anti-cult groups that may be able to assist you. But I warn you, anything less than cold-hearted JUSTICE will not help you. You must be tough as nails if you want access to your grandson. This is a child custody and child welfare issue. Don’t quit! You’ll win! Godspeed to you and your family! P.S.....BTW, shiftthis is FOS. If he’s still stuck on waybrain stupid the best thing you can do is ignore the identity confused adolescent stuck in the 1980s of TWIt idiocy and hypocrisy. LOL!
  35. 4 points
    Hey.........take this class, it will change your life! At the end of pfal class.......you need to be sure to sit in the next pfal class that's available. No one gets the depth of it the first time. And then, ........ the Renewed Mind class will be running in a couple of months, followed by Dealing with the Adversary class........and Christian, Family and Sex will be running in July, just before we go to the Rock of Ages. You are now qualified to take your place on the class crew treadmill to help others......i.e. helping others means to get them to take class after class, too. So, you faithfully witness, sign up friends and family and neighbors.........little do you realize, at first, that false teachers using feigned words covet your involvement, because YOU are the targeted product. They want YOU to become the walking, talking billboard of their classes, events, camps, and advanced class specials. These false teachers (cult leaders) want you to follow them in their "pernicious ways" [II Peter 2:1-3]........loss, ruinous, destructive ways. Loss of money. Loss of family ties. Sabotaging marriages and careers........for the sake of zealously moving the cult's classes and agenda. Up your commitment and go WOW or Way Corps.......i.e. putting yourself in a position to "lead others." LOL As you keep co-joining in THEIR agenda, you become complicit in their pernicious, evil ways. If you were paying attention........you will have noticed that the cult hierarchy has dropped the advanced class cliché of reaching spiritual maturity. See.....EVEN AFTER the advanced class, you're not really that "advanced." Same deal with WOW....or the Way Corps. Once you "graduate" from the corps, you start at the bottom rung of "a lifetime of twi-servitude" and are often kicked around in a menial job at twi-hq. Like a cog on a big wheel, you may be on top for a short period of time.....only to find tremendous stress when you're on the bottom, again. You're "free".......as long as you stay committed to twi-servitude. The dirty little secret is that once you start connecting these dots, they VERBALLY ABUSE you with fear! In closed meetings, the cult uses words like "cop-out, possessed, worldly, lost his salt, loss of rewards, greasespot by midnight." How did it turn so ugly? Or, was it always ugly.....and masked to look good? Now, not only do they threaten you with words, they institute the practice of ex-communication. After 15-20 years of institutionalized indoctrination, one is more likely to succumb to cult obedience than to dissent. It's a matter of social psychology, not spirituality. How did it all get so crazy? How did you get trapped in the hall-of-horrors at this amusement park? Simple: False teachers used fabricated classes to indoctrinate the unsuspecting.......and coveted your involvement to make merchandise of you. How could you NOT suspect that splinter groups will do the same....... .
  36. 4 points
    Taxi, I think if JAL had done "some actual research," he would know that most of VPW's teachings about the Bible were off! If VPW was wrong, than JAL would be wrong, because he followed after VPW. I don't think JAL would ever publicly admit that most of what he has been teaching, is wrong. John has a huge ego, and he isn't a humble person; God forbid that he admit to being an ordinary person like you, and I.
  37. 4 points
    (blushes again) Thank you, Skyrider. Yep. If it's "you" that got hurt, it is a big deal. "You," basically are all you've got. Yep again. I've posted this before: I was so desperate and destroyed that I was prepared to crawl across broken glass to get back to TWI after ten years in the wilderness. I got on the net to find their zip code. The first result for TWI was - GreaseSpot Cafe! I looked. I was appalled, horrified. And ultimately healed. My grovelly letter of apology for my imagined sins never got written. I thank God for Saint Pawtucket and this place.
  38. 4 points
    Okay so this has come up in several discussions, so I wanted to put it in a place where cult questioners can find it better. Mainstream Christianity teaches according to I Corinthians 12 - which incorporates Jesus body as an analogy or figure representing each follower as they band together. This teaching would dovetail into his ceremonial handling of the Last Supper - and the eucharist, or "body and blood" of Christ teaching is a common one in Christianity today. It is very clear that Jesus vision as well as God's vision to Paul was of Jesus followers being united together and functioning as a human body functions today with each of its parts working together. Victor Paul Wierwille, and every ensuing Way International President after him, taught and supported the idea of a "household of God". Their logic is since there is so much division in Christianity today Jesus couldn't mean all the denominations since they will never work together. Therefore the logic is the "one body" has to describe a certain group of people, a subset of the entire body of Christ that is inspired by the present truth and moves as one and works together at a very high level exactly like the pulse of the human body with the brain sending signals to the hand and the hand responding immediately. The Way and splinters label this subset the "household of God" and seperate off from the body of Christ in mainstream Christianity practically and organizationally. The Way Presidents have used this teaching to set themselves up in the position of Jesus as the head of the body of Christ, and to have complete authority over this "household of God" including the expectation that they respond quickly like the human body does. They ignore considering and discussing other Christians in the body of Christ. They work with no other Christian organization. They consider no other Christian input. They have a little closed system they have built for themselves where they have absolute control and are accountable to nobody. This teaching and functioning is ANTICHRIST. Why? Every single implementation of it sets up a single person or small elite group of people as the intercessor between the follower and God. There is an inordinate amount of control. There is the crossing of boundaries in lives. There is the using of people for their own ease. People aren't free to make decisions for themselves and their families with God and Jesus, they have to obtain approval from overseers. The logic is "since we are all one body, why wouldn't you want to share these things?" and they use good words and fair speeches to cross boundaries and control people and their finances and futures. ANTICHRISTS So folks you heard it first here on the 'SPOT. THERE IS NO HOUSEHOLD OF GOD. THERE IS A BODY OF CHRIST.
  39. 4 points
    Exactly................"people wouldn't stick." This is well documented in Mrs. W's book as she details a list in 1958, 1959 and 1960 of wierwille's pfal classes in various cities. When you consider the hundreds of people who sat thru his classes each year (1957-1967)........the question becomes, "What happened to all these people who, having heard these truths taught live by Dr. Wierwille (cough, cough), were supposed to commit their lives, effort and money toward word-over-the-world twi servitude?" Apparently, they didn't see -- 1) power or 2) abundant living.........as highlighted in its promotion. So......when vpw films the class in 1967, what does he do? He adds and augments certain preemptive strikes against the denominational churches. Wierwille not only wants his new students to sit thru his series of classes, but to stick with him. He demonizes church elders and their motives.......to guilt and shame anyone who, having taken pfal, would even think of going back to their church. With each passing year, the rhetoric escalates.........until vpw and others were teaching that denominational church hierarchy have the seed of the serpent. Egads! The level of hyperbole and accusations was absurd. Then, once you attend the "advanced class".......you hear about the Illuminati, the Thirteenth Tribe, Marxist Minstrels, None Dare Call It Conspiracy, Seed of the Serpent, etc......you're indoctrinated into the inner sanctum and servitude. Add......a year or two of going WOW, or Corps Training and you become absorbed into the cult blob. Leaders over leaders over leaders......each following orders of next higher (or lower) unit. As a leaf on a mighty tree (LOL).....you give respect to the twig leader, branch, limb, and trunk leader. Seems like more and more.......you are getting closer and closer to the dirt. Then, work on staff AT THE ROOT.........now, you've gone underground. Wowsers!!! It seems clear to me that wierwille took stock of all those pfal students LEAVING HIM IN THE 60s.............and struck out on a subterfuge agenda. What was this new hidden objective? To entrap new students into his organization by destroying their old support systems of family, religion and community........and erect a new system, a spiritual family that replaced their "earthly family." In essence: A Cult. Wierwille needed to separate these young students from their support systems for longer and longer periods of time. Not just a three week class.......else, they go back to friends, family and work/education. Start summer camps......like the churches do, but for the purposes of building an *us versus them* mentality. Later, add WOW program......and then, the corps program. The youth are malleable and fall prey to indoctrination. The corps program was a multiplier in wierwille's climb to power: 1) Isolation of these "training centers" gave twi the availability, time and power over the individual without outside interference, and 2) Conformity to be obedient and follow "elder" corps established a pecking order that permeated the campus and fed the egos of even the most inept "elder" corps. In the end..........it all came tumbling down. Lots of reasons, I suppose......but the youth grew up and real life responsibilities, decisions and motivations were staring them in the face. Who has the means to give "volunteer services" to twi for a lifetime? Why? Why is this opportunistic cult hoarding millions? Where is this power and abundance that wierwille taught? Everyone is selling soap........and it's all being washed down the drain. The whole damn thing was a scam........as wierwille took every opportunity to advance himself into the spotlight. It's a scam...........and that's why "people don't stick." .
  40. 4 points
    When I was with wierwille on his motor coach in May 1981, he stopped reading my deprogramming account, paused and directly fixated his gaze upon me, and said............. "Your parents will be dead in 5 years for having done this to you." Imagine how that jolted me. For nearly 17 years, I had been indoctrinated into believing that Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille walked with God and was "the man of God" for this day and time. He received revelation from God.......and, he was the man who could "reach up into Daddy's cookie jar" anytime, anywhere. Throughout the corps indoctrination program, our corps coordinators emphasized and demanded strict adherence and obedience to leadership. Wierwille was the "ultimate leader" of the cult........and, in May 1981, I was in his private motor coach and he was uttering a prophecy of the death of my parents. So.........I counted down the years. Throughout these years, I had NO contact with my parents......except to send them an announcement of my marriage to my bride. I did not invite them to our wedding. I knew that was not within the realm of possibility for them to accept.......and come sit in the BRC at our wedding. So, obviously..........our relationship became estranged, and cold, and distant. Yet, each year......I reflected on wierwille's "prophecy" and thought, ".....Is this going to be the year of their deaths? How will they die? Will it be significant or "biblical in nature".......so that I can see the judgment of the Lord on their actions? And, I at times, pondered..........."What if this was a false prophecy and wierwille was just speaking presumptuously?" God forbid that I harbor a dissenting view of wierwille's prophecy and doubt that it would come to pass. THAT would make wierwille a false prophet. The years passed quickly..........and four years later, in May 1985........wierwille was DEAD. Still, I waited..........waiting for year number 5. May 1986 came and went...........and my parents were STILL alive. Five years had passed and the prophecy did not come to pass. Now what? Should I give "this prophecy" a little wiggle room and wait till the end of the year? Maybe, just maybe.......wierwille was "off by only a little." No. Wierwille said, "Your parents will be dead in 5 years for having done this to you." These words were burned into my conscience, because wierwille had spoken them directly to me. After years of studying scripture and going thru corps training, prophecy was something that was absolute and the markings of the holy spirit in action. Many believed that wierwille had the gift ministries (plural)......teacher, prophet AND apostle. Yet, are we not to take the Deuteronomy record into account that IF the prophet's words do not come to pass, then he has spoken presumptuously.......and be NOT afraid of him. Now what? This was May of 1986. And, three months later, Geer takes the stage at Corps Week and reads "The Passing of a Patriarch." Patriarch? Was wierwille our "Father in the Word?" Was wierwille our father in this cult? And, Geer said that we'd forsaken wierwille and needed to get back to the Word that he had taught us. Questions and more swirling questions. Who you gonna believe? Men who speak great swelling words of vanity or your own eyes (and ears)? As of that May 1981 "prophecy".............my Dad lived another 27 years. As of that May 1981 "prophecy".............my Mom lived another 34 years. .
  41. 4 points
    There was an episode of "Gilligan's Island" where the Professor did "word association" with Thurston Howell III. At every word, the first thing that came to Thurston's mind was "money." "Hot." "Money." "Cold." "Money." (Until he finally gave a different answer...) "Child." "Tax deduction." lcm had this fixation that became an obsession with homosexuality. Eventually he started seeing it everywhere. So, "What was the original sin?" "Homosexuality/" "What is the worst sin?" "Homosexuality." "Why did we have problems with this program that's tanking?" "Homosexuality." "How can we make twi better?" "Remove homosexuality." "What's twi's biggest problem right now?" "Homosexuality." "What's the capital of Paraguay?" "Homosexuality." "Who was the 16th US President?" "Homosexuality." "What do you see when you look at art?" "Homosexuality." I don't think it was a matter of plagiarism, as much as it was playing a piano that only had one key.
  42. 4 points
    Thank you Waysider. Thank you T-Bone. And thank you Skyrider for starting this thread. Given that critical thinking is the antithesis of the Wierwille mystique, it should surprise no one, especially here at GSC, that the R&R RR is stuck in neutral. Anyone who tries to duplicate -- albeit refine and distill the organizational model back to how it was in the good old days of TWI -- has ZERO chance to establish a thriving fellowship centered on godliness. At it's core, the model of bombarding "students" with hours and hours of bible teachings, in which they ONLY are given information and expected to absorb it, can do very little critical thinking. To build churches, fellowships, and a way corpse that would actually be better described without the letter "e" in the title, would have to honor the students with the dignity of allowing them to think... critically. The approach is called, Socratic. The student is actively engaged and CHALLENGES the teacher. But if the teacher cannot cope with that kind of student, you get cults instead. Does that make sense?
  43. 4 points
    At this point, it pretty much goes without saying, yes, they HAVE lost all grasp thereof... as WE did when we fell under the influence of Wierwille, a master manipulator. However, it also has occurred to me that "critical thinking" is the antithesis of the Wierwille Mystique. Skyrider, perhaps you could weigh in on that idea. Very brief and cursory research on the subject brought my attention to the following excerpts from a few people who have written on the subject of critical thinking: Someone with critical thinking skills can: Understand the links between ideas. Determine the importance and relevance of arguments and ideas. Recognize, build and appraise arguments. Identify inconsistencies and errors in reasoning. Approach problems in a consistent and systematic way. Reflect on the justification of their own assumptions, beliefs and values. In essence, critical thinking requires you to use your ability to reason. It is about being an active learner rather than a passive recipient of information. Critical thinkers rigorously question ideas and assumptions rather than accepting them at face value. They will always seek to determine whether the ideas, arguments and findings represent the entire picture and are open to finding that they do not. 6 Crucial critical thinking skills (and how you can improve them) Critical thinking is a skill that allows you to make logical and informed decisions to the best of your ability. For example, a child who has not yet developed such skills might believe the Tooth Fairy left money under their pillow based on stories their parents told them. A critical thinker, however, can quickly conclude that the existence of such a thing is probably unlikely—even if there are a few bucks under their pillow. Critical thinking is the objective analysis of facts to form a judgment.[1] The subject is complex, and several different definitions exist, which generally include the rational, skeptical, unbiased analysis, or evaluation of factual evidence. The habits of mind that characterize a person strongly disposed toward critical thinking include a desire to follow reason and evidence wherever they may lead, a systematic approach to problem solving, inquisitiveness, even-handedness, and confidence in reasoning. Critical thinking...the awakening of the intellect to the study of itself. Critical thinking can be seen as having two components: 1) a set of information and belief generating and processing skills, and 2) the habit, based on intellectual commitment, of using those skills to guide behavior. It is thus to be contrasted with: 1) the mere acquisition and retention of information alone, because it involves a particular way in which information is sought and treated; 2) the mere possession of a set of skills, because it involves the continual use of them; and 3) the mere use of those skills ("as an exercise") without acceptance of their results. Critical thinking varies according to the motivation underlying it. When grounded in selfish motives, it is often manifested in the skillful manipulation of ideas in service of one’s own, or one's groups’, vested interest. As such it is typically intellectually flawed, however pragmatically successful it might be. When grounded in fairmindedness and intellectual integrity, it is typically of a higher order intellectually, though subject to the charge of "idealism" by those habituated to its selfish use. Critical thinking of any kind is never universal in any individual; everyone is subject to episodes of undisciplined or irrational thought. Its quality is therefore typically a matter of degree and dependent on, among other things, the quality and depth of experience in a given domain of thinking or with respect to a particular class of questions. No one is a critical thinker through-and-through, but only to such-and-such a degree, with such-and-such insights and blind spots, subject to such-and-such tendencies towards self-delusion. For this reason, the development of critical thinking skills and dispositions is a life-long endeavor.
  44. 4 points
    The splinter groups will continue to market the wierwille mystique and his legacy..........to bring notoriety to their doorstep and money to their coffers. Wierwille was a showman and a storyteller. He trafficked in deception and exploiting others thru the subtle power of spiritual abuse. He traveled up and down the highways searching for the new shtick that would arrest the public's curiosity and attention.......wherein, he could run full-throttle with his narcissism. From retreats to seminars to camps farthest out, wierwille was intently looking for a pyramid of his own making. The youth had the time, and zeal, to make things happen. And, when the youth leaders [Way West / Way East] surged forward with throngs of people, wierwille walked into those meetings and power-grabbed their movements for himself. The revisionist history that accompanied his "God-ordained greatness" was a slick ploy to build this mystique of "the man of God." Yet, in reality.......Wierwille's legacy is one of stealing, exploiting, and destroying others for his own opportunity. Splinter groups need to keep the wierwille-mystique in place........thus, they will not abandon him, nor will they come to GSC and step into the area of open discussions on the matter. Mystique only plays well in shades of grey.......not in open sunlight.
  45. 4 points
    I ( personally ) have found 'believing' to work. It's actually believing IN believing...and then taking up the necessary 'works' to hook up to your faith. As a side note, my wife and I were told ( by leadership in the R&R movement ) that when we left the way our kids would grow up to be homos. 20 years later we have 7 grand children
  46. 4 points
    Mr I'm-the-super-believer wierwille was supposed to be Par Excellence for the so-called "law" of believing, the "law" that has failed so many people, so many times. Supposedly, his believing was the Top Tier on the planet, so it should have been a piece of cake for him to believe for more years. Instead, he died too young. In his final hours, he was STILL the captive of his own teaching- he was literally trying to figure out what was blocking his ability to believe for his own healing. Even as death approached, he wouldn't, or couldn't, be honest with himself. You don't have a "prison" of your own making, in your mind. You do, however, have a "prison" that HE made. Step outside of it. The entire "Word-Faith" thing has shown to be toxic. When people suffer, the "Word-Faith" people are REQUIRED to blame them, kicking a man when he's down. Miserable comforters blaming those suffering are as old as the book of Job. They were wrong then and they're wrong now.
  47. 4 points
    "And if you ever want to talk, if you every want to do anything, we're here." In other words, YOU come to us. We are not going to find you (and apologise). No, Jacque. YOU come here, you apologise. You will get a lot of flack. But you might find a little forgiveness or compassion, too, IF if if you are humble enough. You will need to LISTEN and not to (pretend to) preach.
  48. 4 points
    What I think is so amazing is how these people thought it was okay not only to expel people (at will) from various programs, but to order them out of the state or the town. And the victims complied! This, to people who may have given up good jobs, sold property at a loss, moved hundreds of miles (if not to say, moved from another country), disrupted children's education, etc - probably having become alienated from their family and friends who would form a support group - and it's okay to tell people who have demonstrated so significantly their commitment to the cause, that they've gotta be out of town in a few hours. Talk about a power imbalance - "leadership" exercised unfettered "rights" and the victims were so bullied and weakened that they were unable to resist. All because they were being "obedient to God." Grr! It's easy to see to whom such leadership had demonstrated so significantly their commitment - to the one who steals, kills and destroys. God might have a few things to say to such bullies about obedience and meekness.
  49. 4 points
    Hi Greasespotters! Allow me to clue you in on a FACT: dictor Paul couldn’t write his way through high school! At his very best, he was capable of writing at an 8th grade level. Remember all those times he talked about his older sisters Sevilla and Lydia, “reading him the riot act” about his horrible school performance?? He bragged about it all the time in a blatant attempt to cover-up the FACT that he was flunking out of high school by the 9th grade. As a matter of fact, the principal had considered not allowing him to return for 10th grade unless his parents could control his behavior. Ya see, dic was known as the town bully, the NK Biff of Back To The Future fame. Everybody else was Marty McFly! He would speed through town on his motorcycle doing tricks and making lots of noise, intimidating pedestrians and being an all around annoying idiot. Sevilla and Lydia were often credited with “straightening me [dictor] out”, thereby preparing him for his earth shatteringly scholarly and revelatory career as the “greatest MOG since The Apostle Paul”! Dic pulled himself together enough to graduate with a low C grade average, and with a lengthy letter of excuses from Dr. Kunst, the local minister at the Evangelical and Reformed Church in NK (and graduate of Lakeland himself), and lots of $$ from papa Adolph, dic managed to slip his way into the world renowned Lakeland Mission House College in Sheboygan, WI! There, he invented the hook shot in basketball, never played professional basketball, secretly married his hometown sweetheart, and barged his way through Mission House like John Blutarski did through Faber College in Animal House! LOL! ALL the early books “written” by dic prior to JCING were transcribed from teachings dic gave on Sunday nights, church study nights in Van Wert, “Spiritual 40 Club” events, and Chimes Hour Youth Caravan broadcasts. ALL OF THEM! I mentioned that dic at his most eloquent with a pen, rose to an average 8th grade level, so writing anything coherent, credible, and scholarly, was absolutely out of the question. So, the great teacher recorded everything he taught and would have Rhoda, then eventually, Donna Randall, Bernita Jess, and Peter J. Wade, along with David Anderson, to transcribe every teaching dic wanted included in his “package” of plagiarized platitudes and “research”. So, once J.E. Stiles, the real author of RTHST, led him into tongues, and dic bought Stiles’ book, “Receiving The Holy Spirit”, and used it to teach his new research on the “gift of tongues”, dic got on a roll. J.E. made it easy. He had already written the book! The next step was taking B.G.’s “The Gifts of the Spirit” class up in Canada. Dictor took it the first time by himself, alone, basically barging his way into the opening session late, while BG was playing his violin before starting. Vic got home and immediately started teaching Dottie, Donnie, Karen, Mal and Jan George, and a few others. Then, the next summer, dic dragged Dotsie and Donnie with him to Canada and they took the class. That was the last time Vic credited BG with ANYTHING in TWI. BG had a big syllabus with tons of scripture references and his definitions of the 9 “gifts”, “keys to walking in the spirit”, the various names of devil spirits, “current” and in the Bible with every single bible record used in dic’s Advanced Class along with the teaching notes Dotsie, and Donnie took. Many parts of that syllabus became the syllabus for “Interpretation of Toungues and Prophecy” (TIP, & INT class) and The Advanced class, plagiarized literally verbatim. Dic was teaching his own “Power For Abundant Living” classes now. Mimeographed limited syllabi and 3 hour sessions. As he was used to since Chimes Hour Youth Caravan, he had everything recorded, and then Rhoda would transcribe all the tapes. Then, she and Dotsie, and Karen would edit for spelling and coherence, and dictor would determine the content. Later, as people with greater technical and intellectual abilities came along, (Donna Randall, Peter Wade, Walter Cummins, David Anderson, Bernita Jess, Ken Klug, John Somerville, Bishop Pillai, Lamsa) more textual and MS evidence was brought to the fore and given the thumbs up or down by dic. Again, everything recorded and transcribed! This is how the orange book, the blue book, the green book, and the PFAL book itself were written. When I first took the class, there were no books! There was the syllabus, Christians Should Be Propsperous in booklet form, Are The Dead Alive Now (also softback), Studies in Human Suffering (on the Book of Job) and 56 separate little pamphlets called “the collaterals”, which were eventually compiled into the first three volumes of the “Studies In Abundant Living” volumes, blue, green, and orange. During my first in-Rez year with the 4th corpse, dic held numerous research nights in the BRC with corpse and the research dept staff, which at that time was Walter Cummins, Donna Randall, Bernita Jess, and dictor as the head cheese and chief revelatory, to work on the final edition of the new JCING. Everybody was allowed to offer their thoughts, opinions, scriptural references, questions, counterpoints. They lasted 3-4 hours with a 1/2 hr break in the middle. They were really fun. But, the final writing was done as it had always been done since Van Wert. That’s why people notice the big difference in all the published works AFTER JCING. JCOP was the first book that was NOT based solely on transcripts of dic’s teachings. As a matter of fact, the body of the contents as well as the vast majority of it were NOT contributed by dictor at all! I can honestly say that the only thing dictor wrote in that book was the dedication! LOL! That’s enough for now. I know there’s a thread somewhere in which Penworks and I basically describe dictor’s “research” and “writing” techniques and prowess. Can’t remember the name of it, or when it was. But, IIRC, it pretty much covers the entire process of “writing” piffle and TWIt books. It might also be called “The Way: Living in Lies”! Or, “How To Plagiarize Your Way To Financial Independence: Building A Fundamentalist Cult”. LOL!................peace y’all!
  50. 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.

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