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  1. Hello! I was in Ohio for most of my life, raised by my two parents who joined the way in the 70's. I was a somewhat enthusiastic "believer" until my early 20s and then I dove in - went Way Disciple after I graduated college then moved in with ministers in Syracuse, New York. I left everything behind and I was so worried that I wouldn't be okay without "God's protection." But I have to say, my life is improving. I have a master's degree, a great job, a great car, and will soon co-own a home. None of that would have been possible if I was still giving away 10%+ of my income and afraid of debt. I feel like I have a brighter future than the Way Royalty (as we jokingly called them in college) who were booted recently. I have transferrable skills, I can talk like a normal person in society, and I no longer have to hide "my" religious views from others. Imagine that.
    5 points
  2. So glad for all of the previous insights!!! Was thinking this a.m. that in '74 I took PFull-of- class at a family camp in NY, then Renewed mind class camp, and a week later took CF&S at an Ohio camp. (The Wow's in southern VA had not signed up anyone else but myself and a co-worker who I talked in to accompanying me to the P-fil camp that year.) Thus, I was hood-winked into plenty of error and idolizings, along with some good Bible, sure. But being clobbered over the head and fire-hosed with vpw's doctrinal slants, and being introduced to such nit-pickings as how many crosses or cock crows there were (2 Timothy 2:16- avoid pointless discussions)... This was soon followed with more grooming in CF&S and as I wrote in a personal journal- "SO, there i was hooked in... and two weeks later, i was being further groomed as one of the young women who would be privileged to be raped by your young bucks." Am still in therapy and several support groups for various life traumas, and I WILL heal from this!! (Just decided to join a local church which is sooooo much safer, respectful, doctrinally diverse, truly loving, etc etc etc. Onward! And thank you again GSC-ers for the support, insights, and Truth!!!
    4 points
  3. Good morning, GreaseSpotters! This is Charlene chiming in thank Rocky for posting this link to what is in fact my FINAL public talk. For what I say about that: Visit: Charlene's Last Public Cult Talk | Charlene L. Edge (charleneedge.com) I'm here also to thank Pawtucket for risking so much, giving so much, putting up with so much as he's hosted this venue for so many years. Aren't we lucky we can meet here to share our stories, get info, and offer each other support! Cheers to you, brave ones!
    4 points
  4. I like to think I wouldn't have gotten involved, either. Truth is, though, it was 50 years ago. I'm not the same person now that I was then. Don't beat yourself up over decisions you made so long ago.
    4 points
  5. vpw was determined to make a profit on everything twi- related. If it cost something, he'd try to get it free, or try to get it on the cheap if that was impossible. When he filmed the pfal class, he "bought" the desk for the set, then returned it for a refund, lying and claiming something was wrong to get a refund. Run a class? It's always at someone's home, so we pay no rent, and twi peons supply all refreshments out-of-pocket. All books were charged full retail despite having been printed and bound in-house, all audio tapes were made of a truly inferior quality, a level you couldn't buy in retail stores. Its mission program- wow- was run at a profit- the wow had to pay a fee to go out, and no funds were released to house them or otherwise run the program. Its leadership program- the corps- was run at a profit- with each student charged lots of money to participate, with other people chipping in the rest. In all other organizations, the group carries part or all of the expenses for such programs. On top of that, the corps WORKED. They were charged money, were housed in tiny "residences" and paid for the privilege of working for free. If there IS a God, vpw will have to account for all of that.
    4 points
  6. VPW said it. That settles it. I don't believe it.
    4 points
  7. And he says all that with a great big smile on his face, and something of a chuckle in his voice. Love the way he says, TWI wants to help people become debt-free. I bet they have no idea of preparing a proper budget (a genuine budget to help a needy family that can hardly feed and clothe the kids), making arrangements with creditors for full or partial repayment on terms, what state or other benefits the people might be entitled to; and getting effective help from charities, power companies and other like organisations. I have helped hundreds of people become debt-free and I love doing it. I just don't need to shout about it. I've seen folks come into my office, crying and weighed down with worry, and clutching bags of unopened letters from creditors and maybe courts, fearful of the knock on the door and of answering the phone; quite literally sick with worry. No food in the cupboard, and with what little money there is left, making the choice between "heat" and "eat" (and exactly who eats) - a difficult choice, in midwinter. And I've seen those same people walk out a couple of hours later, still crying, but this time from joy - because someone listened, cared enough, and helped them make a real plan to get out of their debts, calmed their creditors, and gave them a fresh start. Oh, and also some food vouchers or a Foodbank pass, and perhaps also a little money on their utility bill so that there could be a little warmth in the home. I don't see where TWI has suddenly got the expertise to do that. TWI's idea is: give us your money because if you don't pay your dues to God, ie, TWI, God won't even spit in your direction (as if God ever spat on anyone!). Pay us and somehow your debts will magically go away. Yeah, right.
    4 points
  8. Been there and done that. It took me working at HQ and seeing the hypocrisy and everyday meanness for me to even consider looking online. And then a couple years after that before I realized God wasn't going to "life his protection" from my life if I did. The first time I read a thread from Greasespot was when I saw a print out of it on Rosalie's desk while I was cleaning. I wasn't prying, just dusting around things. But I do remember that moment very well. At that point I was already questioning the things I saw at HQ, and it struck me as odd that the woman in charge of the ministry was having someone print these things from a website that was so "devilish."
    4 points
  9. That whole "Great Principle" thing made no sense. God can't communicate except to what he is, i.e. spirit? But somehow that spirit that he "created in you" can communicate to your mind?
    3 points
  10. Oh gosh, I will also add that I do not believe I was / others were totally a victim of circumstances (unless they were children; I experienced traumas thruout my childhood that did make me more vulnerable to adulthood abuses, but-)- to a degree, I put myself in the position of being groomed, of taking unwise risks, etc, as other victims have. Thank goodness we accept what responsibility is rightly ours so we can heal, recover, gain boundaries, warn others, and move on.
    3 points
  11. Well, am recently back from the CFFM 25th Anniversary "Reunion" weekend in Tipp City OH. A Very Wonderful Time for the most part, especially (for me) hanging out Saturday night singing lots of the old songs together, a healing time of joy and time traveling back to the GOD-blessed inspirational "I belong here" times, which a part of me still cherishes apparently. So there we were in the hotel lobby, some folks older and wiser most likely, but still enjoying "Daddy's Arms", "Eagle Inside", ETC together. Why not?? I just wept afterwards... Cleansing, delivering, connecting to the past with a new more whole me... Validating GOD'S good moving and Jesus' excellent working I think, in spite of EVERYTHING else that began to unfold later. (I am very loosely connected to CFF; attend some weekend conferences in OH, and went to annual Family Camps in NH until Covid; enjoy teachings on their website occasionally.) I am specifically writing about a few other things too- Tonya Schroyer, love her to death!, handled The Way several times briefly- shared again about being full of condemnation etc when she finally got out, but also said "We were taught well". And "I had a good beneficial time in the Way, I know some ppl didn't"... But let's remember that his tombstone read "I wish I were the man I knew to be." Then later four folks were honored with ordination among them Sarah Wierwille Guigou, and she spoke: "I love my father... Some people need to be grateful and remember that if it weren't for him, they would be dead. People stopped the move of the Spirit, (God did not stop working as much as He could)." I stopped to think how the youngest daughter of vpw would feel, what she may have experienced hate-mail-wise, how she was kept from visiting her mother, or attending her funeral I believe. HOWEVER, having learned about the many powerful sexual abusers getting away with all of the cover ups, the knee jerk reactions of victim blaming and doubting, the deep suffering of the victims on various fronts and levels, and the general IGNORANCE of people re: trauma and PTSD, I would have worded my statement a little differently if I were Sarah.- I would have added "I know my father hurt and abused many people, and some of them are still suffering from the traumas they experienced in the Way. For this I am deeply sorry, and if there is anything I can do to help with their healing, I am available. Victims need to be heard, and their experiences validated." The angry hurting side of me wants to help her add more, if I may- "My father was a lying, cheating, f____ing B_ST_RD. He abandoned his family. He betrayed my mother over and over. Yes his tombstone read "I wish I were the man I knew to be", but that was mostly a sanctimonious, hypocritical, self-pitying, facade. I pray for God to have mercy on his soul, and trust that He will bring justice for every single victim of my father's lust and power abuses. Amen." Thank you again for this safe place to process and voice these things!! Maybe I should connect with someone at CFF about this so that I am not just venting here without actually addressing things. But I know blasting ppl doesn't work... Asking Qs is probably the way to get ppl thinking but not sure if that is really needed for myself or them... I have already written to Kevin Guigou and he was kind, so maybe that is enough for now. AND I talked with Sarah as well two years ago without laying any specific blame on vp, but therapeutic counseling is not her forte, which is fine. To God be the Glory, great things He is doing, and Lord I/we have an eagle inside!!!!!!!!!!!!!! God bless!
    3 points
  12. Thinking back at some of the places I worked, fear was used a lot. Like fear of getting fired or doing something the wrong way, or somehow shamed. TWI went further than that, trying to get deep in your mind and life and be afraid of every thought.
    3 points
  13. Funny he said that in the class but promoted fear through the way tree, turning the tree upside down and killing the leaves. As Bolshevik said somewhere back a few posts, fear was institutionalized. The no fear thing was all about getting you through the 12th session anyway. After that you were fair game.
    3 points
  14. So the idea is that if specific things come together than things happen. And these things that contribute to the outcome, and the outcome itself, are, or can be known. Some kind of scientific or philosophical formula that is supposed to work. Here this idea is being applied to the human mind. This is the premise of PFAL. And this is why it fails. The defining of free will, and emphasis, is overstated for one. That you can present ideas, factors, thoughts, scripture, truth, lies or other things and get a specific outcome every time. Oh! but wait! if the outcome does not happen than you must not be believing, or FREE WILLING to believe one or more of these ingredients. Like some kind of cookbook. God was left out of the class, and taken over by things that we are supposed to do and believe. Somehow the message of not by my own works is lost.
    3 points
  15. Back to process a little more with you kind smart supportive ppl. The deep meaningful attachments to past way leaders are the toughest I find, to handle. I know it is like family members that one is contemplating breaking contact with (to varying degrees) due to toxic behaviors, etc. E.g. the minister, G.E., a Very Good Friend, who married my (now ex-)h and me, and was honored and excited b/c he had just been put on full time staff as our Branch was growing; we were his first of three couples to marry that spring; G.E. then dedicated both of our children in the hospital after difficult deliveries; and he virtually gave his window cleaning business to my h. ALL of the weddings, ALL of the showers, ALL of the baby dedications, ALL of the meetings, ETC ETC ETC in our closely-knit fellowship that our branch coordinators supported... Then came the Loyalty Oath; agreeing with G.E. and becoming Geer-ites; being marked and avoided by 1/2 of those dear friends... ALL of the following havoc- divorce, trauma with the kids, etc etc. Now thanks in large part to wonderful posters here at GSC, I am finally and fully identifying vpw's terrible abuses, wrong doctrine, and my naivete/misplaced trust, and how the demise of the way ministry was inevitable. I just became a full partner (member) in a local church b/c it is much safer, open, and more soundly based than the way EVER was. B/c of the PTSD I still have from the unsafe attachings, it is all part of the recovery process, apparently, to evaluate how much to interact w/ old way friends when the opportunity still pops up from time to time. FB is a great way to say Hi, like things, restore some of the connections from a distance. Guess I will still play it Very Safe, and carefully pick and choose what happens IRL; and be ready to exit if I trigger from anxiety (flight), or want to explode (fight) if someone starts defending vp, e.g. Oh BOY! The Best Part about this Whole Process has been learning about how my Father, my Comforter, and my Jesus are fully functioning as Safe Present Nurturing Guiding places/beings to Fully Attach to and Trust In!! Just sayin' for anyone who has taken this spiritual path... THANKS MUCH for listening!! Best to all here!! Onward!!
    3 points
  16. Hello Mike. I've kinda missed you round here. Could always rely on you to make a point that would stir up Cafe denizens. Was wondering what had happened to you. You went away to study PFAL more deeply, I think. Well, no desire from me to study PFAL. Oh, I wish you could read it in the original! Maybe try deep-reading the two principal books that VPW plagiarised? I doubt TWI is really "moving back to the original PFAL class." Far too dated.
    3 points
  17. I recently rediscovered this site and have spent hours and hours reading your posts and your stories. Despite how many years have gone by since you wrote them and since I have been out of twi, I have been moved to tears, outrage, gratitude and sometimes laughter. Although we may not know each other personally, I feel a profound connection with you from our shared experience in twi. Thank you so much for keeping this site going all this time. My brief history with twi: started attending twig in 1973 Fairfax, CA and first took PFAL at a live class (!) at Shaver Lake, CA that summer. I was 17. Took the Intermediate class, went Word Over CA, then Fellow Laborers, College WOW 75-76, 2 years "free" WOW ( NJ 76-77 and MA 77-78.) Was accepted to the 10th Corps, but did not enter. Returned to CA (San Gabriel Valley), took the Advanced class, married another WOW vet, coordinated a twig for several years, had 2 kids, finally had enough of increasing legalism, hard-heartedness, and arrogance from "leadership" and we ended our ties to twi around 1990. As was the case with so many of us, I had stayed in partly from fear of being "possessed" if we "tripped out." I did battle depression for quite a while after we left because we had lost our friends and social network and I didn't want to be "unequally yoked" with "unbelievers" or find a church, since I still believed churches were "whited sepulchres. " Sigh. I offer huge thanks to you all who have posted actual letters and documents from back in the day, particularly the infamous Passing of the Patriarch letter. All I knew about Chris Geer besides that he was at Gartmore then was that Something Big had happened which most of the rank and file were not privy to. I heard snippets of gossip ( "We're not supposed to talk about this, but I heard...") and observed jockeying for position amongst The Bigs, but had no real information. Some time after this, The Way Bookstore published one of their little booklets entitled "The Passing of the Patriarch" which I now know was so heavily redacted it bears no resemblance to his actual letter. The letter I read for the first time a couple months ago, 33 years after it was written. I briefly wondered if releasing that letter to the entire "ministry" at that time might have ushered in what some would call a cleansing revival. Yeah, probably not. "Godly sorrow leading to repentance" was not in our corporate repertoire. Not that the whiny, self-serving drivel I read in that letter would have inspired everyone to get it together. Earlier today I was telling my older son (who will be 36 next month) about some of the things I read in the GSC and got choked up and teary. Because my twi days were so long ago, I was surprised by this, but then I remembered how much of my heart and soul, time, effort, and money I gave to twi for so many years. I now sometimes wonder if there is a God, yet here I was crying that God's people had been so ill used and hurt by people who claimed to be men of God. The last time I took the Advanced class was in the summer of 1984 on the campus of San Diego State University. We stayed in dorm rooms. My roomie and I would make jokes about about certain Way Corps people such as "So and So must have forgotten their AC "retemory" that 'he who shall be greatest among you shall be servant of all'"and similar mockery. Mind you, I believed that many WC were genuinely trying to walk with God and serve the Body of Christ, but there were many more who behaved as though they walked on water and we worker bees should be grateful to breathe the same air and receive their wisdom. Our joking was a way to cope with their attitude. I have regretted not lovingly confronting b.s. when I saw it rather than putting up with it, but I don ' t know that even if most of the "believers" had done so, it would have made much difference. The house that was twi was built on sand and the storm causing its collapse was beginning in fury. That the organization still exists is a wonder to me. So again, thank you so much and heart hugs to you all.
    3 points
  18. Their retirement accounts, of course!
    3 points
  19. One of the most liberating things when I left TWI was the realization the Sh1t Happens.
    3 points
  20. After I left TWI, I realized my pre-TWI life was just as valid as during TWI. As posted above, we were taught to disavow our previous life as "old man" etc. i came to see my life a single thread, not a before and after. I reclaimed my previous life. I made a pie chart of my life with time in TWI highlighted. It's about a fifth of the pie and this point. As time goes by, the TWI section gets smaller and smaller....
    3 points
  21. Annio, very interesting topic. Thanks for posting. I just wanted to add my two cents: When I was young, and insecure, I needed a lot of attention. I think for some kids, attention is a form of security; thus it equals love. However, my mother never understood this; she was very self-absorbed. Throughout, my childhood, I felt unloved, and because of it, I was a very insecure, and unhappy person. However, one day, I realized God loves me. What a profound impact that had on me!! God, Almighty, the Creator of Heaven, and Earth, loves me. Why, I will never know; I am nothing special. I'm not gifted in anything; nor am I particularly intelligent. I am not beautiful, nor am I wealthy. But for some reason, God loves me. His son Jesus, died for me, a sinner. In my case, a sinner unknown by most of the world. To this day, that fact astonishes me, but it warms my heart daily. I know my siblings love me, and I love them in return. I have a few friends, that I love dearly. However, my inability to be a perfect, loving person, at all times, is fine with God. He knows my heart; He knows I strive to be a loving, kind person every day. Some days I am, and some days, I'm not. In my own humble way, I strive to be the woman God wants me to be. I don't need the world's love, and acclaim, I have God's. Thus, I am secure nowadays, in ways I wasn't as a child. I don't need to feed my small ego, in self-destructive ways. No power in this world, will ever separate me from God, and His love. None!!
    3 points
  22. That's entirely possible. However, he shows so many signs of psychopathic/sociopathic behaviour that I tend to think that his response was because we weren't people to him, we were RESOURCES. So, when we thought for ourselves and dared to disagree with him, he took that personally because he was entitled to do all our thinking for us.
    3 points
  23. Oh yeah........twi had its own hamster-wheel of justifying its doctrines and practices. Have the 2nd and 3rd generations ever heard the story of what life was like before 2000? before 1980? Of course.....twi's practices have been self-serving.....and only self-serving......for a long, long time. It didn't have to end this way (spiraling down to its doom). It seems to me, those years 1977-1979 were ripe with outreach and "Word in Culture." With musical groups and outreach......some professional athletes from the NFL and tennis were taking pfal. A professional bull-riding clown took the stage to speak at roa. Doctors, professionals and business people were coming on board. When the 1979 Rock of Ages came around......there was an arts, music and crafts tent for the sole purpose of purchasing merchandise from other believers and enhancing Word in Culture. Another tent was set aside for an evening "Dinner Theatre"...... where you pre-purchased a ticket for dinner and a theatrical performance (following the big top teaching). Imagine that! Yeah, imagine that. There was more to this event than just the pilgrimage to the Big Top to hear Dr. Victor Paul Wierwille teach another sermon. The spotlight was no longer solely on the cult leader on main stage. Imagine the possibilities. "Word in Culture" was the growing buzz-word. The fire had been lit.....and the flame was growing. The tent was a-buzz with believers selling their wares to others All kinds of music groups and solo artists were popping up. Cassette tapes of Lisa Lochridge and Dave Lutz were flying off the shelves. Not the "Way Productions sanctioned music" that was promoted from the main stage.......but the upcoming singers that were putting out good songs. Simple, down-to-earth music from the heart. This "Word in Culture" sparked a short-lived movement of enterprise from the bottom up.........NOT from the top down. Musicians, composers, writers, short-stories, artists, cartoonists, sculptors, screen-printers, etc.......lots of energy on the rise. Medical WOWs.........nurses, doctors, interns, administrative types. Another arm of outreach. Military WOWs..........Paul Norcr0ss headed up medical outreach and worked alongside the Trunk Office and International Outreach to help military personnel stationed throughout parts of the world. Some military guys were given special exceptions for corps training and/or their corps assignment. Why is any of this important now? There was a short window in time when twi almost (maybe?) broke from its cult-trajectory and let people live freely. That short time frame of "Word in Culture"........was closed back down, because twi could NOT control its outcome. By 1980 Rock of Ages......there was no tent set aside for buying/selling other believers' merchadise. Songs, wording and content HAD to be pre-approved and filtered thru upper cult management. Many of the hippie-types saw the writing on the wall.........and left. And, yeah.........add coerced-corps labor during in-residence training into the mix. Then, heap a mandatory "corps week" on them so that all corps are required EVERY YEAR to attend.....and don't leave until the Rock of Ages is over. This burdened the corps exponentially.......financially, family responsibilities, work/career challenges, nearly 3 weeks away from work each year, keeping corps from promotions or career paths, etc. etc. The Way International has refused to learn the lessons of yesteryear ...........for 4 decades !!! This story didn't start in 2000 with Rosalie.........it started a long, long, long time ago. .
    3 points
  24. Blaming devil spirits for everything was like the Easy Button in Way World. Got cancer?...devil spirits. Depression?... devil spirits. Substance abuse?...devil spirits. . And if you don't understand something... just S.I.T. more. This need for easy answers was probably a big draw for people who were searching for meaning, myself included. But guess what, life is complex and sometimes the answers are complicated. Other times, there simply aren't any answers. Life is an endless search for answers but sometimes that's what makes the journey so exciting and rewarding. Never stop searching and questioning.
    3 points
  25. Anyone notice that "The Great Principle" was based on something that CHANGED? "God is Spirit, and God can only give what He is- which is Spirit." "God is Spirit, and God can only communicate with Spirit." Wherever he plagiarized those from, it's obvious he didn't UNDERSTAND them since they contradict so obviously when he phrases them. "God gave manna. God is NOT manna." So, the first statement is BLATANTLY wrong. If the second is supposedly true because spirit only communicates with spirit, then eventually there is a disconnect. "God, who is Spirit, teaches His creation in you, which is now your spirit, and your spirit teaches your mind. Then it becomes manifested in the senses world as you act." Well, how did my spirit teach my mind? Spirit communicated with not-spirit there. Is my spirit more capable than God Almighty, who IS Spirit?
    2 points
  26. The ability to deceive yourself is crucial to the kind of group cohesion TWI tried to cultivate. Trick enough people into deceiving themselves, each believing that no one else is deceiving themselves, and you have mass delusion as cult paste! That's why it was so necessary for them to get as many of us as possible to speak in tongues at the same time, and for TWI to be the people who taught us how to do it. The notion that you faked it is easy for you to believe. The notion that everyone faked it is harder for you to accept, because now you're thinking evil of people, and thinking evil is a big no-no, don't ya know. Most people think too highly of their critical thinking skills to even begin to entertain the notion that they might have participated in their own duping.
    2 points
  27. new video by John Juedes- What Victor Paul Wierwille's Power for Abundant Living class did Very Well Victor Paul Wierwille's Power for Abundant Living class did one thing very well, even though it wasn't a stated purpose of the class, and participants didn't realize what they were hearing. It's my ninth video on TWI on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2quaAr-n98 vs210206-002.BMP
    2 points
  28. What's Missing from Power for Abundant Living and The Way of Abundance and Power? https://youtu.be/aM8uzzPVe1s description: Something very important is missing from Victor Paul Wierwille's Power for Abundant Living and The Way International's The Way of Abundance and Power classes.
    2 points
  29. Kudos to you Annio for being courageous to share your experiences and views of those predatory pigs...it raises awareness and concern...voices like yours are a secret weapon that those creeps never anticipated...makes me think of a bunker-buster bomb - - speaking out penetrates the hypocrisy and blasts open their depraved subculture...I wish you good health, happiness and recovery.
    2 points
  30. must be a thread of a tangled web "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”
    2 points
  31. The whole SP thing was yet another scam. SPs were supposed to provide for your funding and everything else. It was "godly" to support people through their Corps training. And some people who could better have used the money to support their families did help sponsor in-rez corps through the training indoctrination. A lot of money was paid for the training, which included of course the accommodation (free to TWI, they owned the land and buildings) and food (at minimal cost, since they grew quite a bit of it). But the cost for the training... it wasn't training. Your mother shouldn't have touched money that was your compensation. It should have been held in trust for you with two trustees (she'd be one). Maybe you could sue your mom to try and get the money back, if she has any assets, but that'd trash forever any relationship you have. I suppose what you really want is an acknowledgement and a sincere apology. Whether you ever get that will depend on how deeply indoctrinated she remains, after all this time.
    2 points
  32. Hi Annio… …what a courageous and honest post !!! …somehow I missed this thread - so I just wanted to add my 2 cents now… You got me thinking about a few of ways that a double standard played out in TWI. A double standard is a set of principles that applies differently and usually more rigorously to one group of people than to another group. One aspect of the double standard in TWI is the misogynistic tendencies as you mentioned. In the bigger picture as we all know, this is something not just confined to TWI – but at least in the outside world there have been some brave survivors coming forth and things like the me too movement to raise awareness and empathy and to advocate changes to laws and policies. I don’t ever see that happening in TWI. Another aspect of TWI’s double standard that you and others have touched upon is the role that gender plays in determining one’s “status” within the group and how others should relate to them. Again this is not something peculiar to TWI… “Some believe that differences in the way men and women are perceived and treated is a function of social norms, thus indicating a double standard. One claim is that a double standard exists in society's judgment of women's and men's sexual conduct. Research has found that casual sexual activity is regarded as more acceptable for men than for women” from Wikipedia - double standard And perhaps a third aspect of the double standard in TWI is a more general application of religious-grade hypocrisy – how cult leaders exercise control over followers…see Matthew 23 and II Peter 2 . Those passages lead me to believe maybe the problem isn’t always with a particular doctrine but rather how TWI puts it into practice – and even further, to what degree they enforce compliance. “Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the essence of teachings in a given branch of knowledge or in a belief system. Practice is the actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method, as opposed to theories relating to it.” From Quora - what is the difference between doctrine and practice In my opinion there’s one big thing that sets apart an abusive religious cult like TWI from other groups. It’s not really about the sixteen thousandth teaching of “You Are Righteous Now” - although I do tend to think some teachings like that can squelch one’s conscience when genuine repentance might be a more appropriate topic. The telltale signs of an abusive and controlling cult are the methods and tactics they employ to instill and reinforce certain ideas and attitudes. I don’t believe the average Way-believer who has never seen anything more than the local fellowship, can really “appreciate” the intense indoctrination process of the way corps program. I thought it was going to be a college-level education in the Bible and shepherding the flock - you know, maybe along the lines of a seminary only much better cuz it was all based on "The Word" - - and I've even heard some corps refer to it as something like the school of the prophets mentioned in the Old Testament I Samuel 19 II Kings 2 and II Kings 4 (some translations refer to them as the school of the prophets, a group of prophets, the company of prophets, or sons of the prophets ) ... But it was more along the lines of a glorified PFAL catechism – with the student body being corralled to think in terms of predetermined questions and answers – - what does it say in PFAL about this or that? we were drilled to know all the material of PFAL frontwards and backwards...we were often randomly called upon to give 5 minute teachings during one of the three meals in the dining room - and then we were critiqued right on the spot afterward; fyi - the teachings that quoted verbatim - with very little deviation - from one of the PFAL books received the highest praise and little or no criticism - I $hit you not! Among other things what really “helped me absorb” this "doctrine" was the sleep deprivation, the work program (cheap labor - often busy-work and usually a big time-waster), the occasional tongue-lashing , being singled out for public ridicule over some minor infraction - after all details are important to God - - and the ever popular threat to throw your a$$ out the door if you didn’t comply with some directive. What is the point of all that? I’ll tell you - in case you didn’t click on the above link to Matthew 23 – I’ll quote verse 15 of it here “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” ....I think ideally the way corps program was designed to make little clones of wierwille. On a side note – if I felt compelled to address doctrine - the biggest issue I have with TWI’s fundamentalist point of view is that it is more than just your typical strict literal interpretation of the Bible (and brushing aside any dubious teachings like the 4 crucified, the unforgiveable sin = being born again of the wrong seed, etc.) TWI’s brand of fundamentalism is also infused with magical thinking which is the belief that unrelated events are causally connected despite the absence of any plausible causal link between them, particularly as a result of supernatural effects – “the law of believing” comes to mind. Another thing you mentioned Annio, at the end of your post really resonated with me. You reflected on the good stuff you got out of your TWI experience. I think that’s a healthy way to deal with life. To NOT paint everything in broad strokes - but to think more deeply about experiences - to learn from mistakes and failures and to cherish any wins. I met my wife in TWI – besides meeting a lot of good people - and that’s where I first learned to enjoy reading the Bible. It makes me think of the duality of life – which is made up of so many different and sometimes opposite elements. That’s reality. One of the many reasons why life in the way corps was often an uphill battle for me was the heavy-handed pressure from top leadership to ignore or even deny reality. I was never salaried by TWI – so my wife and I worked regular jobs ( besides all the responsibilities we had of running a branch or area, running classes and coordinating advances, witnessing, under-shepherding, getting teachings together, counseling, visiting Twigs all over town…and in different towns…with a kid in tow ) and we made our money stretch a long way for the cost of living…sometimes coming up short since we had it drummed into our heads as corps that abundant sharing was the highest priority when budgeting finances. Over the course of some 34 years since I left TWI, I’ve learned that acceptance of reality is a lot easier than a denial of reality. Back in the day, I wasted more time and energy spinning my wheels listening to teachings on believing, making positive affirmations, conjuring up believing images of victory to try and make something happen. I’m not saying be a pushover in life. Acceptance takes some guts to acknowledge what I cannot change or what is beyond my control - but also to step up to the plate when I can do something that’s within my power. Acceptance is how we look at ourselves and others. And rather than have hostility or fear toward someone who is different from me – though I sometimes falter at that – I think it’s better to be tolerant – even open and honest to find common ground – and yes, I still have a long way to go on that one too. Acceptance is being at peace with my own imperfections and failures and not beating myself up every time I fail or disappoint myself. I think what goes along with that is to be thankful for the ordinary things in life – I’ve got a roof over my head, I have food in the pantry, I have a family and friends who accept me as I am - warts and all. I think that stuff keeps me grounded. *** bonus feature on the duality of life: Skyrider started a thread a while back - cult survivors and the duality of life ***
    2 points
  33. Hey, an acknowledgment that all was not well. It still is not well; "cleaning it up and it's way better now" sounds like denial of what's happened and happening. There's a lot of crises going on at the moment. Perhaps you and Friend can volunteer at a local Foodbank, or pandemic helpcentre, or join a neighbourhood help group to assist the housebound, those who aren't allowed out, those who don't have money, etc. Offer to help at some local church in its outreach to these groups. Yes - volunteer. At something that is not a TWI-event. What does Friend think about that? Ask what Friend's parents are doing to help their community - you don't say if they live in the same area and I sense they may live at HQ or close to it. (If you live near each other, maybe you can ask them to join you at the Foodbank/debt counselling center/collection of prescriptions etc etc. I can see that going down well, LOL.) Ask what TWI is doing to help others. Choose your crisis. What - and where - are they doing things to help alleviate suffering from that crisis? If the answer is still "We teach people The Word," well, you know that words and actions that don't match are not Godly. It's all talk, talk, talk. No walk, walk, walk. I can only say that my tiny church puts its actions where its mouth is. Food parcels for those with too little money to look after themselves and their families; cooking meals to deliver to housebound; visiting; finding clothes or blankets or furniture; caring phone calls to those who can't be visited; comforting the bereaved and "being there" for those who are developing mental health issues - and so on - for those who have little else in their lives and nowhere to turn to. Individuals help as wider community volunteers, at refuges, foodbanks, marshalling at mass vaccination centers, all sorts. And all where we're in lockdown and not allowed to visit unless essential and we have to keep 6 or 8 feet apart. Nobody tries "preaching the gospel," quoting Bible verses, or urging to come to church; but actions have won people and the church is growing! The church is busier than ever - and normal activities continue as best as possible, with Zoom church, Zoom kids' club, Zoom youth club, Zoom coffee mornings, etc etc. Now. What is TWI doing? What are Friend's parents doing? What is HQ doing?
    2 points
  34. Making phone contact might be good; if it gets too edgy, you can always make the excuse that there's somebody at the door or some such. If you really were friends before, then it could work out well. If they've still got links with C Geer, or G Wrenn, I'd be somewhat wary. There's a thread about Wrenn somewhere here; and plenty of words about Geer. I reconnected with my Corps sister after many years; we had a good time together and remain friends. Most of 'em I wouldn't particularly want to hang out with again. On the other hand, I hooked up initially with some ex-Wayfers and it was as if they'd never left, with all this excessive "the Word says" and "doctor taught" stuff. Impossible to talk to! They hadn't been in anywhere near as deeply as me, and couldn't understand the immense hurt and damage that had happened to me. LOL, they had a big meeting and some guy (Rev Lightfoot?) came and talked. I mentioned something to him afterwards and he latched on to that, and proceeded to talk at me (not to me) for I think about 20 or 25 mins. Didn't seek any input or response from me; just wanted to tell me why I was wrong (which I wasn't). At first I hid my amusement at his long-windedness; but then I simply walked off.
    2 points
  35. Well I for one have a regret over the years of providing way too much personal encouragement for @$$holes. Yes we stroked their egos. The way they have policy set up strokes their egos. I should not have told them they are great. They aren’t. I was part of the problem. I have since rectified this as you see. The Christians in the Way are part of the body of Christ. A deluded part that needs prayers. One that has a fake family with a lesbian couple at the helm. I mean not that I have extreme issues with the lesbian family part now. It’s just all the lies posturing and need to ruin others lives over preserving the lies that is the biggest evil.
    2 points
  36. LU, I went WOW in 1978, and vaguely remember that meeting. What did he expect when he sent out families, of two young men, and two young women?
    2 points
  37. LU, thanks for the compliment, but if I do have a "beautiful heart", it's due to God. God has rescued me, from so many potential mistakes, I have made over the years. Sexual assault is sexual assault, whether it happens as a child, or an adult. I also have access to wonderful therapists; they believe me when I talk about my childhood trauma. I have spoken to a number of female Veterans, who experienced Military Sexual Trama, (MST), while serving in various branches of the military. Interesting, many people forget men are also victims of MST. LU, years ago, a woman here at the GSC, described her sexual assault in graphic images, during her time in TWI. It made me cry, but it also made me realize many of us, are victims of sexual assault. There is life after sexual abuse, but it has taken me decades, and decades to process my experiences of sexual abuse as a child. But, God is merciful, and He is capable of healing our hearts. For this, I am thankful.
    2 points
  38. God bless you Grace! I believe your courage and empathy is a big deal - and a blessing - not only to the folks here at Grease Spot but also to anyone else who crosses your path.
    2 points
  39. Hey, that must have been cool when Martindale said the word was over the world. "I don't have to witness at Wondermall anymore!!!"
    2 points
  40. Socks, I remember JN; they were wonderful!! Their music was so inspiring, and Godly. I heard them several times, and always thought their music was amazing. I have wonderful memories of them. Many of the head honchos in TWI, were guilty of any number of wrongdoings, but JN was the "real deal."
    2 points
  41. So, you "took the liberty to log onto Whols.com" ...... and that got your motor running? Really? Hmmm......sounds like you didn't do any diligent study of the background or history of this site. No mention of GSC's predecessor "Waydale." No mention (or understanding?) of the TWO lawsuits against Martindale/TWI. No mention of the out-of-court settlements that led to Waydale's agreement to close. No mention of hundreds of members/posters who have given heartfelt thanks to this site. No mention of second-generation kids who've told their stories of depression and/or abuse. No mention of the deep scars left by 20, 30 or 40 years of cult exploitation. No mention that just 3 years ago......Another Exodus (150-300 people) exited TWI. No mention of how cults use intimidation, manipulation, deception and isolation to overpower. Maybe that "ignorant" verse that you like some much is succinctly placed. Will Rogers was known for saying....."Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." .
    2 points
  42. First, to correct a few factual inaccuracies at the same time..... After vpw had unilaterally appointed lcm as his successor, and vpw's health waned, vpw found out that the system that embraced him while he was The Big Cheese With No Accountability now embraced lcm, and vpw found himself as irrelevant as he'd made everyone else. Unable to accept being treated like everyone else, vpw ran to Gartmore and cried on Geer's shoulder. According to CG- whose account I believe reflected what happened- vpw spent a considerable amount of time making all sorts of predictions (which all failed to come to pass) and claims that the current leaders of twi had now stepped out from serving God, etc, etc. CG wrote all this out as a 40-page letter, "The Passing of the Patriarch." He insisted on confronting the top leaders with it, and when he addressed the in-residence Corps with the same letter, he brandished a pistol. (He loved using dogs or guns to try to intimidate people.) The 40-page letter goes on at great length but never makes any SPECIFICS. If it was addressing real problems, why couldn't it name even ONE problem that needed fixing? It was all vague comments. Around this time, one or two PRINCIPLED leaders (RD and possibly one or 2 others) had been approached by people who had been abused/raped by vpw or lcm. RD immediately went to address this. He was escorted off grounds that same hour at gunpoint. A handful of top leaders got together to see if they could salvage the situation. Unfortunately, part of this was JAL writing an equally vague letter about some nebulous problems at HQ. JAL went around the US, telling people what he knew, collecting cash donations, making himself known, etc. Once it was clear that JAL and a few others were more intereted in making a new twi-style group, RD parted company with them. JAL and friends formed "Christian Educational Services" - later Spirit and Truth Fellowship International". In the beginning, they said they were open to discussing doctrine and there being no sacred cows. A few years later, they published a declaration of core beliefs, shut down their messageboard, and shut down disagreements as a whole. The 2 biggest concerns among their adherents were probably their rather harmful doctrines of "Personal Prophecy" and "Momentus." (We have entire threads about both subjects- each thread being about ONE of those 2.) They could now have someone "prophesy" that anyone who disagreed with them was a spiritual danger- and they did just this. JAL's aware of this one quite vividly- his divorce with his then-wife was traced to repeated "prophecies" made in an attempt to shut her up. To this day, AFAIK, JAL's never apologized for leading people over the cliff on that one and insisting it was Biblical- all while silencing discussion on it. The other was the SECULAR progam "Momentus." It's an MLM that runs as a training program. Its names keep changing so that people can't look it up online and find out all about it. A few of its names are claimed to be "Christian." The practices of the program show no connection with practices in the Bible. There's various activities that a good Psychologist or Sociologist could identify as increasing groupthink and encouraging people to be louder and more aggressive. A number of participants of Momentus (a number under EACH of its names) had breakdowns, required psychological assistance, etc as a result of participating. Eventually, CES/STFI stopped openly promoting it, and got evasive on whether or not they were still recommending it. (They refused to be clear about continuing to use it, or beginning to abandon it.) When people spoke to JAL privately, JAL rebuffed normal discussions and advertised Momentus. It was impossible to have a normal discussion with him any more- any conversation was a marketing opportunity. BTW, eventually JAL and STFI parted ways. JAL and their other leaders BOTH wanted to be in charge and in control of all the dough. So, JAL left and- AGAIN- formed another ex-twi twi-style group.
    2 points
  43. Beguiled, it's my time, and energy. I love reading the various posts on the GSC. Some I agree with, some I don't. But, even with those I disagree with, I still find the posts interesting. I personally had no idea of all the drama, that went on in TWI, until I read all the posts here. Back when I was in TWI, everything was Moonlight, and Roses, or so it seemed. However, since I started reading the posts here at the GSC, I have learned that TWI, f--cked over tons of it's people in various ways. For many of us, we spent our youth, money, and energy in various TWI programs. Youth, money, and energy, we could have used in better ways. I had some great times in TWI, but I also had some problems. I think the GSC is a wonderful, and healthy way to discuss TWI, and what it meant to various people.
    2 points
  44. I have been thinking a lot about how we learn how to show love to others. In TWI we learned a specific brand of love. First, through love-bombing (constant attention, super close friends, praise, etc.), and then through the withholding of that attention and praise to straight-up condemnation, ostracization, and public shaming. And all that negative side of this was also branded as "LOVE" ... They made God into VPW's own image - an abusive Father. And if God is Love... then in order to be godly, we must be the same way. I hurt a lot of people because I "loved" them. I cut my own family out of my life BECAUSE I LOVED THEM. I told LGBTQ friends that they were possessed by devil spirits BECAUSE I LOVED THEM. I helped tear good men and women down in confrontation sessions over a leader's "spiritual suspicion" BECAUSE I LOVED THEM. I saw children beaten with wooden spoons BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS LOVED THEM. I saw my brother thrown out on the street at 16 years old BECAUSE MY PARENTS LOVED HIM. So many abuses in the name of God and love. TWI's version of love is twisted to only serve them. It bears no resemblance to I Corinthians 13:1 (PATIENT, KIND, DOES NOT ENVY, DOES NOT BOAST, IS NOT PROUD, NOT RUDE, NOT SELF SEEKING, NOT EASILY ANGERED, KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS. DOES NOT DELIGHT IT EVIL, BUT REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH.) I think I could find an opposite of each of these characteristics of love within TWI's definition.
    2 points
  45. Thank you Pawtucket. I just want to say I wish everyone here on Grease spot cafe all the best. I know that I wouldn't be where I am today had I not found this site. Thank you for being there. I don't know if whether I would be in a better place right now had it not been for Grease spot cafe. I really don't. Anyway, Happy Labor Day all. I thank God that our country is a free democracy with unalienable rights.
    2 points
  46. This just in: Nana has changed course and is now headed for the local bingo hall.
    2 points
  47. She used to have L@hn L!nder print them out for her because for years she refused to have a computer in her office or use one at all. I started posting here to expose the things twi wants to hide. However, i always took satisfaction knowing she was reading along.
    2 points
  48. For those arriving late, this was a quote from MRS WIERWILLE, at vpw's FUNERAL.
    2 points
  49. *sigh* NEVER jump IMMEDIATELY to the conclusion that something is supernatural. Examine the more common, more mundane reasons FIRST. If they don't work, then you can consider that among the possibilities Why wouldn't the Jews have taken heed and flee Germany, etc? 1) A lot of them DID. There's a few big cities in the world who got a surge of Jewish immigrants at that time. 2) Hindsight is 20/20. Honestly, how likely would you consider the idea that someone would come to power over your country, take it over, declare you and yours ILLEGAL and order everyone to round you up and then confiscate your possessions? I'm sure a number of them thought that was too crazy to happen. 3) Lots of non-Jews were rounded up, most of whom had no idea they were on the rounding-up list. I met one, once. I still don't know why he was ever rounded up, but they grabbed him, imprisoned him, and so on. Yes, he had the number tattoo. 4) Why didn't they fight on the way to the gas chambers? Be thankful you don't know why! These are people whose lives were destroyed, who were placed in a prison having never committed a crime,. starved, watched their friends executed or killed in lab experiments, and led everywhere by threat of violence. They were likely in shock as well as suffering from malnutrition. It's hard to THINK, much less FIGHT, under those conditions. Should they have just shuffled forward and gotten shot rather than walked into the chambers? Possibly. Hard to come to that conclusion under the circumstances. Then again, it's "human nature" to try to survive. They may not have understood that they were being rounded up specifically to be killed- especially since they hadn't been killed yet. I know NOTHING about their suffering. I can work it out on paper, but that's nothing compared to actually living it. I hope those were meant as honest questions and not just an attempt to Monday-morning quarterback, because I answered them with that in mind.
    2 points

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