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  1. 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 …
  2. 4 points
    You know why I come here? To be judged by people who don't know who we are, why we're here, what motivates us. I love being called bitter by a total stranger making a blanket statement in a drive by post. Welcome to Greasespot, Your Honor.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 3 points
    I’m so !$#%ing proud of you Leah. You’ll find your freedom in unconditional self love. Keep going sister, you are not alone.
  7. 2 points
    That's the thing about being ensnared in a cult for 30-45 years.......all of your "support systems" are cult-related whereas business/community systems are deemed "worldly" or anathema. So, even though you exit mothership-cult....victims are grasping at any support floating by and voila, another splinter cult just happens to extend a "helping hand." And, for many.....all those years of distancing themselves from "earthly family" doesn't help. Or, by now......parents are deceased and relatives are complete strangers. At gatherings, weddings and funerals.......it is quite possible that you bump into two or three ex-wayfers who are each involved in a different splinter cult. But hey..... as long as they're not involved with *The Way International* then they lock arms with fellow-comrades who "saw the light and got out." The real rogue individuals are NOT those who have no affiliation with any splinter group but ........THOSE WHO PULL THE CURTAIN BACK ON WIERWILLE'S PLAGIARISM, PROPAGANDA AND PREDATORY WAYS TO SPOTLIGHT THE CON. Welcome to GSC......where the rubber meets the road, Defiant Rogues Inc.
  8. 2 points
    Published on YouTube, May 28, 2019 Maybe the R&R group would be interested in knowing whether there really is something to restore.
  9. 2 points
    I entered Nursing School in 1990, and began working as a GN in 1992. I went on to get certified in Wound care/Ostomy (WONC), Nephrology (CNN) and Psychiatric Nursing Pharmacology. I was also an OR RN. Best educational and career decision I ever made!
  10. 2 points
    I was in the Ministry from 75 onward, knew you as the Trunk coordinator, I know that when his sister and brother in law Elaine and Troy Watkins left the ministry around 86 John and she were not talking and that yes, he shiite talked a lot of people and was all hard arse. It was a very hurtful thing to Elaine that her brother treated her that way. Once he walked out on Corps night, he approached his sister and apologized and made up with her, and they were reunited, and she and Troy started attending the CFFM services. I'm not an attendee of theirs, as I said I was there when it started, but it started getting that rah-rah herd mentality and I didn't really get into it. I did see an epiphany in John though, you could see remorse in him for drinking the Kool-Aid. And unlike Lynn, and Finnegan, (who as far back as 2000 was spouting that he could counsel people on how to rid themselves of the spiritual causes of being overweight and PTSD, etc), or Dan Moran, (who I was dragged to his house and it was like being in a 1974 time warp where he collects money and that's how he makes a living), with John starting the ministry wasn't his idea and it wasn't about the money. Like I said, he had a real job. I don't know, he probably had a Rolodex of people to apologize to, really. I'm not rationalizing what he did, it was wrong. I did spend enough casual time with him in real conversations with him though when he was brutally honest about F ups that he regretted to know that he realized that he had bought the farm and had a lot of soul searching to do.
  11. 2 points
    LOL, waysider! Looks like you did! Here’s a modern day example of “language manipulation” for ya! Each year The Washington Post publishes a contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for various words. Here are some past winners: 1. Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon. 2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained. 3. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp. 4. Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash. 5. Flatulence (n.), the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller. 6. Balderdash (n.) a rapidly receding hairline. 7. Testicle (n.) a humorous question on an exam. 8. Pokemon (n.), a Jamaican proctologist.
  12. 2 points
    Y'know, on that general topic of what-said-versus-what-real, Penworks put the final stamp on something I'd realized about the earlier years in the Way's growth, the period right before and after 1970... In her book she described her own experiences as an early participant and then Corps member and the very real struggles that she encountered, and in so doing refers to the similar experience of the others around her, many of whom were developing somewhat mythical reputations about what they were doing, they're "believing" and the "results" they got "operating the principles" of the "class".....stories about "classes coming together" and great things happening when they would go out on assignments proliferated when in reality if you were around during those periods what you really heard about was how valuable something was for them - what they'd learned, the great personal healing they'd experienced, how powerful it all was to "see God Working" in their own lives, etc......which may or may not have been fully true and would be perfectly fine as far as that goes but it very clearly got blown up into much larger stories of outreach and growth .....later as these same people rose up through the ranks they continued to be held up as models of success even to the point of using it as a lever to denigrate and step over others they likely considered competition to their own ascendancy and most importantly their elevated reputations. I would say that as the years rolled on it became apparent that most of these earlier "heavies" never exhibited the "signs, miracles and wonders" in what they did nor in how they worked with others - rather they merely got better at workin' the system, the language, the logic of it all. I met and got to know Penworks throughout that period and always found her to be honest, supportive, and very caring in the most human of ways. Her own sense of self awareness and her own struggles allowed her to take the high road so to speak and to NOT take advantage of others in order to get what she wanted or felt she deserved. This was and is an admirable trait but one lacking in many of her peer group at that time, as we saw unfold over the years. She wasn't alone, there were others but there soon came to be a core group of up and coming "leaders" who were grabbing the horns of the corporation and riding it out. Which aren't all that many years - from the period of PFAL 2.0, (their was an earlier homegrown version that was scrapped for being extremely sub standard) the final professionally filmed version that was in the can as of 1967 till VPW's death there's only 17years of time - and that's the time frame when he finally had enough of his ducks in a row that he felt he could promote PFAL on an international level, doing things like going West to reach the "Jesus Movement" of the '60's. Etc etc. My own experience prior to PFAL coming out to Cali was one where I'd seen quite a bit of real change and "the power of God" through faith in Jesus Christ and the teaching of the Bible, in it's simplest forms. PFAL teaching put pieces together for me but not in an altogether new way, in some ways it simply put structure and a way to understand what was actually happening. In other ways it didn't create a whole new horizon or "produce results" where there were none........ So I was used to hearing stories and of great things happening, I was living some of them myself so it was not merely an academic exercise..........so it seemed a little thin hearing about all these great wonderful things from the first and second Way Corps but never - actually - seeing - exactly - what they were talking about, other than a lot of what you'd call "personal growth". And Stuff. Lot's of "oh God taught me" this and that and loads of "I feel so humbled by what I am learning" kind of stuff buuuuuuuut unfortunately it the Way Corps did not become a "program" designed for spiritual awareness, in action. Kinda ironic. The pattern I see looking back is that for many people there was a period of early growth in and around PFAL and if that took form into a more ritualized set of practices through their Way fellowship, the Way Corps or other programmed participation, the risk increased for it to become fosselized and lifeless. Busy, noisy, chaotic, even beautiful and good sometimes but more man made, mechanical effort than "pneumatikos" engerized and moving through faith. It's a fine line and one that some others might not see but to me, it's there and is where I see the broad swathe of humanity and effort that the Way had for those years. It's exactly the environment that produced an LCM, El Presidente, a man focused on methodology and linear thinking who literally could not see the forest for the tree. My point - is NOT that NOTHING was real and it was all BS, but rather that there was a LOT of BS being shoveled ABOUT those early "heavies" some of whom didn't buy into the marketing and others who unfortunately did, for whatever reasons. This is why I'm so ambivalent about trying to "convince anyone" of anything - I believe those "signs, miracles and wonders" DO and DID occur, and they are to be retold and sharing as those involved are guided and God wishes. They're testimonies to His great Presence and Will. It is happening all around us and all the time. Many ask "why not now" or "why is this or that allowed to happen?" and while there's reasons for and causes, in the end I am not the Creator nor Giver of Laws and in many respects - I just don't know. But I'll continue to tell the story I know and love, as long as theres' one to tell. PEACE!
  13. 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.
  14. 2 points
    DWBH wrote: "I’ve never really investigated how the thing was received by the biblical research and textual criticism folks at the academic and university levels. I wonder if anyone outside TWIt or the splinters and offshoots even uses it?? Anyone know?" I recall that the Society of Biblical Literature knew the concordance was published in 1985 because some of the guys on the research team had been attending SBL meetings and talking about it to SBL members over the years. I do not know how it was actually received by those academics, or whether it is used by anyone today, including anyone at TWI HQ or in offshoots. Wish I could be more helpful.
  15. 2 points
    When I was in twi, that meant, "sell the PFLAP class."
  16. 2 points
    Advance = retreat Opportunity = problem Being negative = identifying a problem Think positive = ignore an obvious problem Stand on the word = practice cognitive dissonance
  17. 2 points
    Thank you, Twinky, the Bridge Builders poem is tainted for me too. In addition to it being used to support lcm's leadership, for me it kind of applied to all us corps who were to follow in vpw's footsteps, (not Jesus' foot steps of course). (BTW, I had to take a break from gsp as I was getting too triggered... Remembering to ground and pace myself is helping...) Am still finding it very helpful to gradually read thru certain previous posts to re-enter that old Reality so I can process, heal, and move Up and Out.) Blessings Twinky and All!
  18. 2 points
    I agree with Raf on this. Using my own figurative and not literal language, to see if they have made or make a change, perhaps reach out with your hand like you would with a dog. Then look and see if they wag their tail, while listening to make sure they don’t growl or bark. If they growl or bark then simply walk away. If they wag their tail then perhaps either pet them or wag your tail also.
  19. 2 points
    Hey, annio! It's quite something, isn't it, when the scales start falling from the eyes! You won't untangle everything all at once, so don't beat yourself up about it. You will soon work out what's most important for you to know, to understand, to put right. I'd say (though others here would differ) that the Lord will show you where you need to start. If you are attending a church of any kind, how do the people interact? Does it seem forced, too friendly, not friendly enough; do they seem to care for each other without being intrusive in each other's lives? How do the leaders behave? Quietly, humbly, approachably, listening; or overbearingly / dictatorially / or otherwise a bit uncomfortably? It's okay, you can check out various churches. Or, should the desire take you, check out non-Christian organisations. I try to love God; love my fellow human beings and try to help them; and try not to be too cynical or jaundiced when people say things that seem a bit "off" (you and I probably say/said wacky things too in early recovery mode!)
  20. 1 point
    Special thanks going out for restoring the site.
  21. 1 point
    My opening remarks are going to be fairly brief (for me), and address the general framework and mindset differences. For any of a number of reasons, the Book of Genesis was written to be clear and easy-to-be-understood by the people at the time it was penned. If the "creation account" and "the fall" of Genesis 1-3 were written for modern sensibilities, it would have been written (for the same number of reasons) with some highly technical details, it would have been far more exhaustive in detail, and would have proceeded in a far more linear fashion. One common mistake, IMHO, in reading Genesis is in refusing to approach it like it was "meant" to be read, that is, with a literary mindset that matches the text and not 21st century books. (The differences between early 20th century books and now can be dramatic- so the idea that, further back, there's GREATER differences, should not be particularly odd. One additional problem, which this writer didn't make, is when people assume that we invented figures of speech or extended figures of speech. We have no difficulty understanding them when they're used in modern settings, but when it comes to old settings, some people seem to think they didn't exist. Example 1: Christopher Lee sang "The Bloody Verdict of Verden." It dramatizes an incident from Charlemagne's life, where thousands of Saxons were killed at Charlemagne's order. Lee plays Charlemagne in the song. "I shed the Blood of the Saxon men! I shed it at Verden! I shed the Blood of the Saxon men! I shed the Blood of four thousand Saxon men!" Nobody takes him to mean that Charlemagne himself stood there at Verden and slew all 4000 personally. Example 2: We have no difficulty imagining the use of animals to METAPHORICALLY describe people now. "The old sidewinder", "that pig", "you cow", and so on. When we do so, we're comparing some attribute of the person (real or imagined) to the animal's attributes (real or imagined). We have no problem with an extended metaphor comparing one to the other, and understand we're not speaking, say, of a literal fox, or a literal wolf, or whatever. Anyway, I haven't connected any of this to the topic yet, but I plan to, if anyone cares. Peace and love.
  22. 1 point
    A) Thanks in advance for the notice that the site MIGHT go down temporarily. It's good to know in advance. B) I'm glad you're here, and I hope you're feeling better. I can only speak for me, but I'll do my personal best not to be combative or disagreeable. It's your show, and it's fair that you set the standards.
  23. 1 point
    Indeed. In terms of scholarship, this particular "theory," that Adam was the real serpent, completely misses the notion of that narrative actually being a creation story. I don't buy the original understanding as having literal aspects that could reasonably be parsed in a manner like the bastardization of biblical study into which we were indoctrinated by twi. It seems to me that in order to even approach taking seriously that Adam was the real serpent one has to buy into the idea that humanity was so freaking incompetent at recording it's creation myths/stories, that it would miss figuring out who Adam really was. That's extremely implausible.
  24. 1 point
    Regarding the Queen of The Way Bookstore- I am so, so, so, so, so, so, evil------------
  25. 1 point
    I listened for less time then you but continued to believe it for longer, i.e. around three decades. My waking up on this subject, as on a few other things, started with my best survivor friend's account of a very caring friendship she had had in the past. This friend eventually died of AIDS. But I quickly learned in real time that her testimony, and her friend's caring, was real., mainly thrugh other friends I met through her. And, even before my mnd was really changed, the seeds were planted, unintentionally, by the hate spewed in LCM's rants.
  26. 1 point
    There ARE some movies I know about without actually having seen them... George
  27. 1 point
    spam? That's an interesting one. I had made a modesty lengthy post that vanished. Let's just say for now I forgot to enter the post, though I am awfuly sure I did. No, I became involved in TWI in 1975, entered the 8th corps, and my sexual assault happened in 1979. I just fully recalled it in the fall of 2017, though I began to remember it as a "minor event" around the time Kristen Skedgell published he book and when, for a couple years, I was by far the most prolific poster on her blog, "Thriving Reality"' A bit later Kristen moved beyond talking about her Way time publicly, but I came across a wonderful non-Way non-cult person who took her place as my best survivor friend,.In the last year and a half I have acquired plenty of recovery resources so I'm not appealing to anyone to take their place. In fact, my recovery resources are intentionally non-Way, because I see little compassion for the hurting among those who promote and/or teach the "love of God" the same "way" as was done in The Way. That includes the "splinter" groups; do any acknowledge Wierwille's misdeeds without passing them off as irrelevant to them?
  28. 1 point
    Seagulls? Oh that is too rich. How perfect. Talk about the perfect animal to have on your family crest to exemplify your behavior. Just two days ago I was warning a friend of mine who is visiting Catalina for the day not to walk around with food in her hand. At the Jersey shore, seagulls have been known to steal an entire Philly cheese steak right out of someone's hand on the boardwalk. Wow, the only thing missing from that family crest is a poop emogi.
  29. 1 point
    I get it- there are actions results that are possible, but the causes are not attributable to what some groups/doctrines might believe. Just like medicine and science has evolved due to experimentation to prove or disprove. The first time I went through the Haunted Mansion ride at Walt Disney World I was an Advanced Class Grad and freaked out just a little, because I knew that I wasn't seeing holograms, and the things floating in the air were not ghosts, but they sure fit the description of ectoplasm. LOL, I did not know about the illusion known as Pepper's Ghost done with glass, mirrors, and mannequins. So, nursing, huh? Did you go to school after you left in 1986? I have a tremendous respect for nurses, and for all disciplines in the behavioral sciences, especially pharmacology. I've seen a life turned around completely by 60 mg of Prozac a day, I am not kidding you.
  30. 1 point
    If there's a moderator who can move it, then I have no objection. In retrospect doctrine did not even blip on my mental radar because being agnostic/borderline atheist, science is the basis for my thinking so I don't take doctrine into consideration unless I am comparing doctrinal views within a particular religion; i.e., Satmar Judaism vs Chabad Judaism, etc. Like you though, I don't believe that devil spirits are the cause of the aforementioned maladies and don't believe in their existence either, but believe them to be a fabrication that are a convenient machination used for the purpose of manipulating and controlling people through fear. Hey! We can be a tag team!
  31. 1 point
    Thank you Kathy Niclaus for an honest and informative post! i knew John Shroyer well. I was the Midwest Region Coord. from October 1977 until I took over the funky trunk in May, 1980. During that time, Jim Milne was the LC of Ohio, having followed Howie and Lynn Yeremian (2nd Corpse). I was in the 4th corpse with Jim and Nancy, and lived in the same trailer with them 3 different times. Jim was a wonderful, kind-hearted guy. However, he wasn’t the “sharpest tool in the shed” so to speak. Nancy, OTOH, was quite a smart and disciplined, well-educated person. On their Interim year, they were assigned as College WOW coordinators under Bill Winegarner and Dr. John Somerville. It was Nancy who had the smarts and the acumen to run everything and anything they were ever assigneded to. Jim was the affable and personable front man. But, he was a desperate alcoholic. Concealed well for a long time, but it became painfully obvious during Jim’s tenure as OH LC. When the 4th corpse came back for it’s “sabbatical” year in 1979-80, Jim’s “problen” was “comfronted” by dickhead Dave Standage, nominal 4th corpse coordinator. Upon completion of that year, Jim and Nancy were assigned as limb coords of RI. I was the newly assigned trunk guy, and was really rooting for Jim! Unfortunately, Jim was unable to beat his alcohol addiction at that time, and I was forced to replace him as RI LC. It was not a pleasant experience, since, as I said before, i had lived with Jim and Nancy for 18 of the 24 months we were in- Rez. I chose Bob and Kathy Mirabito, 6th Corpse Cleveland Area coords to assume the limb responsibilities, and they did a good job, imo. Honest, faithful, reliable, and good communicators. Jim continued to spiral downward, and, unfortunately, he and Nancy wound up divorcing. During all this, John Shroyer and his wife were the Sidney Area Coordinators (HQ Area) of OH. They had been mainstays there for years. John’s family were all on staff. His mom, Miney, and his brother Danny, were long time staffers when i arrived in 1973 for my first in-rez year. His sister Elaine was married to Kurt Fiser and in the 3rd corpse, my “elder corpse”. I spent lots of time in the limb of OH when Jim M. had his troubles. John was an integral and important part of the TWI OH operation, and had been for a long time. I got to know him and Marilee well, and enjoyed a number of good fellowship times with them. Genuine salt-of-the-Earth, compassionate, dedicated, and faithful Christians, held in deserved good reputation amongst all the believers. However, when I resigned and left HQ in December, 1986, John jumped on the slander, hatespeech, and lying bandwagon the HQ hierarchy under the control of Geer demanded. Personally, that was as hurtful as all the other “good friends and colleagues” who hypocritically and foolishly towed the TWIt company line. When he went to FL, his toxic rhetoric and “company man” persona garnered him a deserved crappy reputation. Eventually, he grew tired of spewing the BOT BS, and denying the facts of their spiritual, corporate, and psycho-emotional abuse, and stood up against them. The formation of CFF followed as recorded above. Not long afterward, Wayne and Fern Clapp tesigned their lofty position as Indiana Campus and Family Corpse Coordinators (and Wayne as “research assistant” to da forehead). As funky trunk guy, I had the joy of working with Wayne when he was the LC of Iowa. His assignment to that position had been a matter of intense disputes at placements in 1980, between myself and John Butler (newly assigned North Central Region Coord) and Da forehead and Beence Fiinegan. Butler and I were highly in favor of assigning Wayne and Ferne as IA LCs. Martindale and Finnegan both mocked Wayne for being a big “wuss” for ‘crying all the time” at moving moments during his ministering/teaching to the believers. They also derided him for being a grad of the Harvard Theological Seminary, casting that bigoted TWIt bias against “the denominations” at the BS “phony intellectual seed-boys” at Harvard Divinity. But, Butler and I were adamant, and we stood up with a pretty fiery defense of Wayne’s “emotional weakness” and demanded that our request take precedence over the in-rez corpse coordinator critics. Butler and I prevailed, and Wayne and Ferne put IA on the TWIt map solidly for the first time. However, when I resigned on 12/1/1986, I was kept under “house arrest” with my family in our trailer for 14 days, until Geer and the Board Of Morons could figure out “how to handle” my resignation and departure from HQ. During all that time, and up through the founding and expansion of CFF, Shroyer and Clapp were vociferously and maliciously slandering and libeling me along with TWI and the other offshoots, as being “a seed boy”, “the worst adulterer the way has ever known”, and all the other sordid bullshit Geer and the Board of Morons were spewing daily. After all the time and stress we went through together in OH, and after all the heartfelt advocacy Butler and I put forth for the Clapps to be IA LCs, their lying and slander and unfounded personal attacks against me were most offensive and disheartening. John died and never apologized nor spoke with me about the part he played in TWIt’s organized and vicious campaign of character assassination and defamation against me when I resigned. However, an opportunity presented itself for me to personally and privately confront Wayne on a number of cruel and unbiblical behaviors he participated in against me with the BOT. Surprisingly, Wayne accepted responsibility for the things I brought up, and, in an act of rare honesty and genuine humility, admitted to his errors, and apologized to me, and then resigned his position as the 2nd head of CFF. To this day, this courageous and true Christian act is the single finest example of authentic Biblical repentance I have seen on the part of ANY former TWIt leader. I will always respect and admire Wayne for this, and extend my sincerest regards and appreciation to him to this day. During that same time frame, I had several long, honest, and rewarding conversations with Kevin and Sarah Gigou. I had known Kevin since my Interim year as Western Territory Coord of NC in 1974-1975. He was 16 and living in Valdese, NC, and TOTALLY AND BEAUTIFULLY “on fire” with God. Sarah was assigned down there after she graduated the 8th corpse, and they met and married. These conversations, along with the conversations with Wayne, are what prompted me to end my public campaign against CFF. As far as I was concerned, Wayne and the Guigous have fully met the scriptural requirements of the public and private repentance Jesus Christ himself taught and commanded in Matthew chapter 18. I remain respectful to them for this righteous action and grateful to them for their personal courage and dignity. Selah. i do not agree with CFF on much of their espoused Christian doctrine. But, that’s true of my relationship with lots of Christian churches and denominations. However, because of the Righteous personal conduct of Wayne Clapp, and Kevin and Sarah Guigou, I have “declared a personal truce” toward CFF, but I remain adamantly opposed to their ”companion offshoot” in MS, SOWERS. So, Kathy Niclaus......thanks again for your post. It inspired my recollection of the things I posted above. Though John Shroyer severely disappointed me, and died before we could restore our fellowship together, I have fond memories of the man I knew and worked with from 1977-1986. R.I.P. John. See you then.
  32. 1 point
    As I've said before, it took me over 15 years to come to this site and then join and post, and I only pop in sporadically and then post in spurts. The same goes for the R&R Facebook group: I had asked to join two years ago and had made candid remarks in one of the original posts and left it. The good thing to come of it was that Lewellyn Hallett friended me on FB. Prompted by remarks I read here yesterday, and remembering what a total smarmy gratuitous kiss up Michael Fort is, I decided to take a peek today. Sure enough, a Way-style sanitizing has been done of all the comments there. Comments have been disabled retroactively for two plus years, deleted except for those that reinforce the desired narrative, and as stated here, everyone just echoes the rhetoric of TWI from the past 52 plus years. Skimming through the intact remarks, I thought that it's a shame it's a closed group. A link could be posted at a poison control emergency site when inducing vomiting is appropriate, because reading those remarks would certainly do the trick. The only detraction is that bulimics would find it accessible. How willfully and deliberately F-ing stupid can people be? I left the group today. I don't care that they have 896 members now and maybe someone I really liked and cared about might be among them, I'm not going to go through the members list. "Oh I used to be disgusted, and now I try to be amused..." Elvis Costello The Angels Want To Wear My Red Shoes
  33. 1 point
    This is an interesting topic and certainly worthy of discussion. I think, however, it may be better suited for the doctrinal forum. I say this only because Way doctrines are heavily invested in the idea that this and many other characteristics, such as alcoholism, cancer, mental illness and a whole slew of others, are the result of devil spirit possession. So, I think you can predict how this topic may or may not unfold. I'll go out on a limb here and openly state that, not only do I not believe these items are a product of devil possession, I simply no longer believe in the existence of devil spirits. Oops! Did I just accidentally steer us toward the doctrinal forum? My bad.
  34. 1 point
    It doesn't get more "first-hand" than that.
  35. 1 point
    Not that any GSC readers (unless perhaps they are newly escaped from the fundamentalist cult that is TWI) necessarily still believe or understand this particular manipulation of language to be unique to TWI, but a friend of mine just yesterday had an article posted to rollingstone.com. She (Ashley Sanders) wrote the story last year on escapees from Scientology. The first paragraph reads, Scientologists have special words for the people gathered at a sleek Airbnb townhouse on a mild day in September. They’re irrational, or “banky.” They’re putting off bad vibes, or being “downtone.” They’re full of negative energy, or “chargey,” and they won’t contain it — they won’t “get their TRs in.” But the people sprawling on the living room’s vinyl wraparound couch don’t use those words to describe themselves anymore. Growing up in Scientology, they say they were constantly told to be stoic. Now that they’ve left, they’re tired of jargon about repressing emotion. Instead, they’re looking for new words to describe themselves—new ways to express the psychological consequences of their upbringing—and they’ve traveled all the way to Brooklyn to tell their stories. They’ve already landed on one new way to think about themselves—a phrase that helps illuminate why it’s so hard for them feel things. They call themselves the Children of Scientology. Psychologists call them SGAs, or Second Generation Adults. Aren't tribal idiosyncrasies special?
  36. 1 point
    For the record, the book has not changed my world view that much, or my political views at all. But it has made me more able to move with confidence toward my goals.
  37. 1 point
    from Charlene: "taught as accurate would be determined from VPW’s supposedly great “scope of The Word” which he said he gained from “working” the whole Word [Bible] for years and years and/or from God’s direct revelation. From my experience in research, I came away with realizing that the catch phrase, The Word, referred to whatever VPW decided. After he died, the tangled web of figuring out what he would have wanted and how to rationalize his mistakes and deliberate twisting of Scripture fell to Walt*r Cu*mins, the man in charge of research" "The Word" was always code for whatever VPW taught, not The Bible itself. It got more complex when he contradicted himself, though not everyone thought about things carefully enough to realize that he often did. People on research teams like Charlene's ran into a crisis when they were faced with the contradiction between actual research and what VP taught. "Research" in TWI mainly meant whatever VP said, right or wrong. This is a characteristic of cultic structure in a group. One of the authors on my web site www.abouttheway.org was essentially "deprogrammed" by TWI leaders when he ventured to write a study guide of PFAL- even though it didn't depart from VP. Allegiance to VP, TWI and its leaders is what it is, and always was, about, though new followers didn't notice that until too late.
  38. 1 point
    This is Charlene Lamy Edge, author of a memoir about my seventeen years in The Way: Undertow: My Escape from the Fundamentalism and Cult Control of The Way International. The last part of my book reveals goings-on in the Way’s research department at its Ohio headquarters where I worked from 1984-1986 on what was called Aramaic projects. Rev. Juedes refers to my book in this video. I was involved in Aramaic work at The Way beginning in 1972 when Wierwille assigned me to help the woman he hired to teach Aramaic at Way summer school and to collect Aramaic manuscripts on microfilm. That buying spree was what George Lamsa encouraged Wierwille to do. But Lamsa did not stick around. Wierwille made plans to eventually publish an "Aramaic" concordance, a N.T. interlinear, and a Lexicon. By 1984, I was on the biblical research team at HQ to help finish what was eventually called The Concordance to the P e s h I t t a Version of the Aramaic New Testament. I still have my copy. We had to add the word “Aramaic” to the title because V. P. Wierwille incorrectly and chronically used “Aramaic” to refer to that N. T. version, which, as Juedes says, is from the 5th century. However, it was not in Aramaic, it was in a language called Syriac. But VPW would not be corrected, as I write about in my book. His knowledge of Aramaic and Syriac texts was insufficient to speak knowledgeably about them. The “Aramaic” New Testament that Juedes refers to is an interlinear using the same Syriac text the concordance is tied to, but with the English translation included, and the KJV in a third column. This set of interlinear volumes was published by other Way researchers after I resigned from the research department and left The Way. Just for the record, the final translation that Juedes says appeases Way leaders was not done while I was there. In my view, Juedes makes many good points in this video. But what is missing is insider info, including this: biblical texts were only considered tools by VPW and his trained loyal researchers to determine "the accuracy" of The Word. Greek, Syriac, Hebrew, even Coptic were said to be “compared” to determine “accurate readings.” Although, for the most part we depended on the Greek N.T. for readings. We did NOT say accurate “interpretations,” because Wierwille taught that The Word (the Bible) was of no private interpretation. He got that idea from II Peter 1:21. The problem with using that verse is MAJOR. It does not specify what “Scripture” refers to. It’s vague. It doesn’t list the specific books. Not only that, the author of II Peter is up for debate. To go down that rabbit hole of authorship, refer to any reputable scholar doing historical criticism on the N.T. For starters, I recommend Dr. Bart Ehrman’s work, starting with Misquoting Jesus. https://www.amazon.com/Bart-D-Ehrman/e/B001I9RR7G?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1560098706&sr=8-1 Anyway, to get the accurate reading, we were to use Wierwille’s keys to research to “let the Bible interpret itself.” What a fallacy that was! Books do not interpret themselves. People interpret books. In the end, what was taught as accurate would be determined from VPW’s supposedly great “scope of The Word” which he said he gained from “working” the whole Word [Bible] for years and years and/or from God’s direct revelation. From my experience in research, I came away with realizing that the catch phrase, The Word, referred to whatever VPW decided. After he died, the tangled web of figuring out what he would have wanted and how to rationalize his mistakes and deliberate twisting of Scripture fell to Walt*r Cu*mins, the man in charge of research who I worked for while on the research team in The Way. I go into this in my book, which is available from all major booksellers.
  39. 1 point
    Holidays- Christmas became Household Holiday (HoHo) Valentines became Happy Hearts Day Easter became Resurrection Sunday
  40. 1 point
    Yeah, "move the word" is code for enlisting new recruits and enrolling new class students, preferably ones without a lot of troublesome personal baggage and lots of disposable cash.
  41. 1 point
    I fixed that for you.
  42. 1 point
    We were also 78-79 military wow ambassadors in West Germany. If you remember three of the military wow couples had babies during that time. I thought we had a lot of caring between all of the military involved in the way at that time. However when we returned stateside it seemed to be a lot colder than in Europe.
  43. 1 point
    "If we could get another 6 families interested in our local group meetings who would join with us week after week in fellowship as well as the giving of their tithes for this work and ministry we would have a greater group than we have even now." There are so many things nauseating about wierwille's solicitation letter......but this quote is extremely nauseating and calculating. Let's see......Average median household income X 10% (tithe) X 6 (household incomes) = amount needed to adequately pay expenses and wierwille's salary Not 5 families.......6 families who will faithfully give their weekly tithe What ever happened to looking to God......to do exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think (calculate in your pea brain)? I've said this several times.......Mrs. Wierwille's book debunks the myths and mystique of victor paul wierwille.
  44. 1 point
    Good article. Beware scammers everywhere - especially in churches!
  45. 1 point
    Yeah.......splinter cults "taking care of each other." The "reverends" stay "reverends." Corps still hold spiritual status and leadership roles in this two-tier system. Rather than align with wierwille-mandates of DFAC (dropped from active corps).....they dismiss vpw's contempt on cop-outs. The splinter cults laud pfal-doctrine..........yet, bury every corps letter (and teaching) that wierwille directed their way. Cognitive dissonance is on parade as these splinter cults fly their flags and wear their masks. And then, others follow them into these splinter cults.......because "churches are evil messengers." OMG.......is this what institutionalized means? Psychosocial perversions, indeed.
  46. 1 point
    No doubt JJ never thought he'd still be making these videos contra'ing VPW, after all these years. As well as showing the copies of the books plagiarised by VPW, it might have been useful if JJ had recommended one or two deeper (but not too deep) theological tomes by reputable writers, since he mentions that VPW's writings are not only plagiarised, but shallow, sloppy, subbed, stolen, etc. Too many ex-Wayfers have no idea where to start looking, if they want more info, or want to study or think for themselves, and find it difficult to accept, let alone analyse, the content of non-Way materials. Anyway, well done John, for sticking with it all these years.
  47. 1 point
    Sometimes there is a lot of venting needed because we spent years with stuffed feelings and opinions and were not actually allowed to experience our reality, only the reality we were told to accept. It can take awhile to get in touch with the authentic self. And venting things that couldn't be expressed is often part of the process.
  48. 1 point
    Again, imo........the reason why I view splinter cults are worse than twi........is based on my original interest and involvement. It can be succinctly summed up by something that DWBH stated in the thread The Six Stages of Wierwille's Climb to Power: NOW......splinter cults have an inserted LEVEL OF AUTHORITARIAN PONTIFICATORS at the onset. Guys who've been around for 45 years rehashing wierwille teachings and cultclap one-liners at every turn. No thanks. Who wants to be led around by a bunch of 65-year old know-it-alls? The youth have disappeared back into life.....gone baby gone.
  49. 1 point
    Glad my process and posting affirms the value of GSC and bridge building WordWolf! The issue of kindness is an interesting one... I of course know that especially in sensitive areas kindness is often needed. However, at this season of my life what with the lifetime of trauma I have experienced, and the bondage-breaking/cult recovery I am in the midst of, I am ready for some good old yelling, screaming, and throwing things! JUSTICE NOW AND IN THE FUTURE, YES!! SWORD-WIELDING, HELL YEAH! It is refreshing for me when emotions are allowed and not swept under the rug, although there is always the risk of words being misinterpreted, mis-applied, etc. For me, it is time the pendulum swung out from the secrecy, deceit, and ignorance and into the Light and Truth! Blessings WordWolf!
  50. 1 point
    I'm glad you're benefiting from the posts. Personally, I think it's better to post with a bit more kindness, as it is friendlier for the readers who don't post here. The usual argument against that includes people who say that there's nobody doing that- and I obviously can't prove they do because they don't post! :) I'm glad you've been helped when you weren't posting, and also now that you are. There's an old poem I heard about in twi. It sums up why I keep hoping new people find us and read around the forums. The Bridge Builder By Will Allen Dromgoole An old man going a lone highway, Came, at the evening cold and gray, To a chasm vast and deep and wide. Through which was flowing a sullen tide The old man crossed in the twilight dim, The sullen stream had no fear for him; But he turned when safe on the other side And built a bridge to span the tide. “Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near, “You are wasting your strength with building here; Your journey will end with the ending day, You never again will pass this way; You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide, Why build this bridge at evening tide?” The builder lifted his old gray head; “Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said, “There followed after me to-day A youth whose feet must pass this way. This chasm that has been as naught to me To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be; He, too, must cross in the twilight dim; Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”

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