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  1. 2 points
    Control is at stake. On that topic, check out an excellent video on the topic of "undue influence." It's the second "story" on the home page of the International Cultic Studies Association. "Undue influence" is a term that describes the overreaching control that cultic groups exert over members. Description on website: "This talk will explain how the legal concept of undue influence, which has existed for centuries, can be helpful to former members of cultic groups today. Judges have hesitated or refused to hear testimony about brainwashing, mind control, and thought reform on the grounds, that, in their opinion, these concepts lack scientific validity. How can expert witnesses be more persuasive in court? What will help bring clever influencers to justice? The discussion will focus on how the undue influence concept can be updated and applied to cultic relationships, human trafficking, domestic violence, and other influence situations." https://www.icsahome.com/
  2. 2 points
    And, so were they...........on every level imaginable. Was the Emporia Campus a place of higher learning.......or just an indoctrination camp? Why dangle an Associates of Theology Degree......when it was a worthless piece of paper in academic circles? Dozens in the 7th corps (my elder corps) were sent to Gunnison and/or Tinnie, NM for plumbing, carpentry, etc. And, when they missed whole blocks of classes.......it didn't matter. Only their loyalty to Trustees' requests mattered. No grades, no tests......why take notes? Maybe just feign attention to keep up with appearances for future assignments. Why did wierwille think that Emporia Campus needed a Dean?....... Maybe that's why Dean Don felt betrayed? The whole gambit wreaked of *playing the system to one's advantage.* Seemingly, the concept was......if you wanted to move up the ladder, you've got to go corps. Even those who'd been leaders on the field for years, had to go thru the corps training to establish street cred [cult cred].......ie Chris Geer [7th corps], John Lynn [9th corps]. Heck, even Don and Howard were publically presented with Honorary Corps Diplomas...... why? LOL With corps in-residency, there was no basis for academic achievement.........no questioning, no open discussions, no tests, no voicing dissent was allowed. Even those adept in research skills and languages were confined to the parameters of wierwille's "research." The whole deception was, and still is, that the corps program involved education......whereas indoctrination was its core.
  3. 1 point
    Admission into Wierwille's Elite Corps Program: Loyalty When wierwille set up his "spiritual-marine" corps training program......it was based on one thing, loyalty. The corps candidate was required to take all of the prerequisite classes, serve faithfully for the apprentice year, get sponsors and money together and then........admittance was granted into the corps program. The corps program was NOT about an education or curriculum with test scores or grades. In fact, some corps skipped months of classes by following trustees' requests concerning the building needs at other campuses. The corps program was NOT an extensive search of biblical truths to be fully-equipped to teach and minister to others. Quite the contrary, it was designed to indoctrinate the youth into a lifetime of wierwille-adulation and twi-servitude. No grades. Missed classes. NO PROBLEM. Loyalty was the highest premium...........not merit. Big donations, doctors' kids and "celebrity-status" help to fast-track corps admissions, too. Even when corps were sent out Light-Bearers........we were told that we NEEDED to get a pfal class together or else. Or else what ?? That we'd be kicked out of the corps program? Yeah.....that is what was implied and what a lot of us thought. But when we arrived back on campus without achieving that stated objective......a major butt-chewing and shaming ensued to the majority of us who didn't sign up 7 people. But I don't remember anyone who was thrown out for failing this "test." With one's admission into wierwille's "army of corps-followers".........he got .....hundreds of thousands of hours of free labor. .....decades and, in some cases, a lifetime of twi-servitude .....five corps campuses that were indoctrinating youth .....tens of millions of dollars funneled into twi's coffers .....a secret world of guarding his sexual predation What did the corps get for this loyalty and admission into wierwille's corps program? To the misguided and/or clean of heart, they discovered the deception and dropped allegiance to this cult and built a new life. For the opportunists, liars and frauds it provided years, even decades of..........1) social signaling, 2) status gaming, 3) spiritual elitism, and 4) measured power and control over others. For those who continue in this spiritual-status game of twi and splinter groups..........is the self-serving appropriation of a bankrupt soul.
  4. 1 point
  5. 1 point
    I am in love with the idea of invisible information. This is $#!t you get to make up and attribute to God even though God could easily have said it but didn't. It's a mystery. You have to take it on faith. None dare call it Horse$hit. More seriously, though: It is false that I do not accept "pertinent" additional information. Speculation is fair. Extrapolation is fair. The reasoning process is fair. What's not fair is making $#!t up to pretend the conflicting accounts are in harmony when they are not. Peter denying Christ six times when each gospel says three. That's not reasonable. That's grasping at straws. Five crosses on the hill when each gospel says three is not reasonable. It's grasping at straws. Reasonable is when you say Christ died on a Wednesday and rose on a Saturday, and the Thursday sabbath was a high holy day, not the weekly sabbath. It's consistent with the facts and it does seem to fit together. There's nothing wrong with learning from history or other sources and incorporating that knowledge into your analysis of the scripture. What's wrong is making up excuses because without them your thesis of inerrancy falls apart. What's wrong is bolstering the reliability of one book because you need it to be accurate, even when the actual subject of that book has left behind his own testimony that its account is incorrect. That's just dishonest. It's not "pertinent invisible information." It's a cheap excuse that might as well be signed by Epstein's mother for all its reliability.
  6. 1 point
    If they recruit outsiders, they introduce outside ideas. If they introduce outside ideas, they can't control what people think. If they can't control what people think, they can't convince them to consistently hand over 10% of their income. In other words, yes, they want to do their thing- and that includes the money- and remain free of variables they can't control.
  7. 1 point
    And just how is that "certain pertinent, invisible information" which you add to the equation supposed to be evaluated for consistency -- especially when what one person who abandons the premise related to factual information -- is NOT consistent with various other persons? Against what is said information supposed to be evaluated? What spin might that be? Please be as specific as possible.
  8. 1 point
  9. 1 point
    In response to the mention of religious fundamentalism, I've benefited from a lot of reading on the topic ever since I left TWI in 1987. If you're interested in part of what I learned, here are a few blogs I've written about that. https://charleneedge.com/the-certain-curtain-how-fundamentalism-hooks/ https://charleneedge.com/the-word-which-bible-is-it-anyway/ https://charleneedge.com/christian-nationalism-notes-for-fundamentalist-friday/ Cheers, Penworks
  10. 1 point
  11. 1 point
    Seriously? LOL. I didn't say anything about whether anyone should question or challenge me. But I see what you did there. Nice deflection. Hoping you could get me to take your bait so all could be distracted from the question at hand, which is you questioning the honesty of my motives? Again, that seems more like a psychological defense mechanism than a cogent response to a legitimate challenge to your position on the question posed at the start of this thread. One might get the idea that you can't form an argument on the points in question.
  12. 1 point
    Yes. The Corps was a financial gold-mine. The students paid money to be there, so just having them there, and spending so little on them, meant the program worked at a profit. Then they worked manual labor for free, so twi didn't have to pay laborers for their free work, which is quite profitable. Any slave-owner could tell you that paying your workers zero is very profitable for you the slave-owner. Then, when they finished, they were expected to pay you money regularly- tithes, "abundant sharings", and, if you could convince them, "plurality giving", -handing over all money not directly earmarked for an expense like food, rent or clothes. On top of that, they were trained as a SALES FORCE- the only professional training they had was NOT in counseling or anything like that, it was plagiarized Dale Carnegie SALES courses. So, they were told to run classes- which ran at a profit for twi- and get more people- who were expected to tithe/ ABS. At every level, twi was organized to run with the least possible expenditures, with locals carrying all expenses, and all activities designed to run at a net financial profit for twi. It's blatantly UNgodly, but profitable if you care about money and NOT about God.
  13. 1 point
    The Corps program ran at a profit, since more tuition was paid than expenses were incurred, per student. The Corps program was ESPECIALLY profitable because the students who paid their tuition were required to perform manual labor, for which they were paid $0 per hour salary. They not only worked for free, they paid to be there. So, the more workers, the more money twi made. No wonder there were corps later who had a lot of "make-work" like cleaning things that were already clean when they arrived.
  14. 1 point
    The big money was from thousands upon thousands faithfully tithing/abs [15%] to twi of their hard-earned money. So yeah, when these "trained" followers went forth to run classes, get others involved, more tithing.....it was a multiplier of coercion and deception for sure.
  15. 1 point
    No guarantee that you finished knowing anything, either. When I first started attending locally, a corpse guy was sent to run the Branch for his interim year. He never fit in, and people just sorta nodded when he said stuff, then went off and did things the way we were supposed to. (He was more decorative than actually LEADING anything.) We were glad when his year was up and he went back to wherever. His replacement was better, but he could hardly have been worse. :)
  16. 1 point
    Yes..........and corps became leaders (cough, cough) over branches, areas, limbs, regions and departments at hq. All of the Milf0rd Bowens, J. Fred Wils0ns, and long-standing staffers at hq were phased out and replaced with corps grads. That's why even people that didn't want to go into the corps......went into the corps. It was status gaming of the system that wierwille set in motion. It was a two-tiered system.........if you weren't CORPS, you weren't in the top tier. Wierwille stated it plainly in his corps meetings for all to hear. Corps were instructed to MARRY corps......else, they were NOT equally-yoked. Got it? The corps nametag was "membership" to the only club that mattered in the cult.
  17. 1 point
    Yes there was. The corpse members got to wear the elite status nametags. IOW, "Look at ME! I'm elite!!"
  18. 1 point
    This was one of my biggest disappointments with the FellowLaborers program, as well. It was pitched as a way to gain in-depth training and insight. Turns out it was just a stinking commune with a Biblical facade.
  19. 1 point
    It's really not all that complicated. It boils down to our perception and understanding of reality. In other words, what we believe is real (or true.) Consider, for example, 2Kings 6:15-20. What was real? ...depends on what (or who's) perspective you are looking at it from. Or, does it? Did "what was real" in the situation actually change?
  20. 1 point
    Wait until he finds out Paul didn't write Ephesians and that Daniel never existed.
  21. 1 point
    Evidently your position is that anything not based in material facts isn't (indeed, can't be) reasonable... which I see as being a very erroneous premise. However, I really don't care to delve much into why it is. (Especially given the degree of entrenchment you've expressed in that regard.) You "reason" one way, and I reason another way. I have no issue seeing or admitting that, but apparently you do. Anything not done (i.e., reasoned) "your way" is ALWAYS thought of as being inferior, logically deficient, without merit, and (if little else)... void of reason. Now, go right ahead and think or call this some sort of ad hominine attack on you, personally. But honestly speaking, it's not. It's faulting the perspective that you have presented on what is (or can be thought of as being) "reasonable." When the apostle Paul, as his manner was, reasoned with various men in his day and time... do you likewise think (as you have done thus far) that because he based many of his words and thoughts on scripture that he too had "gleefully abandoned" reason? Or, perhaps you suppose that his (or anyone else's, for that matter) manner of reasoning was only valid (or reasonable) to the point that it contained or was based on hard factual (material) evidence. Frankly, it a bit of a challenge to me trying to understand why you're so stuck on "cold hard facts," so to speak. There's just too many times it seems that "said facts" (i.e., evidences) are incomplete, and eventually end up moving or changing.
  22. 1 point
    I recently discovered this article that relates to cult brain. It describes a scenario much like Wierwille in the PFLAP class instructs students to reject anything other than what lines up with his fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible. Of course, many of us on GSC have discussed "waybrain" over the last nearly two decades. ... religious fundamentalism—which refers to the belief in the absolute authority of a religious text or leaders—is almost never good for an individual. This is primarily because fundamentalism discourages any logical reasoning or scientific evidence that challenges its scripture, making it inherently maladaptive. ----- The single most important thing I may have learned over the last 32 years is that God is bigger than any notion of humankind, written or imagined. How does this relate to Wierwillism? Well, the cranky old potentate(s) [Either Wierwille or Martindale, those were the only two I interacted with] of TWI was never allowed for discussion or disagreement. It was ALWAYS their way or the highway. As I can see now, that puts God into a very small box and twi followers into even smaller boxes. It's increasingly obvious that religious fundamentalism is having a profound negative impact on society. But I won't get into that in detail here.
  23. 1 point
    I never lived with way corps, never wanted to. I saw early on that they would have been stifling, and I wasn't interested in a restricted lifestyle living by others' rules.
  24. 1 point
    Can a believer believe so big that they can believe for a rock that even they can't believe to lift?