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  1. 4 points
    (Hope OK to do this; don't want the discussion to be buried in the old way tapes!) A few quotes from the Old Way Tapes thread that are on this excellent needed topic IMO, and my thankful reply: He was grooming us to extend our bounderies of acceptance. (Sorry, the belows didn't copy well) [Waysider posted: He was grooming us to extend our bounderies of acceptance.] [T-Bone posted: I agree. Wierwille’s modus operandi was in developing an undercurrent that grew stronger as one became more involved with the organization (like joining programs and staff). Undercurrent: an underlying feeling or influence, especially one that is contrary to the prevailing atmosphere and is not expressed openly; a current of water below the surface and moving in a different direction from any surface current…teachings available to the general public were seemingly benign promoting study of the Bible, offering keys to overcoming adversity and finding fulfilment in life. All that supposedly wholesome sounding Bible stuff on the surface hides the undertow. You'll find it's all about wierwille's skewed interpretation of the Bible commingled with lies... Your hopes and dreams become entangled with the busy work of the ministry. Any false sense of happiness and fulfillment really depends on how much you commit to an organization. Christian, beware these are treacherous waters! The deeper you go the more you find wierwille’s influence leading you further and further away from the simple and honest life of a Christian. Wierwille was like Captain Nemo and my experience in TWI was like twenty thousand (or more) lies under the sea.] Me, Annio now: Well expressed and Ah YES, THANK YOU!!! These posts are extremely helpful to me for several reasons- 1) Am still recovering from various way ministry abuses and they give needed big picture context 2) Have had discussions with an old friend recently who still connects to/with Chris Geer folks; now I can see more clearly the reasons for her continued adulation of vpw and inability/ unwillingness to accept the trauma that I went through. 3) I can see parallels betw the modus operandi of vpw and Harvey Weinsten, Jeffrey Epstein, Catholic priests, et al. Weinstein was a bully in general, several ppl testified, so naturally this can extend to a man's sexual relationships with women who need his support/connection to advance their careers. A male assistant said working for him was like "being in a cult". Vpw was a bully with power in general, and used sex as a way to bring "privileged" young women into his inner circle using his false mog persona. There are numerous parallels between all of these predators, the normalizing cultures around them, the addictions they had, the sense that they were untouchable re: the law/consequences, etc. 4) All of this is building up my desire to DO something. Since I left the way in '88 and transitioned with others into Chris Geer's fold for a good while, and since CG led me to the motor coach in '80, I did research and found his home address: 13 Casselton Rd, Raymond, ME, 4071-6727. Maybe I will write him a letter... Maybe I will write Kris Skedgell about how much her wonderful book Losing the Way meant to me; she was at the family camp where I took PFAL in '74 (and where a young man just about seduced me)... Maybe I will contact the young leader who helped himself to me during my way corps interim year (so ironic that vpw taught [oh so benignly as has been said] that 1 Cor 7:1 could read "a man should not help himself to a woman"... Talk about reverse undercurrents...). We shall see... Maybe CFF folks would give a listening ear? That would be helpful. They have alot of my trust in other areas; DWBH's sharing about his conversation with Kevin Gigou and I think Sarah, confirmed my positive regard for them. 5) And all of this is building up my desire to find some closure, as much as is possible here on this earth. We shall see! Yep, I have been able to process alot by posting here; apologies if I share too much info... So good to know you all are here!! And maybe I can support others on their journeys from time to time. Cheers, and best to you all!!
  2. 4 points
    I like the total of 1 comment at the very bottom of their web page. But I must say...I really like the comment. LOL
  3. 4 points
    As for motives, since we have so much information on vpw's life and comments, we can trace a relatively clear path, at least in his own words. We know that vpw told the early corps that he considered business, music AND ministry before going into ministry. (Yes, looks like he got into all 3, I know.) So, going into ministry was a CAREER decision, not a calling. We know that he claimed that in his first 2 years in ministry, each of those years, he seriously considered giving up. So, going into ministry wasn't about CONVICTION, but about convenience. We know that he took "Homiletics" or preaching, as his area of study- not "Bible history" or anything rigorous- he picked probably the softest option. When he was into his second year as a preacher was when he first heard the idea that the Bible was the word of God and that he didn't believe it prior to that. (We don't know what he based the first year's sermons on, but it wasn't on the idea that the Bible was really special.) We also know that he inflated his credentials- like when he claimed he took ALL of Moody's correspondence courses, but according to their records, he never took ANY of their courses. (They have records of all completed courses, and there is NO record of him having turned in even one course.) We know that, around 1970 or shortly thereafter, vpw began claiming he heard from God Almighty back in 1942, in a promise that doesn't hold up to scrutiny. We know that, according to him, his first thought when he supposedly heard that was that EVERYONE WOULD LISTEN TO HIM if that was the case. We also know that he's cited snowstorms that didn't exist to punctuate events he later claimed were important. In 1953, he went to a convention where he met JE Stiles and learned from him, later plagiarizing the entire contents of Stiles' book on the Holy Spirit for his own publication. Of that day, he claimed the city was in a blizzard, and planes, trains AND buses were all out. (There wasn't even a single flake on the ground.) When confronted with this, he never claimed anyone was mistaken- instead he claimed that angels answered the phones at the bus depot, etc and lied to him each time. All of that says quite a bit about the man, and that's hardly everything.
  4. 4 points
    Lotza things kids, Having been around during that period of Lynn 's exit and having spoken with him twice the year he skated out, John Lynn's "quitting/getting fired" from the Way Ministry was kinda self serving. It benefitted him in several ways: - He crafted his own exit message around his personal involvement and culpability in the things that were "wrong" with the Way Inc. I mention that because when he and I spoke the first time about his leaving, he didn't want to talk at all about issues I brought up to him that I felt he had some accountability for. - He was able to personally attack all of the Trustees and anyone he wished without any chance of their rebuttal or responding. - He created and managed the environment in which he WOULD deal with anything he chose - He was able to start teaching what was to become a long string of half-assed-theories-of-the-week ideas unchallenged, while claiming he was walking in "Doctor's Footsteps" (which he told me over the phone). And when I told him he and I both knew ANY deviation from PFAL would have "The Doctor" shoving his foot up his ass he just chuckled and said "well, we'll all know someday" and continued to blab on. When I last spoke to him in - 1987? - I was still formally attached to the Way Inc. via my then-current Corps assignment but I was very aware that the Way Nash's leadership structure was in rack and ruin and I had no rose-colored expectations that it was going to get better. IMO however, Lynn did no great service to anyone in "revealing" the evils of the Way Trustees that he didn't get a lot in return for. It set the stage for all his future efforts and effectively made him an heir-apparent for all the ex-Wayfers who still needed a nipple to suck on and a warm crotch to lay their head on while being taught "the Bible" again and again and again and again. And again. Other than a phone call in the '90's when he was traveling around with a new book to sell and a coffee can to collect money in when he taught, I have had no contact from him at all. I wouldn't get involved in any of his enterprises, listen to him talk or buy anything he was selling. I'd love to engage in any number of normal real life activities, if the opportunity fell into my lap but other than that I do pray for his health and healing. Over the years I've heard and seen a few things here and there that he's done and - maybe it's just me - but he's turned into a terrible speaker and teacher, IMO. He's not really "funny", which everyone likes to say to get you to listen...."He's just as funny as he ever was".....and I'm not hard pressed to find yet another LOL jokester. I'm sure he's about as good as anyone would be who's been pounding the book for this many years but it's been years since I was dependent on the Teaching Teat of Ex Way Teat-chers. Seriously - there's a lot of sludge out there. As long as they mean well and do their best, I'm fine with it, just don't try to tell me it's next level stuff or particularly meaninful or anything like it. But my Gad-a-mitey, this is ancient history. Why do I persist, and to what ends? I guess it's a way to sort through the detritus and dust and pull out the odd dime or quarter lost in the cushions. God bless 'im but if the intent is to carry on with the message of Christ and salvation to the future generations it's time to give this bullshit a rest and focus on "GOD'S WORD" instead of whether or not one of us old and breaking down former wannabe-s can still punch our old weight. I would say this with no equivocation however and with all the state and stature it deserves - Lynn is the Undisputed King of The Church of JAL. All hail the King of JAL!!
  5. 4 points
    Same pattern.........always. Rivals wait for opportunistic time Head Minister passes away or retires When not promoted to big chair....plots strategy Abides time to "break away" and be in charge Find chinks in their armor/doctrine Isolate his splinter group from "wrong doctrine" Be sure that support ($$$) is firmly in place Behold.......another offshoot grows in the midst Nothing new under the sun...... Heck.....wierwille's "thriving ministry" only lasted 12 years (1970-1982) Then, he retired......and the infighting started.
  6. 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 …
  7. 3 points
    Mornin' y'all, I was born into this ministry about 21 years ago to two Way Corps(e? lol) ministers who worked at HQ from I don't know when to 2013. That means- yes, your logical inferences are correct- I had to spend my entire childhood living in f*cking New Knoxville, OH. There were, I think, only two other kids my age who were born in '98 and stayed through '13; certainly there were none whose parents were fired in '13. So I'm sure whatever poor guy they've got monitoring this has already deductively identified me- but I don't care, I've already put my name to a review on Google Maps. 2 stars, I have only good memories of the food, especially that dope foot split pea soup. To give you an idea of the enduring psychological pain I've got, just writing that opener means my arms have started shaking and my mind has sorta gone blank. The shrink at my college told me I've got PTSD, though she was a PHD student so that's no official diagnosis. In the few years I've been out, I've managed to forget a lot, but I see that y'all are curious for what goes on past 2000, and I think it'll be a good exercise for me to try and remember. So any questions you've got about HQ, or even through R&R- my parents still keep up with that- I'm right here. I'll just use the rest of this post to detail the circumstances of our leaving, since I think they're pretty emblematic of the, uh, dank authoritarian vibes leadership has kept up past the Martindale era. In the 2011-2012 school year I was in eighth grade and I developed this illness which was pretty bad- kept me out of school almost every day in April of that year. My attendance freshman year was even worse; I think I missed close to 1/3 of all school days. What was this illness, you ask? The main symptom was very intense physical stomach pain- which doctors couldn't explain after 2 endoscopes and a colonoscopy. My personal theory is that it was literally a physical incarnation of the stress I was under, since it sort of magically disappeared about 6 months after my family left NK. Correlation =/= causation and all that, but whatever. So anyway, I go into sophomore year and rack up like 7 absences in 3 weeks and NKHS tells my parents look, ya kid is a straight-A student who easily passes his tests without attending class but we just can't do this relationship anymore because we're unwilling to bend our absence policy. So I'm politely shown the door to this alternative online high school. That's all it took, folks. See, Rivenbark apparently does not believe that online school is a place that good Way Corps should send their kids. So two weeks after my parents make this decision, she gets Phil to summarily fire them from their severely underpaid HQ jobs. (Thank god, maybe they still have time to save for retirement.) Then about a year later, they're booted from the core. It was my dream to be a Way Corps member through 9th grade, guys I was 100% sold. Now I flinch when I hear church music- I heard Rise and Shine a couple months ago and had a full-on mental breakdown. My parents have gone from making me speak in tongues to pleading with me to not give up on God. My honest response to that is that whatever God I believed in in childhood is 6 feet under, the new meme is judging people based on their actions and words instead of automatically hating gay people. I think I love them too much to ever say that, especially since sometimes I think otherwise about the first part. Anyway, thanks for reading, peace.
  8. 3 points
    Right. The goal of the law is to get to know Jesus, the Christ. Get to know the Man, the King, the Shepherd, the Redeemer. The goal of the law IS NOT to get to observe any specific day, or time, or season. We are to do as Jesus did, in heart, soul, mind, and strength. That means: loving and obeying God. And then, loving our neighbours (=those around us, those we come into contact with). It doesn't mean: following all the ritual that Jesus followed, and much of which he poo-poo'd.
  9. 3 points
    Being separated physically by many miles from our families presents it’s challenges. On our minds quite often is how they are doing, what’s the latest movie they watched, how is life with the new boy friend, did they gat the package you sent? Endless little things that make our hearts grow fonder each day. When I was in the Navy in Viet Nam, without a doubt, mail call was the high light of our day. We could not wait for a letter from home or a package containing cookies or candy. A picture of our family or buddies was the absolute greatest thing. Finding out the grandparents were doing just fine was vety comforting. I wasn’t married or had a girlfriend, but my shipmates who were, longed to know about their children’s school grades and who their latest friend was. I witnessed grown men completely break down when they got a “Dear John” letter. One even jumped ship and swam ashore to the Viet Cong. My daughter and her family recently moved away from home. A promotion sent them a 1,000 miles away. Adjustment at first was quite difficult, but gradually it became easier to accept. Enter modern technology. The separation has been so much easier to accept because of IM, Facetime, and the multitude of other communication devices. My daughters family just got a new puppy, and seeing the happiness in my granddaughters faces is immeasurable. Watching them chasing the pooch or him running them down is so much fun. Viewing them live as they open their birthday gifts is so neat. Just watching them for 15 minutes drawing their latest cartoon character, or seeing them staying within the lines coloring a teddy bear. Seeing my wife’s face light up as she so intently observes their every movement, is priceless. Yes, modern technology has allowed our family to stay up to date with each other. Is it as good as physically being together? No. But, it is certainly better than waiting weeks for a letter to arrive.
  10. 3 points
    Well, I've been thinking about that... and how easily people get conned (in general) these days. So I found an intriguing essay about classic literature that contrasts with VP quite well. https://medium.com/@spencerbaum/3-reasons-why-you-should-read-more-classic-literature-in-2019-e762cb5c910c Call me Ishmael. The famous opening sentence of Moby Dick, so short and provocative, is welcoming and familiar to the 21st century reader, who is accustomed to snappy prose with short sentences and lots of white space. A few sentences later in Melville’s masterpiece we get a sentence that’s more representative of the novel to come. In just a bit I’m going to quote that sentence, and insist that you read it. And I mean really read it. Don’t skim it. This essay is about to make the argument that there is value to the way the classics force us to slow down and concentrate, and it will be easier for you to understand that point if you experience it first. Here’s the quote from Moby Dick. Please read it slowly and carefully: "Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off — then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can." This brings us to the first and, to my mind, most important reason to read the classics in 2019 2020. 1. You should read classic literature because it forces you to think deeply and concentrate. 21st century media is hell on the attention span. But you already know this. You know that our digital devices are shortening our attention spans, teaching us to only skim the surface of ideas, and making us addicts to tiny dopamine bursts that come from (among other things) the Like and Share buttons. As we near the end of the second decade of the 21st century we’ve developed widespread awareness that our devices have made us shallow thinkers. We’re less cognizant, however, of the effect of the content itself. Or the style in which the content is written. Have you ever wondered why so many of the articles you read, like this one, are organized in numbered lists? Or why the writing in these articles is so often organized into ultra-short paragraphs, many of them only one sentence long? We, the content creators of the 21st century, have learned to write in snappy lists with short sentences and one-sentence paragraphs. We write this way because this is what you, the content consumers of the 21st century, choose to read. You like content that is clear, concise, simple, and to the point. You’re in a hurry (always), and we writers know, God do we know, that we are competing not just against other essays or other books, but against the endless siren songs of Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter. We know that if we ask too much of you, say, if we give you a long sentence or, God forbid, a long paragraph, we might be taxing your mind more than you’re interested in having it taxed. We know that a complicated, multi-layered thought, one that might require you to slow down or reread a sentence or look up from your screen and think for a minute is too much to ask when your phone is bursting with notifications and there’s a new video on your favorite Youtube channel and everyone’s talking about that new show on Netflix but you haven’t even seen the last new show everyone was talking about yet and you’ve got ten tabs open on your browser and 3,000 unread books on your Kindle and holy hell who has time to consume it all just open my vein and fill it with listicles please! There’s a cost to all this. In the book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (a 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist for general nonfiction), Nicolas Carr looks at all the research in neuroscience and psychology about what the Internet is doing to our brains and determines that, yes, our ceaseless attempts to skim this glut of information is making us shallow thinkers who are far less capable of deep, focused, intense thought than our parents and grandparents were. You should read the classics in 2019 to unlearn the shallowness and impatience you are learning in your hyper-accelerated 21st century life. When you read Melville (or Hugo or Austen or Tolstoy or Plato or Shakespeare) you are sharing headspace with someone who is much better at slow, deep, meaningful thinking than you are because they’ve never lived in the shallows like you do. ***** The essay continues, but I hope you get the point. Wierwille obviously didn't want you to THINK.
  11. 3 points
    "The thing though with you guys, it looks like in a clique, you are comfortable in protecting yourselves and when a new kid in the block comes is with something you don't like (which is quite clearly a commandment in God's word) he gets a hiding. Wait till you face Jesus Christ- and your face will turn pale for rejecting what is clearly a commandment of God. I have showed you in so many ways why it's an immutable commandment of God- and scriptures, left, right and centre- I dont have any hiddent agenda unlike TWI. But if you want to analyse yourself not to do God's sabbath keeping commandment -so be it- all the best-see you at the judgment seat- where I also will be examined It's like people on gsc gang up on me. I am not saying everyone is like this but most except for one other person I know and have stayed with and respect Contrary to what I think I have not be "torn" to pieces ( I laugh)- that's absolutely not true- "torn" is what you think- anyone can talk rubbish without focussing on bible chapter and verse and that's what's happeining. People cannot come back to me and point out what a verse is saying contrary to what I have been pointing out (I am not boasting- but what I have researched and know- I am to explain- If there is something I cannot explain I will gladly take time to research it and explain when it is clear to me) Most people dont do this - they go on about technical analysis- T-Bone would be the best example. If all you guys are interested in technical analysis rather than the word of God then go for it. The nay sayers wait for someone to give a reply then they pounce on an insignificant phrase which they can tear down and just chow down on it instead of focussing intently on scripture verses and learning the honest truth from the word of God." A) Everybody here has been new here at one time, and mis-stepped. I know I have. There are so many different points of view here that if it looks like EVERYBODY is disagreeing with you, you might reconsider if maybe, just maybe, you're so far off that NOBODY can agree with you. When they ALL agree on something, it's pretty rare. I mean, when me and Allen ALONE agree on something and disagree with a poster, that's rare and a big warning sign! :) B) If everybody here who respects the Bible AND believes it disagree with you, and you claim to do both as well- take it seriously. C) I know you THINK you've been logical, and represented the Bible fairly, and that anyone who raised a contrary point was disagreeing with the Bible. You're seeing a completely different version of the thread than everyone else is seeing. I know the easy way to approach it is to blithely claim ALL the other posters are hallucinating, hate God, are possessed, are dishonest, etc. I'd recommend the other approach- maybe, just maybe, everyone else sees something you don't. D) There's a lot you can learn from the posters here. However, you have to be ready to consider that people who disagree with you may have something before you can actually learn from the posters here. "When the student is ready, the teacher appears."
  12. 3 points
  13. 3 points
  14. 3 points
    Yup, the millet is long gone, but the gut reaction lingers. Ugh. In case you don't know, that's an analogy for the "Word" that VPW fed us, amounting to a con of Himalayan proportions. And I should know. I've actually been to the Himalayan mountains … in May 2009. Socks, eye-witnesses willing to give their two cents are few and far between. I get "fan mail" through the Contact page on my website from former Wayfers either defending VPW and "shame on me," or from some too afraid to speak up or out due to relatives still in TWI or due to their own weariness … which I totally understand. Who wants to put themselves out there for criticism and hate mail, which I get now and then. But I knew that going into what I did ... publishing my story in a book. Wake up people, Wierwille set this whole thing in motion from day one. It was never "pure" but got corrupted later on. He was out to set himself up as "the answer man." PLEEEAASE. Sigh.
  15. 3 points
    You're welcome! Yes, I have. A little early in my youth but moreso in later adulthood. I've read quite a bit about it and have some favorites in the field, although not many. Philosophy wasn't a popular term in the Way anytime I was involved (68 - 89). Philosophy is often considered antithetical to Christianity which is thought to be anti-intellectual by many. That line of thought contrasts Christianity the religion as being a set of revealed truths, a faith in a revelation that defines life with Philosophy as an inquiry into the fundamentals of life that tries to consider it as a whole and reason through what we know by our senses, not "super senses" so to speak, if there were to be such a thing. My thought on that is that if I take it all off the table and go back to zero - what have I got? Christianity itself is a bit of a hybrid, but not for obvious reasons. Christ is "the Logos", the Word, the intent and meaning, the purposes, of God. God who can not be seen by my human eyes can be seen through the human being Jesus Christ, "He that has seen me has seen the Father". A logos is very much attached to it's source, if I can put it that way - it's essentially an expression of the reasoning of the one reasoning. And it's why Jesus Christ can't "Be God" literally, if he's the Logos of God anymore than say, a child I might have and raise whose sole purpose would be to carry on my work and legacy can literally "Be Me". It's a matter of consciousness, Jesus had a conscious life that was not "the same" as God's, they both didn't think through the same conscious facility, seen in how Jesus prayed TO God, and described Him as "Father". So in a way, even considering all the permutations and conjecture throughout history on Jesus Christ "the Word" and what that means, it could never really mean that he's God. He is by intention a necessary part of the means I am given BY God to understand and relate to Himself. That's not a small thing in an of itself by any means. So - that being the case (either way but easier to see through reasoning the "Logos" of God) Christianity is a revealed belief that doesn't rely on human reasoning to exist but the revelation itself is now a part of the physical world and I can now reason with and through it and learn both from it and about it. Now - Paul wrote that the "full" revelation of Christ wasn't a product of man's effort and was unknown, a mystery, secret. He wrote about the physical not being able to understand the spiritual and since I accept that to be true I also have to accept that when and if the spiritual is expressed in the physical, it's expression must then be able to be reasoned to it's source - without that "domain" context I can't really know it in a meaningful way and that's eXACTly what Christianity does, it gives domain context to everything it covers. And I'd argue that while it's outside of the reasoning we see in history it's not outside the range of human reasoning to have considered this time we are in - something that gets missed in theology I think. Granted the Jews and the other nations weren't thinking that way and they were being generally led as Israel to their separate and chosen status - but it wouldn't have been impossible for anyone sitting down and considering what the Messiah might really be like and do in His coming to consider "...hey! What if God draws all mankind to Himself through our Messiah??!! I know, I know, that's not supposed to happen but doesn't it kinda make sense in a weird way...? What if - hey, that's a crazy idea but think about it....."... and then say "nawwwww! that's too crazy"..... Point being that everything about Christianity as it's been revealed and passed down including it's heritage history, is a physical reality, a moment in history, a tangible event, something that happened or was said and that had meaning and understanding in it's day and time. It's been written down, given the stamp of authenticity and can be now clearly understood to be "in" "The Word of God". In the same way we believe in Jesus Christ, not as an idea of an intention - but as person who lived, died, rose again, ascended. A real person. Point to the point being that in order to learn that, know it, understand it and get to the point I'm living it, everything I am doing in believing in Christ is essentially believing in the meaning of past events that have meaning now. So in it's own world it's not just a fuzzy idea or a revealed truth - it's a real man, a real God, and a real meaning for things I now really consider to be - well, real. So the effort I engage in is one of observation and consideration. In this same way the essentials of my own Christianity are tangible, with real events and real things that also have lead me to believe what I believe in - including what I've learned in the Bible. It's not only a belief in a set of values I've been taught or a fact someone told me is true - my own facts follow suit with the ones I've learned from others and in fact are probably at least as important to my beliefs now as what's in the Bible. I guess I choose to not get stuck in arguing objectivity and subjectivity and never get to the real meat of it all which is - is there really anything going on here with all this and if there is, how can I learn and understand it. And since the spirit of God is now in me and I have the "mind of Christ", my new capacity to live in this life would logically include the ability to reason within my new universe. - Glad you liked the Mickey Mouse stuff - an idea once fell on me like a cinder block once - that "the truth" can always be seen from any angle. God is with us always, even to the depths of hell or the furthest reaches of life - God is with us. Some people see God as being someone who does good things. I kinda see good wherever I find it, and see God. Or try to anyway. PEACE!
  16. 3 points
    Doing the word... well, I'll be out DOING THE WORD leading my team of four Street Pastors this evening, 10pm-3am. We will be handing out warm clothing if needed, and hot drinks to rough sleepers; picking up glassware (whole and broken) to keep damaging stuff away from causing injury or becoming weapons; helping drunk people to sober up sufficiently to get a taxi home; giving out flipflops to girls whose shoes are painful by the end of the night; helping people locate friends and their hotels/bed for the night; and offering kind words to any who are in need - the lost, the lonely, the bereaved, those with big home problems; and suchlike. As a special thing this year, I've made up Christmas parcels with hats and gloves etc, and some things to eat; and some "crackers" with a toothbrush and some toothpaste samples; and some cards, to give to the street sleepers. Hope these are well received; we hope for opportunities to share the gospel more with recipients. Sometimes, we even speak the gospel instead of demonstrating it.
  17. 3 points
    Why were those SIX YEARS (1992-1998) so agonizing?.........not because of the good-hearted folks in Oklahoma, that's for sure. But because of twi's "mission-creep" from elitists at headquarters (cough, cough) who dogged the way corps constantly with faxes, corps teachings, reports, phone calls, verbal attacks, encroaching legalism and more......proclaiming (and further indoctrinating us) that we were the (only) faithful remnant of God's Household standing on "The Word." Yearly themes like......Living Sanctified, Crossing the Bridge into God's Prevailing Word, and the new, upcoming class series on The Way of Abundance and Power. The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse........is alive and well in twi's cult and its splinters. They use subtle, manipulating and intimidating guilt and abuse to strong-arm followers into compliance. Public teachings and themes all have an agenda to keep you in submission to their doctrines. Centralized abuse from afar!! Martindale was using the SAME techniques that wierwille used......only, the sex-crazed leader of twi (martindale) was not nearly as crafty as old man wierwille. Six intense years of Insanity on Steroids ........a link to where 3 years ago, I documented the systemic abuse and over-bearing intrusive legalism most specifically pronounced from 1995-1998 when all corps were mandated to quit their jobs and sign onto twi's "revelation project." Yeah, tongue-in-cheek......."revelation project" where martindale supposedly got revelation from God (cough, cough) that all corps be on twi's payroll and thereby, be available full-time to jump thru every damn hoop at the circus. What a growing, ludicrous farce it became!!! Read the link......and see how twi treats its field staff. THEN.......take note that ALL of these newly-exited corps (2016-2018)......especially the new splinter leaders, STAYED ANOTHER 17 YEARS into rivenbark's regime. NOTE.......having known most all of these corps people for over 20 years, NOT ONE OF THEM ever called us when my wife and I were smeared with a diatribe character assassination in September 1998 on a corps phone hook-up meeting. What happened to us...........has happened DOZENS and DOZENS of times. Wierwille did it. Martindale did it. And, I have heard that Rivenbark and DeLisle have done it. I knew every twi-president.......personally. So did my wife. Not one of them lifted a finger in our defense. Twi is a cult........not because of its beliefs, but because of its methods. Many splinters have surfaced in the past 32 years. How many of them have taken the time to uproot the poison ivy that is growing in their midst? People have died on Twi's LEAD program......yet, wierwille never addressed it publically to the corps body. Women were raped hitch-hiking to LEAD.......yet, no accountability by the "spiritual leaders." Sexual predation by wierwille and martindale was widely known.......yet, all the upper-tier enablers kept silent. Yes, Howard and Wanda and Rosalie were partakers of the sins. With her counseling degree, Dottie Moneyhands was involved in Florida with "counseling" twi-victims of rape/abuse. But hey. many of you splinter guys........keep whistling your merry tune thru the graveyard of wierwille's abundant living......er, redundant misgivings.
  18. 3 points
    Welcome, Zanezim, I hope you find some good virtual camaraderie here. I did. I spent 17 years in TWI (1970-1987) and the lovely, non-manipulative people I met but don't see anymore is what I miss most about that time. Over the years, though, I've made new friends whose love is not dependent upon whether I am like-minded with them about the Bible. Relief! Cheers and happy holiday season to you and to everyone here at GSC. Penworks
  19. 3 points
    Think you might need another category. Life as a whole; time in TWI; time recovering from TWI. That's a harder time to quantify. From when one leaves, to the time one stops thinking like a Wayfer, or stops startling at key jargon words that have acquired other meanings; or until one has abandoned unhealthy TWI concepts. I call the ten years post-TWI the lost years - I was there in body (even doing things that I ought to have enjoyed), but in such a state that my mind was only partly there and I was actually in a state of profound depression. I think my recovery didn't start till about ten years after being kicked out, and that was when I discovered Greasespot Café when I was preparing to crawl back to TWI. After that, it was - what? five years? ten years? - before I think I became a more clear-minded person and got back my enthusiasm for living. If you take that as 20 years (on top of TWI involvement) that's a very big chunk of pie chart. I thank God for his great protection and for the kind, loving, genuine, patient and helpful, Christians and other people he put in my way in that 20 years or so
  20. 3 points
  21. 3 points
    In case anyone cares, Mike (a poster who all but worshipped vpw) claimed that AFTER that teaching, vpw's "REAL" last teaching was "The Joy of Service." The "the Joy of Service Transcript" has been posted here twice (posted by dmiller, reposted by me) and can be found if anyone cares enough. It was a verbose COMMERCIAL for twi. BTW, anyone who wants a quick summary of the main points of that entire transcript, it's simple. I said it before: "Serving people is important for Christians. Therefore, master all three levels of PFAL and serve them that. There are no answers outside the Way Ministry." (The end,) My initial response to it was that this was the closing remarks of a man with an overinflated sense of his organization, and an underinflated sense of all Christians outside that organization.
  22. 3 points
    IDK. I think applause at the end is thankfulness...that it's finally over.
  23. 3 points
    I understood your reply, Lifted Up. People have different styles of responding to things they quote. And sometimes the function doesn't work as well as one might expect. It would be fair to say that everyone who gets to, say, 25, has some baggage to "process." Heck, even by 5 years old, some have already waaaay more than their fair share to have to deal with. Unfortunately, TWI burdened anyone with more than a passing acquaintance, with a lot of unnecessary baggage - guilt, fear, intimidation, abandonment by God, sexual mores shot to pieces, family relationships shattered - they took our vulnerabilities and exploited them; they took our strengths and told us we were relying on our own strength not God's (not even on the abilities that God himself may have given us). No wonder many escapees were confused (at best) and terrified (at worst) when getting away from the place. Oh yes. TWI leaders were very good at "confronting" people (what an aggressive term!) and not at all good when it came to being confronted themselves. They thought God was in their every word and action, or so they'd have the minions believe. Most churches would prefer to "come alongside" someone with a difficulty - whether a difficulty caused by lack of knowledge, or a difficulty from their own wilfully inappropriate behaviour of some sort. We are ALL sinners by nature. And we ALL need grace to extinguish our sins. Real grace and loving kindness, I mean. Not pretend grace to match the often pretend anger and the definitely pretend faults.
  24. 3 points
    There's a new video on TWI's law of believing. The law of believing is an important teaching in TWI. VP Wierwille taught that people cause good or bad results in their lives (wealth or poverty, life or death) by their positive or negative believing. Few recognize that Wierwille taught an atheistic system (even though he believed in God) that he learned from Albert Cliffe, not from the New Testament. Those who accepted Wierwille's teaching struggled with the conclusion that VPW must have caused his own early death by cancer.
  25. 3 points
    They're similar to Scientology in many respects. Scientology has a range of hold-harmless agreements and contracts they use for their various activities. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Scientology/ReleaseForms/ Perhaps they'll be a new book - "The Real Jesus Finally Stands Up!".....a re interpretation of the gospels based on early Schoenheit notations in a lost bible only recently discovered and translated from the original Coined Geek, into modern day middle-American english and a DVD version by Lynn himself, with an added humorous commentary track available, cuz it's the best gift you can get at any price! A free excerpt, below: "And when the multitude had gathered to hear Him, the disciples told Him the people were hungered and thirsty, upon hearing which then Jesus asked that the baskets of fish and bread be brought to him, as well as the freshly scribed Hold Harmless Contracts, of which were distributed first, one to each and ever person with a hand out to receive it, and the ability to sign or nod, that they might relinquish Him of anything they might not like, later or of any sickness or disease or swellings or rashes that might appear to be traced to anything that Jesus said, did, implied, inferred or might have if He'd been there, which may or may not have actually occurred........."
  26. 3 points
    A) JAL never apologized to anyone about bringing in a harmful program, or shilling a harmful program- which he does to this day. Either he DOESN'T CARE it's a harmful program, or he's such a raving idiot he's NOT AWARE it's hurt a LOT of people, and its practices pretty much guarantee it. It's well-known this is a harmful program. The Momentus people know other people know that- which is why they keep HIDING THE NAME and CHANGING THE NAME. So, if JAL is that slack-witted that he's the only one who doesn't know this is harmful, he has NO business leading ANYBODY. If JAL DOES know it's harmful and DOESN'T CARE that it harms God's People, then he has NO business leading ANYBODY. The closest thing we got to a apology was his blanket insult that we would dare to criticize his decisions here. B) How beneficial can a program be if there's a "conspiracy of silence surrounding what it's really like" (and Momentus certainly has that)? There should be a chance to get a general idea of the outline for the program. (I'm not saying they have to show every instant, but people should be able to make an INFORMED DECISION as to what is suitable for them, not to just to have to "take my word for it and pay for this weekend program." How "safe" is a program where you have to sign a waiver that exempts them from being responsible if people get hurt? For those who don't know, this is common sense. Any program run to teach anything has certain responsibilities that are expected LEGALLY as well as MORALLY. They are called "fiduciary responsibilities." If you take an exercise program, those responsibilities include making sure the students begin in decent health, and their health isn't jeopardized by the program in any way- no unsafe food supplements, no exercises that MIGHT damage a few but be fine for many, and so on. In a program like Momentus CLAIMS TO BE, there should NOT be the radical breakdown attempts that are part and parcel OF the program- since those lead DIRECTLY to people suffering the breakdowns. Regardless of any papers signed, there's a fiduciary responsibility and the "trainers" are open to civil suits if not criminal ones.
  27. 3 points
    9. We do not believe that “faith” is a force generated by the human mind that automatically brings either good or bad into one’s life. To me, that's a very bizarre statement, and reads like it's designed to appeal to the ex-Wayfer crowd. I talk to lots and lots of Christians of all stripe and no one is struggling with or promoting the idea that faith is a force generated by the human mind that yada yada.... Faith is trust, and confidence in, about, towards something. "Pistis/Pistueo" in the Bible, a firm conviction, belief, a trust - IN SOMETHING. The bang is in the buck. My exposure to the teachings of VPW in and around PFAL included what certainly sounded like him teaching "believing" as some kind of tangible "thing" that would produce a result when it was at a certain level. "Build up your believing", got used a lot in that context, and the very idea of Christians as "believers" was both their belief in doctrine as well as their "believing walks", what they did with those doctrines. If you "weren't believing" it had a sense of your tank being half full - like you were convinced but not REALLY convinced, even though you may have done the actual thing that needed to be done and didn't get the "results".....because you weren't "believing"....even though you were. It was kind of like a dog chasing it's tail though and every once in awhile it bites it and stops then starts again..........meanwhile all it really amounted to was trying to saturate your thinking and resulting actions with enough of what God instructs you to do so that your "faith" will then be towards Him. It used to seem sometimes like VPW actually repudiated God's grace when he's teach people to not rely on it - when people like me were thinking "fuk, I rely on it all the time, I NEED IT!!!!"..................and I guess what I think he really meant was don't be a lazy ass and avoid doing the work you're supposed to and expect someone else to do it for you. But they're not really the same things, that's not relying on "grace"> The trust and confidence of pistis/pistueo has significance in the Bible because it's GOD WERE' TRUSTING IN. Pneuma hagion is HIS GIFT, TO US. VPW was trying to build a generation of Uber Christians, The True Believers, who knew THE TRUTH and would WALK IT like it hasn't been walked since the first century. In fact, many of his early protege's tanked and were mostly just successful at being good employees and mimics of him in the family business. He died of cancer, alone but for a sidekick, pushing aways all others who might have actually given a crap about him as a person. I'd rather not exit this temporal crust that way. I can say without any doubt whatsoever and complete confidence that today, the greatest cargoes of life come in over seas of grace, in the vast ocean of God's eternal Will. Two words I caught in PFAL that I hold to today are "alignment and harmony".....rather than build an egocentric prideful bucket of pig shit over MY BELIEVING and all that I DO I have found it much better to try to live each day in a harmonious peaceful relationship with my heavenly Creator and Father and put my trust there. That's always worked, and even "back in the day" I was learning not to show up to my Mental Prayer Hut with a box of my believing and demanding God do this or that or whatever. In fact though, God did answer my prayers quite literally one day by reminding me that there's a lot of things I can "do for myself".....like just...go on. There you go. Go do it. Yep, you're fine. Go ahead. I'm with you. Yes. No - YOU CAN'T GO OVER IT AGAIN WITH ME OKAY YOU CAN BUT REALLY.....why not just go on. Do it. See? Right - okay, now do it again...yep...... Anyway, I learned some of that from Lynn too, as when I was around him and worked some with him he could be on the one hand a very nice, hard working industrious person but on the other, as kindly as I can say, something of a flat earth kind of mentality, intellectually. Not that I'm Einstein, but yeah. No.
  28. 3 points
    As many of you know, I stepped back from active management of GSC a few years back. I left the management in capable hands. I had a nervous meltdown. Disagreement turned into verbal battles. I always wanted this place to be a safe haven for those that left or was in the process of leaving or was thinking of leaving. This would be a place of solace. Lately, for some, attacking seems to be the color of the day. Why the need to attack? Why the need to call people names. My attitude has been if you are getting in vicious place, step away from the keyboard! The internet is rampant with vicious bravery behind a wall of anonymity I only have one word to those guilty of this, Stop! At least on this site. And as an aside, the hosting company has been double billing me, we are trying to work this out. If the site is not accessible in the next few days, don't worry.
  29. 3 points
    You WANT to be a believer? You HAVE to be a follower? ENTER into the world of The Way Ministry's Doublespeak. The language that deliberately obscures. Phrases that use sleight-of-hand to disguise. Descriptions that intend to distort. Definitions that reverse the meaning of words. The Way = The Way International (a follower by twi-servitude) The Way = the Lord Jesus Christ (a follower by making him lord of your life) HERE is how to be a follower of The Way International............. : "The Way is a fellowship of the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ for the manifestation of the more abundant life. A follower of The Way is filled with and manifests power from on high, holy spirit, and freely avails himself of fellowship meetings for spiritual nurture and growth. The Way fellowship is cemented together by the Spirit of God with each individual believer being transformed by the renewing of his mind according to the Word of God." NOW.......look at the Doublespeak of wierwille's use of phrases and words to define his "ministry": the more abundant life manifests power from on high spiritual nurture and growth renewing of the mind the Word of God Wierwille/twi has obscured and distorted each one of those terms in class presentation (pfal). Is "the more abundant life" physical or spiritual? Wierwille "looked around" and states (in pfal) that he SAW PEOPLE WHO WERE NOT CHRISTIAN living more of an abundant life that the church-going Christians. Is "manifesting power from on high" simply speaking in tongues in a believer's meeting......or is it a DAILY walk with your lord, mediator and savior Jesus Christ doing that which is pleasing to our Heavenly Father, loving and serving Him? Is "spiritual nurture and growth" defined by taking all of twi's classes and THEN, upgraded classes years later? Or, is it more deeply embedded in a deep, trusting spiritual relationship with our Father walking in His love and His light? Is "renewing of the mind" simply a matter of adhering to pfal material and twi's claptrap? Or, is it a moment-by-moment process (enlightenment?) of trusting Him and letting His will be done in our lives (as a vessel - pouring out in service to another)? Is "the Word of God" merely the teachings and plagiarized material from victor paul wierwille? Or, is it far-superior and excellent in power, deliverance and fulfillment as prophets of old spoke as they were moved via the holy spirit....whereby we have some of that mighty Word of God today in the written holy scripture? I believe that some of what I was taught in pfal/twi had a basis of truth in it...... I believe that much of what I was taught in pfal/twi was distorted, obscured and twisted..... I believe that most of what I was taught in pfal/twi wilts in significance to what is truly "power from on high"....and truly, The Word of God. .
  30. 3 points
    All too true. Re: going to the Lord in prayer. What we were encouraged to do was recite our lift list while speaking in tongues. In retrospect, it now seems more like we were trying to invoke some sort of magical spell.
  31. 3 points
    So true...........they are just not EQUIPPED with the right tools and ropes to get out of this cult rut and rot. THAT is why GSC is so damn important! More than three decades of splinter cults.......Lynn, Finn3gan, Seed, Carr, Burt0n, Hendricks, Rea-hard, Rood, Sann, Sides, Quillen, McMullan, Geer, etc, etc........and now, the latest two groups, Magnelli via Oikeos and these ex-corps coordinators spearheading R&R. Years and years of more involvement and fellowship....followship UNTIL the indoctrination (Momentus) or scandal became too blatantly obvious. And then, a mini-exodus from a mini-splinter cult. Some have died. Some have faded away. I find it incredulous that believers (cough, cough)....indoctrinated followers STILL are trapped in this mindset. Don't they read others books and material besides the wierwille books and class syllabi? Don't they have an independent thought that they can call their own? How rigid and boring it must be to go thru life having others dictate the boundaries of your existence (rut). Looking back on all this......as I've stated before, "I tend to see wierwille in terms of his narcissist pathologies to acquire power and dominance over others. It was only after he had "cornered the market" of stolen and plagiarized work from others that his "ministry" came to the fore and he made greater strides of controlling others. Dependence on twi was the alpha and omega.........not independence. Everything in the cult was a sequence..........of followship. Not once in all my years in twi did any leader encourage me to "go to the Lord in prayer." Every cog in the twi-machine functions on OBEDIENCE TO WIERWILLE-DOCTRINE..........not biblical authority."
  32. 3 points
    This was Jim Doop's last post. .......[bold-faced for emphasis]
  33. 3 points
    Hello all, This is my first comment after finding these forums a few weeks ago. I was born in 1982 into a family that was part of TWI; my parents were part of a twig group in the Houston area. From what I understand, my family and a big chunk of people in the Houston area broke off and started a splinter group sometime in the mid to late eighties. My mom and stepdad kept most of that info from us, but I remember them warning my sister and I not to answer any questions regarding PFAL materiel if someone came knocking at the door. The day I turned 18 I left and never went back to a fellowship. This caused a great stress between my mother, stepfather, and I and I went nearly a decade without talking to them. Between then and now I have put in work to try to build a relationship with them, but it is a very small slice of my life that I can share with them or that they can share with me without treading into religious waters. Despite that, I felt like I have been on the right track with them showing up for weekly dinners and starting to get to know them a little bit again. That is, until my sister died last month. It was a horrible accident and she was far too young in her mid 30's. I took on the bulk of the funeral planning, as hospitality and events is my profession. It was really difficult to plan because it forced me to negotiate with them about how much their religion would be involved in the service. We decided on a non-secular event hall, which was easy because they would have had an issue going anywhere with any other kind of religion involved. The tough part is that they wanted their reverend to speak for an hour of the 2 hour service. I fought tooth and nail to get it down to 15 minutes, which they agreed to. He spoke for 40 minutes. It was so difficult sitting through his angry sermon, where he was talking about drinking blood, speaking in tounges, and then pitching people taking PFAL classes. WTF. I left so angry. For the first time I started examining how TWI and their offshoot really effected me and the people I love in my life. I grew up feeling extremely emotionally and physically isolated from the outside world, and I am just now (in my late thirties) figuring out how to come to terms with that. I am married and have a good job, but that has taken serious work. I have a hard time really opening up and connecting with people although I yearn for it and work for it daily. My dad was excommunicated after he and my mother divorced (she cheated on him with their TWI marriage counselor). This probably had to do with my dad being gay :P. He hid his sexuality from my sister and I because he knew it meant we wouldn't get to see him. He never missed a child support check even though he was broke and despite constant pressure from my mom/stepdad and TWI pressuring him to cut ties. Once he finally came out, my mom and stepdad really freaked out because they are convinced he has devil spirits. For just under two decades they have had a cool relationship with each other, only talking when it had something to do with my sister or I. During the funeral they were cordial during the planning process, but cool during the funeral. Anyone former TWI or current offshoot would ignore my dad and his partner of 25 years. People who he has known for decades just pretended he wasn't there. After I spoke my heart at the funeral speaking about my sister and her life, I started getting the same treatment. It turns out I offended people by talking about her dad and his partner in the eulogy. That made me feel angry and sad. It also made me feel proud for speaking my mind to a group that didn't want to hear from me. Anyway, I am sorry for the word soup and I hope that I haven't gone way off topic here. I am just looking for information now. I am researching the people who I know are in their group now. I want to figure out what offshoot they are a part of and where all this PFAL money is going, considering it isn't supported by TWI anymore. My parents hold classes and travel regularly to hold and attend retreats. I am dying to know how big the splinter is that they are a part of. I want to learn more and face this. Does anyone know of any major offshoots that have a strong presence in the Houston area? Am I allowed to list names in this group to see if any of you know any of these people? Thank you all. It has been fascinating learning about your experiences.
  34. 3 points
    I do have something to say on this topic. In 1995, as part of an elaborate ruse to terminate communication between me and someone in another state who, unbeknownst to me at the time, was being abused by clergy, myself and my husband were asked to excuse ourselves from fellowship to put ourselves under the care of Bob Darnell, but then escalated to "not being welcome at the Way" by Ohio Limb Coordinator Dave Patterson under the most dubious of circumstances. We were totally blindsided, having not done anything unseemly at all. We would get information here and there as to what was going on, with each new doctrinal atrocity being taught absolutely flooring us. We even sat in our car for six nights on that road that Bob Wierwille lived on to listen to the ROA 95 teachings on AM radio, stunned. We lived in St. Mary's, and when someone from HQ would encounter us in public, they would run away on the other side of the street or another aisle in the store, with the exception of a very few people who obviously were not totally buying into Martindale's shiite. Finally in Spring of 1996 word got to us that Martindale was talking crap about someone at Corps Night and that John Shroyer had enough and got up and walked out. Well, John was ordained and recognized as Corps but he never was in residence, and I had always admired him because he was to me always the epitome of a real pastor. A down to earth guy who took care of people, didn't preen and fawn, didn't flaunt and vaunt himself. He had been made to give up his great house in St Mary's that he had for years and sent to Florida, where really good close friends of mine raved about how well he cared for people. I was so glad that someone finally had the balls to stand up to the maniacal narcissist. I phoned John and he told me that Mike Magel, of Premiere Labels and Word in Business reknown, and Frank Connerty, of Prison Outreach had also been on Martindale's smack talking list, and gave me their numbers. It was great because Frank was right there in St. Mary's. Well, as you know, those three guys started a splinter group, the topic of this thread. The group is the Christian Family Fellowship Ministry. But I was there from the very start, and I can tell you at the beginning it did not follow the track that John Lynn, and Vince Finnegan, and Dan Moran, and a lot of these other clowns took. For starters, it wasn't John's idea. He and had Maryann moved back to Ohio. At what point, I don't know- I don't know if they had already been called back when he walked out of the service, because I know that in August of 1996 Bob Moynihan sent out a monthly newsletter in Florida calling John a "Unfaithful Servant" because Gail Winegarner visited us in St. Mary's with his son Fritz and showed it to us. (Gail called Bless Patrol "The Gestapo.") John was working for a water softener company, selling water softener units. To my knowledge, he had always had a job for most of his life, even though he was ordained clergy. Getting back on topic, it was Mike Magel's idea to start a ministry. Premiere Label was the label company he had sold (if memory serves) that he talked about at Word in Business in 1993. When the non-compete was fulfilled, he started another label company, Star Label. He told John that if John wanted to start a ministry, Mike would back him. John said let's just do a fellowship. So, a handful of us started meeting in the lunchroom Star Label every Sunday. We wanted it, there was no hard sell or coaxing. People were hurting because they were getting kicked out and abused left and right. There was a book titled "The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse: Recognizing and Escaping Spiritual Manipulation and False Spiritual Authority Within the Church" by Jeff Van Vonderen that John recommended. It really summed up what The Way used to recruit, retain, and abuse followers, and the template is applicable to many types of abusive relationships. Before you knew it, the lunch room was not big enough, a place had to be rented, and people from other states were constantly contacting John. Yes, they made the decision to incorporate, but they also made it flexible, so that if they needed to add or change, they would do it. I was an eyewitness for the first few years, and they definitely kept it real. Of course, my regular involvement predated before all the lurid details of VPW's sexual predation coming out; Kevin and Sarah Guigou first started coming around in late 1997. I was regularly active up until I divorced and left Ohio in February of 1999, when I went to New Jersey and then onto South Africa. After that, I would make it back whenever I was in the states for large scale events or visiting Ohio, getting down to the fellowship center that was built and dedicated in 1998, a modestly sized building. My last visit was in 2006, after a five year absence, and having not seen John for four years since he had visited New Jersey. He passed away a few weeks later. Judging from the website, there seems to be more of an element of rigidity to the group now than there was when he was alive; I remember on the day of the dedication in 1998, him talking about that what was important was how a person lived, and treated other people, and so what if someone believed in the trinity. He said it was okay to believe in the trinity. He used to also make a point of saying it didn't matter if people didn't tithe, that it wasn't a requirement. In 1998 he published a booklet titled "Compassion." something I used to gift people, something no one has ever complained about receiving, regardless of their religion. He also once suggested people read the book "In His Steps" Really, what John posited people do was so opposite of what had been indoctrinated by the Way, and a lot of the splinters. I can honestly say that with him, it was never about the money. PS/Addendum: Hey, Michael Fort, if you ever come here to lurk, I just want you to know that every time I've ever heard Bob Dylan sing "Like A Rolling Stone" for the past 24 years, I thought of you, because I knew your day was going to come. And Oh, By the way, fornicate you.
  35. 2 points
    Yep. Everything I, and others on this thread, goes right over your head. We don't live in OT times, Waxit. We have a little more freedom than that. I am not "finding legal loopholes" (which you seem to think is wrong) - I am explaining how law works. I am jolly sure that God intended man to take regular rest from his normal labours. Absolutely! And I have always made it clear to you (should you choose to look) that I do exactly that. I set out in detail how I enjoy my "sabbath rest" and use it to glorify God. I love doing that. Where I absolutely do not agree with you, Waxit, is that it is a special day (that you see as Saturday) and only that day, that must be utilised for the sabbath rest. I do not think it is possible to say that any "original" sabbath day was on any particular day of the week. In fact, I'd say the task is absolutely impossible. And furthermore, I don't believe that God would be one jot upset if anyone (at all) chose to enjoy their day of rest, their sabbath, on some other day of the week, because of whatever commitments that person might have. If you think that, you know a different God from the one I do. Mine is loving, caring, graceful, compassionate, peaceful, forgiving and a lot of other wonderful things besides. My God is not vindictive and will throw me away forever if I happen to celebrate a day of loving him - on the wrong day of the week. Think about that.
  36. 2 points
    Hi everyone, although I did not disclose his name in my memoir, Undertow, Dr. Joseph Bishop was my father-in-law. I was married to Tim Bishop from 1973 to 1991. In Undertow, Tim's name is changed to Ed.
  37. 2 points
    I'm unplugged from a lot of the information overload items you mentioned there, partly for exactly that reason. They take up all your time, and do it on their terms. Technology can be a tool, but for many people it's a crutch. I've been a fan of William Shakespeare for quite some time. I've been a fan of reading a good book for quite some time. One thing I find interesting about books older than around WWII is that they're written for a FAR more selective audience. Many writers would have been shocked to think of interested laymen reading their books. I once saw someone criticize a book (now in public domain due to age) where the writer quoted Latin and didn't translate it. The critic claimed he did it to be pretentious. No, I've read a few books that were contemporary to it, and they do the same thing. It was expected your reading audience was familiar with Latin and didn't need a translation;. The idea of universal literacy appeals greatly to me, and offers the chance for everyone to educate themselves. Now, with e-books available for free for many classics/public domain books, reading them can be done for free. That having been said, the offer won't be taken up by a large swath of the population. That's a shame. For that matter, many of them are cheap to own in print form because they're public domain.
  38. 2 points
    He didn't mention Cartels, I'd just assumed that. Had no idea Cartels were a modern innovation, thought they'd been around since forever. We're going to meet the dude again, all of us, and we're going to live together with him forever, you know, for eternity. I'm trying hard to get my head around that and learn to put the past behind. It isn't easy sometimes.
  39. 2 points
    That gives me an idea for a bumper sticker: sleepwalkers are living the dream
  40. 2 points
    Something I missed before, but caught my eye now...... twi is still teaching to "hate gay people"? Is it really true that nobody knows that rosalie rivenbark- expresident and current power-behind-the-throne- that same rosalie fox rivenbark is gay? This was an open secret in certain circles once upon a time. Has that become a complete secret now?
  41. 2 points
    I agree. Wierwille’s modus operandi was in developing an undercurrent that grew stronger as one became more involved with the organization (like joining programs and staff). Undercurrent: an underlying feeling or influence, especially one that is contrary to the prevailing atmosphere and is not expressed openly; a current of water below the surface and moving in a different direction from any surface current…teachings available to the general public were seemingly benign promoting study of the Bible, offering keys to overcoming adversity and finding fulfilment in life. All that supposedly wholesome sounding Bible stuff on the surface hides the undertow. You'll find it's all about wierwille's skewed interpretation of the Bible commingled with lies... Your hopes and dreams become entangled with the busy work of the ministry. Any false sense of happiness and fulfillment really depends on how much you commit to an organization. Christian, beware these are treacherous waters! The deeper you go the more you find wierwille’s influence leading you further and further away from the simple and honest life of a Christian. Wierwille was like Captain Nemo and my experience in TWI was like twenty thousand (or more) lies under the sea.
  42. 2 points
    I'm sure there were better ways to spend your time, so I don't disagree. I hope you consider that lives aren't always efficient, and that NOBODY has a life with NO regrets. If you'd lived that way, you'd have been a different person, and perhaps part of what makes you who you are (in a good way) might be missing if you'd lived differently. That doesn't change the reality, but hopefully you'll conclude it was not ALL a waste of time. Me, I've found I learned a lot about compassion after getting hurt and needing compassion. I didn't like learning it that way, but.....
  43. 2 points
    That's why we should all endeavour to set a good, Christian, example of how to live, both in and out of churchy settings. To "normalise" decent behaviour, as best we can. We cannot model a better way to live, if we are busy condemning someone else's lifestyle or behaviour. In my (voluntary) work as a Street Pastor, I get to hear many stories from people who have had very bad church experiences. Some of the saddest are from the homosexual community. Many of these males have once had a love for God and know much scripture. But they have been exorcised, ostracised, beaten, pummelled with Bible verses, all sorts of stuff, to try to make them renounce their homosexuality. But I have totally shocked some of them by asking, "Did you know that God loves YOU?" This is one message they never heard in church. I don't know or care what you think about homosexuality (and I'm not telling you my views) - the way some of these people have been treated is very far from Christian. All of us can model kind words and attentive listening. Spouses can model a loving and respectful marriage, where each has a voice: who knows how that might impact the abused woman next to you in the line at the supermarket - or even in church? Parents, discipline children in public gently but firmly setting appropriate limits. Who knows, someone who's only beaten their kids into quietness (or more, those beaten kids) might see a better way. Ministers can show that they respect their congregations by being approachable and listening to concerns - and also by being accountable to church governing bodies (in the UK, to the PCC as well as to the bishop). Bosses can treat employees with respect and appreciation for their skills and abilities, and the benefits they bring to the boss's business. That arrogant TWI "I'm the leader so you must do what I say without question" has absolutely NO place in a decent church environment, and even less in daily life.
  44. 2 points
    Like Java Jane said - if you subscribe to TWI’s definition then I too am an unbeliever. However, I’ve taken up a more active role in my evolving belief system. I look at life as a journey. Raised Roman Catholic but at a critical juncture in my young life I chose to join TWI. Initially, I felt I was in the driver’s seat. But after years and years of programs, meetings, adopting a certain mindset and thinking I was serving God – most of my “motoring” skills took a back seat. If life is a journey - then this portion of the trip I was taken for a ride. Why did I leave TWI? Maybe it was something like watching a train wreck in slow-motion…me slowly coming to the realization that there was something morally wrong with the whole thing. My beef is not over theology or some particular doctrine. I mean, if you look at the Pharisees in Jesus’ day – they may have had a tight theological system (whatever that is) but morally there was such dark overgrown jungle-like stain on their hearts that they often received Jesus’ most vehement criticism. I would describe myself as a believer – with the Bible and the basics of Christianity as part of my moral compass on this journey of faith.
  45. 2 points
    Nope.......not once. Cults, like twi, do their level best to always keep "their people" in submission. Dependence was the name of their game.......not INDEPENDENCE. To offer advice/counseling that one "should seek the Lord in prayer".....is to relinquish control of that follower (to seek the Lord). With each passing year, wierwille devised a set of one-liners that he accentuated over and over again. Along with the "man of God DOCTRINE".......he commandeered the authority of one who speaks for God (yeah, right). Slick, deceptive con. And, all of his lieutenants marched in lockstep. But hey......that's what cults do. What were all those cult buzz-lines back then? It's the Word, the Word.....and nothing but the Word. Lift Lists? Sure.....with vpw and trustees at top of list. VPW quote......"If you're wrong, I will tell you." The Word = bible verses filtered thru twi's classes and material Corps Research Papers......had to be sanctioned by "research advisors" Corps Research Papers......had to be rooted in pfal material, not "new" stuff Not once......did any corps leadership direct me to "seek the Lord in prayer" concerning corps assignments, department issues, courtship/marriage, etc. We were simply railroaded to obey leadership.....always. Heck, even as late as March 2017.......Moynihan, Fort and Horney refer .....2. Eliminate the “absolute” power of the current self-appointed board. THAT was what it was like at hq back in 1980-1984 as well. Wierwille had absolute power to pull all the levers of power at his command. The Way International WAS and IS a cult......using the subtle power of spiritual abuse. In twi, they looked at prayer.....in terms, of Lift Lists. Mechanical, contrived, obedience. Looking back.....I can hardly believe how crazy and controlled it really was.
  46. 2 points
    BTW....... The other “leading men” demagogueing from the stage were Da Forehead, as Corpse Director, and “Rev” Beence Finnegan”, Trunk Coordinator. Another two dirty sexual predators who never confronted the Verge.
  47. 2 points
    YES.......it could easily be deemed that the majority of wierwille's "ministry years" (1941-1982) were barely "scraping by." 1941- 1957.......pastoring at Payne, OH and Van Wert, OH. 1948......with vpw heading to Pikes Peak to receive his degree-mill doctorate from Pikes Peak....his Dad bought them a new 1948 Chevrolet. With 3 kids in tow.....Dotsie claimed in her book that it was "an exceptional summer" [driving to Colorado and then, to Camp Farthest Out in MN] Sep 1955 - Apr 1956......sold some of their furniture and vpw's car to make this India itinerary [mounting further dissention with the church board] Dec 1957......moved to rental house at 649 South Washington Street in Van Wert, OH [... rent payments - - vpw was 41 yrs old] Jan 1958 - March 1972 .........arguably, "struggling years" by most measures. ........by November 1958, wierwille is pleading in his mailer for 6 more families to faithfully tithe and help him meet expenses. ........for several years, wierwille was traveling from state-to-state to run his [Leonard's] foundational class to church-goers. ........and, people were endangered helping the wierwilles move IN A BLIZZARD ...... in February 1961, to the wierwille homestead. ........when pfal was filmed in 1967, every aspect was on a strict time limit...studio, lighting, furniture.....because of MONEY CONSTRAINTS. ........in fact, the desk wierwille used was "purchased" for this filming......and then, RETURNED after the filming was done ........and......in was this LACK OF MONEY that caused vpw to make foolish decisions and burn his eyes during filming!!! Much more could be added to this list. All throughout Mrs. W's book.........the lack of money, i.e. "scraping by" comes to the foreground of nearly every decision made. Why March 1972? What changed? It was the coup of Steve and Sandi Heefner in March 1972, during the Rye, NY advanced class......when things REALLY changed for vpw (imo). "The Way East (Heefner) and the Way West were INDEPENDENT 501(c)3 corporations, completely and legally separate from wierwille and new Knoxville. When Wierwille threw them out under the cover of his AC show, moneyhands, coward allen and dictor paul formed a new corporation The Way of NY, which was "owned" by new knoxville now. The Way East also included the states of New England, NJ, DE, & PA. All those states were also "incorporated under "the Way international" as subsidiaries in their own right, thus accomplishing the corporate takeover of The Way East with the "M&A-ing" of the Heefner's and consolidating all control to dictor paul and the BOT, which at that time was Ermal and Harry. Remember, those three were the ONLY official members of TWI at that time." [ from DWBH -- "Mark n Avoid" thread] So, yeah......most all of wierwille's "ministry years" were LEAN YEARS and the scales tipped in his favor when wierwille confiscated Heefner's and Doop's INDEPENDENT 501(c)3 corporations as his own. Jim Doop posted here at GSC years ago that wierwille blatantly lied and went back on his word.....85% of abs was to stay in The Way West and 15% was to be sent to the way international. Wierwille and TWI have whitewashed all of this......to exalt vpw's image and legacy. Splinter cults whitewash it as well.........the leaders are hanging onto wierwille's coattails for dear life (and livelihood).
  48. 2 points
    Everything would have changed. He BRIEFLY (in the 1950s) talked about Ecumenical movements- he would have continued as ecumenical, giving Leonard and Stiles due credit, and claiming an eclectic group that did their best to incorporate the best of what each Christian ministry offered. If he reached out the the hippies, it would have been a joint effort and even-handed, and the results would still be felt to this day rather than having choked the vitality out of a nascent Christian movement.
  49. 2 points
    I just read that 40-year old letter again. What struck me (slapped me in the face) this time was that Wierwille said, "I love you for who you are." Oooops, that's not it, instead he actually wrote, "I love you for the privilege and responsibility you have." What was that "privilege?" As he taught (indoctrinated) H.I.S. way corpse, the privilege was having been called to be "doulos." Literally a slave. One who no longer has freedom to make her/his own life choices. Of course, in the indoctrination, it was slave to God. In practice, it was slave to Wierwille and his successors. The reward for the slave? To serve the earthly master on the basis of a bass-ackward interpretation of what leadership is supposed to be... and what Wierwille and successors could con you into believing you'd get at the "Bema." When you stood before God for rewards in heaven. Not unlike the mythical 70 virgins another religion promised for heinous acts of terrorism.
  50. 2 points
    One errant or misunderstood part of the lady's teaching though. She mentions tithes or tithing. Tithing is misunderstood often and can be used to make money for large religious organizations and individual already wealthy people instead of being used to help poor people. Tithing is NOT required in the New Testament. This was only practiced in the Old Testament under the Jewish religion. Here they mixed faith in God with their political authority. Jesus Christ spoke against this often as these people were not service oriented like Jesus wanted people to be. Instead they wanted power, authority and perhaps even worship of themselves. Here is an example of this with the first usage of tithe or tithing in the New Testament. Here is the NIV version. This version does not use the word tithe. However, obviously the same Greek word for tithe. The NIV simply describes the corruption and greed more of using tithing to gain religious authority and perhaps also using it to make money instead of helping the poor. The word "greed" is used in verse 25.

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