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Posts posted by skyrider

  1. On 2/7/2023 at 2:02 PM, Mike said:

    We were discussing who wrote this:


    Sow a thought reap an action

    Sow an action reap a habit

    Sow a habit reap a character 

    Sow a character reap a destiny

    I found a website called "Quote Investigator" and they found MANY authors of the same ideas, just slightly different wording.



    On the website it says.....Watch your thoughts, they become your words.  Watch your words, they become your actions.

    You know WHO ELSE was watching our thoughts and actions?  The cult.

    They were watching us, molding us, indoctrinating us.  Seems to me, this cute little phraseology turns deadly when a cult gains power over you.  It's like a double-edged sword.  Every little one-liner can "seem" good on the surface..... but in the twisted minds of cult leaders that one-liner can also be used against you.  So, I don't much follow these little quips in life anymore.  I like to use my critical thinking skills to get to the deeper levels of identity and self-governing.

    Burned by a cult will do that to you.



  2. 5 hours ago, T-Bone said:

    Just think - around the time the PFAL class was made, gasoline was 34 cents per gallon.


    Yeah.... so even by 1976, if the prices were doubled it wasn't that bad.

    Then, when twi-followers went WOW or lived in Way Homes.... the rent was split 4 ways (as an example).  So, even if monthly rent doubled to $260, split 4 ways = $65 a piece.  A guy could spend a lot more time witnessing when a group of youngsters ponied up their share of expenses.

    We could easily take those hourly-wage jobs at coffee shops, fast-food restaurants, retail stores, etc. because we were sharing the cost of expenses.  By golly, you could easily work a 4-6 hour day since you came home to an apartment with no television, no cable fees, no internet services, no cell phone bill, no car payment (most WOWs didn't own a car).  Walking was cheap transportation.  And, witnessing was cheap "entertainment."

    Those were the days, my friend.... we thought they'd never end.....



    • Like 1
  3. 3 minutes ago, waysider said:

    And this is why it's necessary to look at multiple sources and exercise the critical thinking skills we've been discussing.

    My point is.... that there might NOT be "multiple sources/links" because it's too hard to formulate any conclusive statement on the matter.


    • Like 1
  4. 1 hour ago, waysider said:

    Churches should be taxed, just like any other profit driven business. When snake oil ceases to be a profitable commodity, the number of people selling it will "miraculously" shrink.

    Maybe that should also apply to all "non-profit" foundations that are set up by celebrities, retired sports figures and the like where the administrative costs and payroll fees to family members are nearly 85-90% of the foundation.


    • Like 2
  5. 15 minutes ago, waysider said:

    It's just one article and doesn't represent the entirety of the situation.  I posted this particular one  because it was readily accessible. There are a lot of other sources that look at the issue from different angles and address other aspects. Maybe what needs to be scrutinized and revised is the actual oversight process itself at a systemic level.

    And, this article might be "readily accessible" because it's pushing forward a narrative.

    The other side might be as equally true (lazy, addicted parents who homeschool)..... but that it's harder to detect, enforce and create a narrative around it.  With the wide-range parameters of no-oversight parenthood, I highly suspect that it is just as susceptible to neglect.  A journalist would have to really dig deep to go to such lengths of finding these lazy, addicted parents who could care less about their child's education or life.




  6. 19 minutes ago, waysider said:

    Point well taken. My key take-away here is that they were able to establish a network, so it went beyond the scope of an individual homeschooler and into the realm of organized indoctrination. 

    Or, the opposite could be true as well.  Lazy, addicted parents could be so undisciplined that when THEY do homeschooling.... there is little oversight and no curriculum to speak of.

    • Like 1
  7. 2 minutes ago, OldSkool said:

    For me, I no longer expect our educational system to teach critical thinking and I have my son enrolled in a non-religous private school, which has proven a better experience than public shools but still kinda lacking in the critical thinking department. Im going to watch this video with him and a few others and Im very honest about my time in the way international and very persistent in my efforts to teach him critical thinking skills, skills I only learned after being leadership in an abusive cult.

    Sadly, you are so right, OldSkool.

    Our educational system is broken.  It would probably be more fitting for a private school or chartered school to get their students to higher educational standards.  But then, homeschooling might do just fine as well to teach your own kids these critical thinking skills.  In fact, for that matter..... teaching your own kids these truths would tend to be the BEST WAY FORWARD. 



  8. 14 hours ago, Rocky said:

    A worthy goal. Not answerable in quick sound bites. I suspect this is why ideally it's something to start building for children early in life.

    Among possible objectives/steps:

    Realization of the fact: everyone gets conned. That's what magicians do just for entertainment. Perhaps a foundational reality to teach could deal with how a person's attention is diverted to what others want to convince you has happened, will happen, or is really now happening.

    Further, discussion of the role of early childhood education focusing on critical thinking skills. Then, post secondary education exploring the reason broad liberal arts courses are graduation requirements, including humanities, social sciences, foreign languages, philosophy and mathematics.

    IOW, in my view, there's no easy fix. Doesn't mean there's no fix, it's just not easy. Might boil down to motivating individuals to become life long learners... which for many gets set aside when the necessities of life crowd them out. 

    I agree with much of what you've posted, Rocky.

    To me, it seems clear that these critical thinking skills need to be taught in a Humanities or Sociology Class as a Junior Level (age 17) in high school.  Yes, in college courses, educators could devise a class that incorporates these principles into a larger package.... but then, not every student goes on to college.

    I could see several possibilities on a class format.... but subtitles would be useful.  Having a Part 1 and Part 2 series of classes would generate thought and class involvement.  For example:  Give a one-hour view of how society reeks of con artists, scams and fraudsters.  Then devise a two-hour teaching series (Part 1 and Part 2) on subtitles....1) Deception, 2) Manipulation and 3) Exploitation.  Part 1 would give examples and short-clips of deceptive practices and how they are orchestrated.  Part 2 would require class involvement on how to spot and dismantle the deception in one's own life.  In this manner, the 17-year old is, at least, initially aware that Deception is a common practice in the real world by companies and shady organizations.  Manipulation and Exploitation would add two more power punches to this teaching series.... and then, a one-hour closing session.  So, around 8-10 hours of teaching would equip our youth with the underbelly tactics of greed in the world at large.

    Of course, at the college level... a semester class could delve into more granular tactics to overcome one's gullibility.  Even in my college Marketing Class we went thru some examples of how marketing often involves deception.  One such example was the Salem cigarette commercial... where a healthy couple is pictured walking on city streets, but then lighting up Salem cigarettes in the countryside.  With a diddily cute tune, the song goes...."You can take Salem out of the country, but... you can't take the country out of Salem."

    This song plays a couple of times thru the commercial and when the commercial comes to an end.... you hear, "You can take Salem out of the country, but..... [ding]"  The song stops with the 'ding.'  From a marketing strategy viewpoint, it gets the customer or potential customer to finish singing the song (in his head).  

    Salem Cigarette Commercial in early 70's




    • Upvote 1
  9. On 3/4/2023 at 7:50 AM, skyrider said:

    Sure... all of these components come together into a pot of evil brew.  

    • Mega-church preachers steeped in greed
    • Gullible people who are seeking signs, prosperity
    • Tax laws and loopholes
    • Destitute followers addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling
    • The fallen state of man devoid of sound minds
    • Etc. etc.


    I've been thinking about this and the question becomes...

    HOW do you teach, persuade or school people to NOT BE SO D@MN GULLIBLE?

    If you were to formulate a teaching series on helping people to overcome this... what would be your targeted objectives?  Similar to teaching someone in high school how to debate effectively, how would you teach others to overcome this "gullible factor?"  I have several thoughts on this, but will hold them in reserve to see what you deem necessary.  Thanks in advance.



  10. 1 hour ago, Twinky said:

    Absolutely, Sky, "forgetting" is a big part of why some fall into addiction - drugs, alcohol, whatever dulls the pain of what it is they want to forget.  Often it's abusive childhoods, whether physical (beaten by dad, say) or mental (constantly put down by mum, say).  Your sister abused you by plying you with alcohol at 10yo.  Awful.  Funny for her, potentially fatal for you at that young age.

    Great that you've come through it to be the fine man you are now. You have a lot that you can use to help others.

    It takes much guts for anyone to admit dependency and then to face up to whatever got an individual to be dependant in the first place.  And then to come through that is serious success.  :eusa_clap:

    This post was directed at OldSkool, not me.

    Other than that.....yes, kudos to OldSkool to come thru this experience with success.


    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1
  11. 14 hours ago, OldSkool said:

    Thats so cool to see how he has taken off post-TWI!! I notice he didnt mention them in his ministry experience and I understand why. Very inspiring to see this.

    I think that it's safe to say that Lonnell Johnson was not going to allow himself to be caught in twi's trap.  Even though he graduated in the 2nd way corps, he did not allow that to define him.  Therefore, by 1977 or so he started vigorously pursuing academic achievement to strengthen his ability to break free.

    • Upvote 1
  12. 2 hours ago, skyrider said:

    Seems to me, parents and society norms are failing our children.  They grow up fast and they grow up mean (sounds like a Johnny Cash song...lol) and there just aren't enough support structures out there when parents fail at their most fundamental duties.... raising strong and independent children to where they can stand on their own two feet. 

    Lessons from Johnny Cash:


  13. Yes, bigger churches should be playing a bigger role.... which leads us back full circle.  The greed and corruption within these mega-churches has perverted the very essence of the church structure in society.  Rather than a source of spiritual strength to the family unit, many of these mega-churches have become a conduit of slavish adulation and idolatry to "church leaders."  It falls in the description of man-worship.... and that's not an exaggeration.  These men are treated like gods.... just like the scriptures tell us.

    Woe to these men who flaunt God's churches to such corruption.  The foundational principles to "the office of a bishop, church elder" are found in I Timothy chapter 3.... and these men have far surpassed the thresholds of God's structure.  Just to name a few..... must be blameless, vigilant, sober, of good and sound behavior, not lifted up with pride, not greedy of filthy lucre, etc.  Far surpassing these qualifications, the corruption is permeating society and people.

    God help us to help others.



  14. 8 hours ago, Rocky said:

    If you're referring to Lonnell Johnson, he wasn't a token anything. He's a smart, industrious gentleman. As far as I know, he's still upright (alive). https://www.lonnelledwardjohnson.com/

    Three athletes I remember Loy latching on to and promoting were Tony Phillips (MLB utility infielder), Tony Collins (NFL running back) and Irving Fryar (another NFL player). All three of them had significant problems post TWI and did not laud their PFLAP grad status.  

    Yes, exactly right.  Lonnell Johnson is an accomplished and competent professional.

    Another link.... Dr. Lonnell Johnson



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  15. 1 hour ago, Twinky said:

    Drugs are a problem everywhere.  And yes, I know that a few mansions won't solve the problem point I'm making is that the megachurch pastors shouldn't be haing huge mansions all to themselves.  That's just extreme greed.

    Question to solve is: why do people want to start taking drugs in the first place?  Whether that drug be something illicit, or  something legal but to excess, or alcohol, or whatever.  There's a root cause, which is often abuse, poor family background, lack of self-esteem, and suchlike.  Generally, not exclusively, rooted in unsatisfactory personal relationships.  And that may be something to do with the pursuit of money above the pursuit of good family interactions. 

    In this, churches of all kinds can help.  Use their platform to teach about proper family values; respect for individuals within a family, how to be supportive to one another in a family or a community; looking out for each other in a genuine way; and suchlike.  No doubt megachurches do run some kinds of family values courses (free? or at a cost?), but the fact remains that there is a great imbalance between what happens at the top (the famous pastor and his family, and their mansions, jets and cars) and what happens at the bottom.  I wonder if a genuinely homeless person would be welcome in such a megachurch worship space. 

    There seem to be multiple root causes (plural) when it comes to this area:  poverty, no father-figure at home, abusive parents, extreme lack of direction, poor schooling, very little discipline, pre-teen and teen gang affiliation, petty misdemeanors, crime, etc.  Since there is no home life structure, the pre-teen goes searching for "support" on the streets and elsewhere.  If these support systems are not in place throughout childhood years, the problem gets exacerbated in their teen years and beyond.

    Seems to me, parents and society norms are failing our children.  They grow up fast and they grow up mean (sounds like a Johnny Cash song...lol) and there just aren't enough support structures out there when parents fail at their most fundamental duties.... raising strong and independent children to where they can stand on their own two feet.  Laws and government regulations need to clamp down on pedophilia, child trafficking, perversions, drag queen shows for kids, hard drugs in the inner cities, etc.  Look to many examples in the animal kingdom and you'll find that most animals teach and support their offspring to the point of generational longevity.  Whereas, many parents are too selfish, too addicted, and scrambling to stay ahead of the bills.

    Lots of things needed to reel in these societal problems.

  16. 1 hour ago, OldSkool said:

    So it was a very selective spotlight. Likely moreso on retired military who went corps vs active military who could never fully qualify to be corps due to their military obligations as you stated. Did wierwille/martindale make special concession for these guys to your knowledge?

    Yes, I believe there were concessions made at times.  I remember when one military guy received orders II go to the Middle East theatre.  He was supposed to teach a Sunday night service, but orders are orders.

    Twi missed out on flaunting him on their Sunday night service.  He quickly was driven to Dayton, grabbed a plane and was gone.


  17. 23 hours ago, OldSkool said:

    Then there's the guys Martindale pushed out there...anyone with a military service career especially. Thinking of S@m Gr@ham in this regard. They try and grab anyone who can give them some form of legitimacy amongst the professional world.

    Yes, twi tried to put higher ranked military men in the spotlight.

    The exception with military personnel was.... when they were called to duty, their commitment to military service was #1 priority.  No messing around.  No bowing to twi-leadership.  No taking orders from wierwille or martindale.  Nope, none of that.  These men never needed to kowtow to region/limb guys.  If they were on base and unavailable for a pfal class schedule.... nothing further needed to be said.  Twi could not employ their fear or guilt weaponry on them.  It did NOT work.

    The boundary lines were set and no amount of twi-wrangling could change it.  These military men took their orders from someone "higher" than wierwille.  I loved it.  :spy:



    • Like 1
  18. 6 hours ago, Twinky said:

     A mansion is only worthwhile (from the church PoV) if it's used for ministry purposes - how many homeless families could be housed in some of these mansions?  Could the mansions be used for work such as helping addicts through recovery?  Refuge for those suffering domestic abuse?  Homes for widows and orphans? 

    Do you see any of that happening?

    Twinky.... I know that you and your faithful group of "street ministers" help the homeless, the addicts and the abused on the streets.  What you are doing is highly commendable.  God needs faithful disciples like you.  :eusa_clap::eusa_clap:

    This whole area of the homeless, the addicts, the abused and the poverty-stricken is a growing problem.  Here in the U.S., drugs are pouring across the border by the drug cartels and human-traffickers who load up these "mules" to carry marijuana, fentanyl, etc. into this country.  It seems that with current laws, we are in a losing battle.  What I'm getting at.... the problem is worsening.  If your country is anything like what's happening here, then you and your group are going to be overwhelmed by a problem that keeps growing in leaps and bounds.

    Having 5-10 mansions to "house" this wave of addicted, abused and homeless will not begin to put a dent in the growing problem.  This needs to be tackled at its source with laws and regulations that stem the tide.  



  19. 43 minutes ago, Twinky said:

    That's true, Sky, though in context, the megachurches are pretty much US based.  (Other countries/cultures have their own local "mega" variants.)

    Since these megachurches thrive on "donations" and "tithes" I wonder where the recipients "tithe"?  Or do they see everything as supporting them in their "work" and "ministries," and the purchase of jets and fancy cars as furthering their ministries?  (I see no report of Jesus trading up to buy a faster, stronger, donkey - or indeed any donkey!)  Some of them claim to have no salary.  Yeah, right.  Just paid in kind in mansions, planes, cars, holidays. 

    A mansion is only worthwhile (from the church PoV) if it's used for ministry purposes - how many homeless families could be housed in some of these mansions?  Could the mansions be used for work such as helping addicts through recovery?  Refuge for those suffering domestic abuse?  Homes for widows and orphans? 

    Do you see any of that happening?

    Sure... all of these components come together into a pot of evil brew.  

    • Mega-church preachers steeped in greed
    • Gullible people who are seeking signs, prosperity
    • Tax laws and loopholes
    • Destitute followers addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling
    • The fallen state of man devoid of sound minds
    • Etc. etc.

    From any number of tangents, this problem has exacerbated into other sets of problems in society.  You're right.... it stands out as a US problem, but mainly because of the wealth in the US system.  Preachers, like all con men, seek an environment where they know it's easy pickens.  Far too many people are so gullible.  It seemed to be a similar scenario during the PT Barnum carnival days when the circus came to town with side-shows of bearded ladies, dwarfs and two-headed goats.  What did PT supposedly say?  "There's a sucker born every minute."

    Why do these mega-church preachers target US society?  It's again, similar to what the bank robber Willie Sutton said back in 1933 when asked, Why do you rob banks?  "I rob banks because that's where the money is."




  20. 1 hour ago, Twinky said:

    Very sad that this is so symptomatic of US society that values money more than anything else.  A greed-based society.

    True prosperity is having enough and thriving.  Doing well for yourself - which doesn't just mean having enough money, but having enough in all aspects of life: love, friendship, community, self-respect, respect for others. Time to enjoy life.  Opportunity to spend doing things you love with those you love.  And yes, being successful at the work you do.  The word for "prosper" means, basically, "go well, have a good journey."  

    Basically, prosperity is having a good life, not just in the financial sense, but just living a comfortable, thriving, enjoyable, uncomplicated, life.  Heck, it's even hard to describe what I want to say, as all the words I'd put are loaded with "prosperity gospel" overtones. 


    Well, I wouldn't just point to the "US society"..... the scriptures warn against the love of money being the root of all evil.  Whether it's Saudi Arabia or the elite culture in Davos, Switzerland.... the evil nature of greed has permeated.

    It's bigger than bashing the USA.... it's devilish evil that has twisted and contorted the mind of man to lust after covetousness.  How many times do the scriptures speak on the covetous man?



  21. Today is March 4th.  To me, it is a significant day. It's the only day on the calendar with a command.... March Forth.  The precious moments of our lives are ticking away.

    Whatever it is that fuels your gas tank, get busy doing it.  Take nothing for granted.  Time wasted is time lost.  Do not allow a hurtful past steal from a promising present.  And, do not allow a promising present overshadow the hope and glory of an eternal future.

    I treasure this day, March 4th.... because of what it represents to me.  In 1984, I left twi's headquarters with my wife and Vince Finnegan to fly to London, Ontario Canada.  Preparations and procedures had already been in play for my wife and I to become the next country coordinators of Canada.  Suffice it to say that the last man fell on his face and time was of the essence to replace him immediately.

    So, on that day a whole new world opened up to me.  Different country.  Translation of another language was needed for me (in French Quebec).  Metric system.  Multi-cultured ethnic groups in every major city.... far more diversified than the U.S. (which seemed new to me in 1984).  Language barriers.  I was no longer in Kansas.... er, rural Ohio anymore.  LOL

    Living there for three years was a thrill of a lifetime.  The people and culture were fascinating.  My travels led me from the west coast to the east coast, from Vancouver, British Columbia to Moncton, New Brunswick.  Spending time with Canadian believers was a treasure that I will cherish a lifetime.  Lots of events, fun, laughter, weddings and some funerals.  Besides the ministry work, I got to alpine snow ski at Whistler, B.C., tour Banff National Park and resort areas several times and ice skate on the canals in Ottawa, Ontario.  Three years of power-packed activity.

    So, on this March 4th... I raise my glass to salute my Canadian brethren for welcoming me to their country and their homes.  Those moments of treasured time spent will be cherished for the rest of my life.




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