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T-Bone

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  1. Hi Amazing T and welcome to Grease Spot. That's a great question! If you are a graduate of the Power For Abundant Living Class - (or PFAL ) then I will direct you back to that as being the source you requested. What you will find here on Grease Spot is some good collective analysis of PFAL as well as other classes, teachings and written material by wierwille on a number of threads. I'm sure others will chime in to answer your question...but let me give you a link to a great thread that might be what you're looking for: Actual Errors in PFAL fyi - it's a long thread - some 38 pages - but it's jammed packed with info - might take you a while to go through it all
  2. Just thought I’d quote a few of my posts from other threads to reflect the changes in my belief system, the latest thing I’m into about how we form our beliefs, and other fascinating ideas…if you check back later I’m sure it will probably change. Oh yeah, if anyone else wants to say something about their own journey – feel free to do so…to repeat what I said in a couple of posts November 8th 2017 ( see here and here ) and quoted below: "and sorry to be repetitive and self-referencing - but one of the last points I made in my first post was - - hopefully - - setting the spirit of this thread...perhaps inspiring others to share the reasoning for the course they have set...and if folks would think about the bigger picture...context...the common ground of Grease Spot - that being most of us here were a part of a group (The Way International) that has a fundamentalist view of the Bible...therefore - - in my thinking anyway - - there is no reason for debate or defending one's choice of path since they left TWI (assuming all who respond have left - but it could be one is still in TWI - they too are free to explain the path of their choice ) I dunno ....maybe it's wishful thinking on my part...was just shooting for a discussion that wouldn't be another hostile bashing of opposing views on anything." = = = = = = = = = = = = = = "to all who view this thread, Honestly there is no right or wrong answer I’m watching out for…actually I think I’m wanting a taste of the good old days of Grease Spot when some of us (and sadly some of the posters I have not seen here in a few years) would set aside our differences and “philosophize” about the journey thus far. Come to think of it – I should have said something in my first post that described the enormous influence Grease Spot has had – and even continues to have when I process certain things. maybe there's something to "no man is an island" - especially when I’m trying to figure .my way out of a convoluted hot mess...whatever that is...I appreciate the help. Yes, we can be a hypercritical and argumentative bunch – and probably more so than any other “think tank” …and that probably has a lot to do with many of us being young and naïve when we were involved with a certain controlling organization…and in my opinion, it’s only natural that we bounce back with a vengeance…release the hounds of critical thinking I won’t say much more about what I’m personally looking for on this thread – as I said there is no right or wrong answer – I don’t get into judging one person’s approach as superior or inferior – intellectually or emotionally - from someone else's approach…perhaps if folks need a little more direction on what to say - - I would suggest consider what I did in my first post – I gave a few details on things I’ve read, my criteria – or preferences for reading material – and the core elements of my belief system during this journey…honestly I could be wrong on any and all of this (the core elements of my beliefs) – so I’m not fishing for validation.” = = = = = = = = === = == =
  3. OldSkool, I believe I share a similar sentiment as far as anything being a final wrap, end of discussion, the last word, definitive or conclusive….And I believe we may both have the same “selfish” reason for putting our thoughts out there for discussion – I’ve said many times on Grease Spot that my beliefs are in a constant state of flux. Well, what is that? From Quora “in a (constant) state of flux means a state of uncertainty about what should be done (usually following some important event) preceding the establishment of a new direction of action.” For me, important events are things like intense realizations of all the lies I bought into by con artists like wierwille… important events are things like being hit right between the eyes by the logic and perspective from someone who has a completely different viewpoint than me… I talked about that wonderfully enlightening experience on another thread: And as that definition of being in a constant state of flux says – from those type of important events I’ve mentioned, I’m usually uncertain about what should be done or how to proceed from there…and believe it or not – this feels great…even luxurious! What’s the rush?!?! There's no deadline to meet. The delay won't hurt the sale of my new book "Oh The $hit I Don't Know Would Blow Your Mind". Geez Louise - when I was in TWI, I remember so many times being swept up by the galvanizing words of wierwille or LCM – a call to go WOW…go in the way corps…or whatever it was – and I’d feel sort of guilty if I wasn’t chomping at the bit to do whatever they were promoting…Makes me think of the instructions you get before you undergo surgery or some procedure and have to be given a sedative or anesthesia – they tell you that afterwards you shouldn’t be signing any legal documents, making big purchases, etc. cuz you’ll probably still be under the influence of a drug…that’s one bit of advice you never get after you join a harmful and controlling cult and you’re about to guzzle down the Kool-Aid. You’re NEVER going to hear from a WOW or way corps recruiter “Now that you drank the Kool-Aid, you should wait awhile before you decide on anything. Live life and see how things work out without us always blowing smoke up your a$$." About that faith and reason stuff you mention – I hear you on that one too. That’s probably one of the most basic issues I face a lot of the time – how to relate faith to reason. Faith deals with revelation – or some supernatural disclosure which could not be discovered by the unaided powers of human reason. Now reason is the natural ability of the human mind to discover truth. With science, truth is determined by verification – as in the scientific method – which is a lot of observation and experimentation. Flying a plane, launching a rocket into space are doable because scientists found out the truth about gravity – like there are ways to work around it. Science is practical – if it works, it’s true. Scientific truth gives us no criteria for metaphysical or theological truth. So I think we’re looking for another definition of truth for the metaphysical or theological realm. In reading up on philosophy, I lean toward one theory of what truth is – it’s called the correspondence theory of truth - from Wikipedia : “In metaphysics and philosophy of language, the correspondence theory of truth states that the truth or falsity of a statement is determined only by how it relates to the world and whether it accurately describes (i.e., corresponds with) that world. Correspondence theories claim that true beliefs and true statements correspond to the actual state of affairs. This type of theory attempts to posit a relationship between thoughts or statements on one hand, and things or facts on the other.” So basically, truth consists in some form of connection…correlation…resemblance…agreement between a belief and a fact. For me, this gets into how I look at the Bible – and there’s a lot of ways to look at the Bible – even as a Christian. I believe the Bible is metaphysical truth (metaphysical = in a transcendent sense or to a reality beyond what is perceptible to the senses) – that it is a revelation from God – written by people inspired of God. Taking into account that people are not perfect, have worldviews shaped by their times and culture, I think the Bible is best understood as metaphysical truth and not as scientific truth. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” – if I use the correspondence theory of truth, I can reason that the big bang theory might agree with Genesis 1:1 . excuse all my gobbledygook - but that's how I usually get my faith and reason to work together. I’ve grown comfortable in this groove of uncertainty – it leaves me a lot of wiggle room – keeps rigor mortis from setting in…I think exploring my faith is a lot of fun…my belief system is never a done deal. I’m still mulling over a lot of things I read in a thought-provoking book Rocky recommended Love Wins . just see my initial thoughts about it - here - To reinforce what Rocky said – knowledge puffeth up – and that’s what I succumbed to when I was in TWI – thinking I had all the answers filled me with pride…nowadays the more I study the Bible, the more I philosophize, the more I talk with Grease Spotters, the more I realize how little I know…At least I don’t get bored…exploring is fun!
  4. Twinky and WordWolf, thanks for your input - both your posts got me thinking what a thinly veiled cheapskate scheme the way corps program is, compared to the denominations that wierwille would speak of with such disdain…I think it’s rather obvious the core values of a denomination…or for that matter some two-bit cult, are reflected in the selection, vetting process and education of a minister…I am not familiar with the intensive process like what Twinky described. But unfortunately, I am well-acquainted with wierwille’s cheap-a$$ imitation (the way corps program) … …it’s obvious to me that the ordination process like what Twinky described and like the ones I gave links to in my first post reveal most denominations have a genuine concern for things like looking into the person’s character, appraising their sense of calling, seeing if the life of a minister is a good fit for them, providing a proper theological education as well as mentoring…to me, all that seems like an honest attempt to approach some biblical standard as mentioned in passages like Romans 12 I Corinthians 12 Ephesians 4: 11 - 13 II Timothy 2 and 3 and Titus 1 and 2 seems like some worthwhile core values to me... ...Now…on the other hand - reflecting on my way corps training - it was a meagerly disguised clone factory. We had to eat, sleep, and breathe PFAL. So, what does that tell you? What was important to TWI was that I would become a little wierwille clone.
  5. Skyrider, I always appreciate what you share – it not only gives me a peek inside the inner workings of TWI – but besides the spectacularly unsuccessful and disordered bureaucracy of that hot mess – there’s also the bittersweet fact that there were some good, honest God-loving leaders who probably bore the brunt of the worst of what’s coming down the pike from HQ… …I believe I have met some true ministers like you talked about – who cared a lot about folks – who had probably just as much compassion for people as they had conviction for the truth of The Word of God…they are the ones who made me feel some sense of God’s personal interest in my life.
  6. Rocky, Thanks for your input. I just replied to OldSkool on a thread in doctrinal – and thought I’d mention part of it here since I think it ties in well with your mention of magical thinking and ministers experiencing real life problems. This first excerpt is about magical thinking – it's interesting on how it's difficult to pin down someone on exactly what is the plausible link of causation and also has some good tips on how we can put magical thinking in check when we find we're leaning in that direction - if interested in the whole article – the link is right below that: “One of my patients suffers from chronic constipation due to irritable bowel syndrome. During the literally 20 years since she was first diagnosed, her symptom pattern has remained remarkably consistent: She has perhaps 1-2 bowel movements per week, occasionally accompanied by some mild cramping. Even she admits the symptoms are more a bother than a worry. And yet, every time I prescribe a new medicine for one of her other ailments, within a day or two she calls me up complaining that it's causing her to become constipated. When I ask if she means that while on the new medicine she has fewer bowel movements or more abdominal pain, her answer is always no. And yet she adamantly refuses to continue with the new medication, insisting it's the cause of a symptom complex she's had for two decades. And no matter how cogently I argue that the new medicine can't be to blame (and I'm always careful to pick medicines not known to cause or exacerbate constipation), she refuses to continue with it. Though certainly she could be right about 1 or even 2 pills exacerbating her constipation, the likelihood that all 16 pills I've given her have caused the same exact symptom in the context of the symptom already existing is just too far-fetched. A much more likely explanation is that she's indulging in magical thinking. Magical thinking is defined as believing that one event happens as a result of another without a plausible link of causation. For example: "I got up on the left side of the bed today; therefore it will rain." The problem with this definition, however, is that exactly what constitutes "a plausible link of causation" can be difficult to pin down. If we were to take this phrase to its logical extreme, we'd have to consider a belief in anything that hasn't been scientifically proven to represent magical thinking. On the other hand, rejecting the use of any and all criteria with which to judge cause and effect leaves us vulnerable to believing that anything can cause anything—or even worse, that an effect can occur without a cause at all. Perhaps, then, a more nuanced definition of magical thinking would be believing in things more strongly than either evidence or experience justifies. Though I can't prove the sun will rise in the east tomorrow, because it has every day since I've been alive, such a belief couldn't then be said to represent magical thinking. But because every person who's ever jumped off a building or a bridge has gone down and not up, believing that flapping my arms hard enough would enable me to float into the sky certainly would. Problems with this definition remain, however. For one thing, simply in order to live we have to believe things without proof. If we refused to believe what our doctors, plumbers, electricians, barbers, or nannies told us without first being shown incontrovertible evidence, our lives would come to a grinding halt. For another thing, some questions we burn to answer aren't necessarily provable or disprovable…” …How can we stop thinking magically? Magical thinking remains a subtle obstacle to making good decisions. But the more we observe ourselves, the more we can reduce our tendency to indulge in it: 1. Consciously identify your desires and biases. Write them down. Try to identify their cause. Work to free yourself from them to the best of your ability. 2. Demand proof when proof seems demonstrable. Try to remain intellectually "agnostic" toward what hasn't been proven or isn't provable, even if you find yourself emotionally inclined to believe it. Try to regard your belief as just that—an inclination—so that you're not tempted to act with more confidence in your belief than is justified. 3. Beware the tendency to let others think for you. This is as insidious as it is widespread. A journalist presents a position about a topic of the day and has his or her opinion accepted as fact. One friend makes a statement about another and everyone accepts it as true without bothering to investigate themselves. Though I don't agree with many of the principles espoused by Ayn Rand in her book, The Fountainhead, the point she makes about how so many of us subjugate our judgment to others is worth taking to heart (a great read, by the way, which I highly recommend). We all tend to cling not only to the things we believe but the reasoning that leads us to believe them. Despite all my efforts, I've not yet been able to break through my patient's magical thinking about the cause of her constipation. So I continue to do what I've done: chant to manifest the wisdom to somehow find a way to succeed, having proven to myself many times over that chanting has the power to yield wisdom I didn't know I had—a power, however, that can only ever be proven by someone to themselves.” From: Psychology Today - magical thinking = = = = = = = = = = = Concerning “ministers” of TWI or any other leaders who subscribe to the law of believing/magical thinking – take a tip from me there is no such thing ! About the time that I left TWI, I had a voracious appetite to read anything that challenged me to think outside TWI’s theological box…One way I tried to determine if the law of believing/magical thinking was legit, was to see if Jesus Christ’s example supported or opposed this whole law of believing/magical thinking concept…if there indeed was such a law, principle or force – then Jesus Christ would be one of the most pessimistic-doom-that-came-into-the-room-fatalistic-cynical-defeatist persons you’d ever want to meet …in the book Beyond Seduction: A Return to Biblical Christianity by Dave Hunt it mentions E.W. Kenyon founder of the Word of Faith/positive confession movement and the ridiculous idea of Jesus bringing setbacks and catastrophes on himself and others. From page 33, under the section, What About the “Negative Confessions” of God and Christ? : “Foundational to the Positive Confession movement is the belief that there is a power inherent within words which causes whatever one says to come to pass, and that one must therefore be extremely careful only to make positive statements. E.W. Kenyon, who is the founder of this movement, taught that Jesus “was always positive in His message.” One need not read very far in the New Testament to prove that statement false. In fact, if it is true that we create what we speak, then we must charge Jesus with bringing disaster not only upon Himself but upon others as well. His numerous “negative confessions,” such as “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20), must have been the cause of the poverty that plagued Him and His disciples. And the same must be said of His frequent statements to His followers that He was going to be crucified, even insisting upon this fact when Peter attempted to urge upon Him a more “positive” attitude (Matthew 16:21 - 23). If “you get what you say,” then Christ’s numerous “negative confessions” not only brought upon Himself poverty, suffering, and death but brought it upon the entire world as well. Was not His prophecy of the coming destruction of Jerusalem a “negative confession” that caused this very tragedy in 70 A.D.? And are not the prophecies of Jesus and His apostles concerning the great tribulation, the rule of Antichrist, and the coming Battle of Armageddon “negative confessions” that will bring these horrible events upon the world? And what about Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the many other Old Testament prophets who made repeated “negative confessions” of judgement upon Israel and many other nations?” https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Seduction-Return-Biblical-Christianity/dp/0890815585
  7. Hey OldSkool, I swear I’m not trying to monopolize this thread (note: I stink at Monopoly anyway…might be from bad experiences of playing it as a kid with my best friend – he would always have to be the banker – and let’s just say there was always some embezzling and cooking the books going on…but he was older and bigger than me so I never complained….and now in 2021 we’re some 58 years passed the statute of limitations for me to bring legal action over Monopoly Money malfeasance ) (additional note: it’s possible my previous parenthetical statements are in fact a monopolizing attempt – in which case I’m providing a literary example of hypocrisy ) takes a big breath in to continue I was reading your article again – which triggered something I remembered from a book and then I got sidetracked - or maybe I’ll call it backtracking on magical thinking mentioned earlier…soooooooo below are some excerpts I hope you and other Grease Spotters might find informative. First, quoting from page 10 of your article: "Mark 11:22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. This verse is situated in between Jesus cursing a fig tree and it dying from the roots up. There is much significance in Jesus cursing this fig tree that is beyond the scope of this discussion, however, he used this event as an illustration that begins with “Have faith in God.” Then he moves on to say doubt not the things you say because God will back you up when you have faith in God! If it sounds like I am contradicting myself, I am not. Let’s consider Jesus Christ for a moment. If ANYONE would have taught The Law of Believing it would have been Jesus Christ. Yet let’s see what Jesus said of himself as recorded in John. John 5:30 - I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. Our Lord Jesus Christ plainly said he couldn’t do anything by himself. The context of John 5:30 is Jesus healed a man who couldn’t walk and the Jewish religious leaders wanted to kill him for it because he healed on the Sabbath day. Jesus plainly stated that he couldn’t do anything by himself. If The Law of Believing were truly interwoven throughout scripture wouldn’t he have said so at times like these? Itis only by having faith in God that Jesus was able to do the powerful works he performed during his ministry to Israel. As we bring this work to a close remember John 14:12 John 14:12 - Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. Keep your faith focused on God! Trust him to do the things he says he will. It’s the relationship of a father with his children. That's the same relationship we have because of what Christ accomplished as our Lord and redeemer." = = = = = = = = = That is such a big point you make in your article ! That even Jesus recognized the limitations of human beings – and he included himself…other than your article I don’t recall coming across that particular idea except in one book that pokes holes in the law of believing by saying if that were true then Jesus would be one of the most pessimistic-doom-that-came-into-the-room-fatalistic-cynical-defeatist persons you’d ever want to meet. This book came out about the same time I left TWI – back then I had such a voracious appetite to read anything that challenged me to think outside TWI’s theological box… anyway…the book is Beyond Seduction: A Return to Biblical Christianity by Dave Hunt and like your article mentions E.W. Kenyon founder of the Word of Faith/positive confession movement and the ridiculous idea of Jesus bringing setbacks and catastrophes on himself and others. From page 33, under the section, What About the “Negative Confessions” of God and Christ? : “Foundational to the Positive Confession movement is the belief that there is a power inherent within words which causes whatever one says to come to pass, and that one must therefore be extremely careful only to make positive statements. E.W. Kenyon, who is the founder of this movement, taught that Jesus “was always positive in His message.” One need not read very far in the New Testament to prove that statement false. In fact, if it is true that we create what we speak, then we must charge Jesus with bringing disaster not only upon Himself but upon others as well. His numerous “negative confessions,” such as “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20), must have been the cause of the poverty that plagued Him and His disciples. And the same must be said of His frequent statements to His followers that He was going to be crucified, even insisting upon this fact when Peter attempted to urge upon Him a more “positive” attitude (Matthew 16:21 - 23). If “you get what you say,” then Christ’s numerous “negative confessions” not only brought upon Himself poverty, suffering, and death but brought it upon the entire world as well. Was not His prophecy of the coming destruction of Jerusalem a “negative confession” that caused this very tragedy in 70 A.D.? And are not the prophecies of Jesus and His apostles concerning the great tribulation, the rule of Antichrist, and the coming Battle of Armageddon “negative confessions” that will bring these horrible events upon the world? And what about Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the many other Old Testament prophets who made repeated “negative confessions” of judgement upon Israel and many other nations?” = = = = = = = = On magical thinking, I found this interesting article in Psychology Today – I like some of the probing challenges it brings up – like, trying to pin down a plausible link of causation…anyway here’s some excerpts and if you’re interested in reading the whole article, there is a link following my excerpts: “One of my patients suffers from chronic constipation due to irritable bowel syndrome. During the literally 20 years since she was first diagnosed, her symptom pattern has remained remarkably consistent: She has perhaps 1-2 bowel movements per week, occasionally accompanied by some mild cramping. Even she admits the symptoms are more a bother than a worry. And yet, every time I prescribe a new medicine for one of her other ailments, within a day or two she calls me up complaining that it's causing her to become constipated. When I ask if she means that while on the new medicine she has fewer bowel movements or more abdominal pain, her answer is always no. And yet she adamantly refuses to continue with the new medication, insisting it's the cause of a symptom complex she's had for two decades. And no matter how cogently I argue that the new medicine can't be to blame (and I'm always careful to pick medicines not known to cause or exacerbate constipation), she refuses to continue with it. Though certainly she could be right about 1 or even 2 pills exacerbating her constipation, the likelihood that all 16 pills I've given her have caused the same exact symptom in the context of the symptom already existing is just too far-fetched. A much more likely explanation is that she's indulging in magical thinking. Magical thinking is defined as believing that one event happens as a result of another without a plausible link of causation. For example: "I got up on the left side of the bed today; therefore it will rain." The problem with this definition, however, is that exactly what constitutes "a plausible link of causation" can be difficult to pin down. If we were to take this phrase to its logical extreme, we'd have to consider a belief in anything that hasn't been scientifically proven to represent magical thinking. On the other hand, rejecting the use of any and all criteria with which to judge cause and effect leaves us vulnerable to believing that anything can cause anything—or even worse, that an effect can occur without a cause at all. Perhaps, then, a more nuanced definition of magical thinking would be believing in things more strongly than either evidence or experience justifies. Though I can't prove the sun will rise in the east tomorrow, because it has every day since I've been alive, such a belief couldn't then be said to represent magical thinking. But because every person who's ever jumped off a building or a bridge has gone down and not up, believing that flapping my arms hard enough would enable me to float into the sky certainly would. Problems with this definition remain, however. For one thing, simply in order to live we have to believe things without proof. If we refused to believe what our doctors, plumbers, electricians, barbers, or nannies told us without first being shown incontrovertible evidence, our lives would come to a grinding halt. For another thing, some questions we burn to answer aren't necessarily provable or disprovable…” …How can we stop thinking magically? Magical thinking remains a subtle obstacle to making good decisions. But the more we observe ourselves, the more we can reduce our tendency to indulge in it: 1. Consciously identify your desires and biases. Write them down. Try to identify their cause. Work to free yourself from them to the best of your ability. 2. Demand proof when proof seems demonstrable. Try to remain intellectually "agnostic" toward what hasn't been proven or isn't provable, even if you find yourself emotionally inclined to believe it. Try to regard your belief as just that—an inclination—so that you're not tempted to act with more confidence in your belief than is justified. 3. Beware the tendency to let others think for you. This is as insidious as it is widespread. A journalist presents a position about a topic of the day and has his or her opinion accepted as fact. One friend makes a statement about another and everyone accepts it as true without bothering to investigate themselves. Though I don't agree with many of the principles espoused by Ayn Rand in her book, The Fountainhead, the point she makes about how so many of us subjugate our judgment to others is worth taking to heart (a great read, by the way, which I highly recommend). We all tend to cling not only to the things we believe but the reasoning that leads us to believe them. Despite all my efforts, I've not yet been able to break through my patient's magical thinking about the cause of her constipation. So I continue to do what I've done: chant to manifest the wisdom to somehow find a way to succeed, having proven to myself many times over that chanting has the power to yield wisdom I didn't know I had—a power, however, that can only ever be proven by someone to themselves.” From: Psychology Today - magical thinking
  8. A post about buzzwords. The more I read about the book “Cultish” the more excited I get about reading it soon…I’m finishing up 3 books right now, but I should be able to get to it soon…in general the topic of buzzwords is quite interesting – there’s both pros and cons to it: “A buzzword is a word or phrase, new or already existing, that becomes very popular for a period of time. Buzzwords often derive from technical terms yet often have much of the original technical meaning removed through fashionable use, being simply used to impress others. Some "buzzwords" retain their true technical meaning when used in the correct contexts, for example artificial intelligence. Buzzwords often originate in jargon, acronyms, or neologisms. Examples of overworked business buzzwords include synergy, vertical, dynamic, cyber and strategy. A common buzzword phrase is "think outside the box". It has been stated that businesses could not operate without buzzwords, as they are shorthands or internal shortcuts that make perfect sense to people informed of the context. However, a useful buzzword can become co-opted into general popular speech and lose its usefulness. According to management professor Robert Kreitner, "Buzzwords are the literary equivalent of Gresham's Law. They will drive out good ideas." Buzzwords, or buzzphrases such as "all on the same page", can also be seen in business as a way to make people feel like there is a mutual understanding. As most workplaces use a specialized jargon, which could be argued is another form of buzzwords, it allows quicker communication. Indeed, many new hires feel more like "part of the team" the quicker they learn the buzzwords of their new workplace. Buzzwords permeate people's working lives so much that many don't realise that they are using them. The vice president of CSC Index, Rich DeVane, notes that buzzwords describe not only a trend, but also what can be considered a "ticket of entry" with regards to being considered as a successful organization – "What people find tiresome is each consulting firm's attempt to put a different spin on it. That's what gives bad information." Buzzwords also feature prominently in politics, where they can result in a process which "privileges rhetoric over reality, producing policies that are 'operationalized' first and only 'conceptualized' at a later date". The resulting political speech is known for "eschewing reasoned debate (as characterized by the use of evidence and structured argument), instead employing language exclusively for the purposes of control and manipulation". Definition The Concise Oxford English Dictionary defines a buzzword (hyphenating the term as buzz-word) as a slogan, or as a fashionable piece of jargon: a chic, fashionable, voguish, trendy word a la mode. It has been asserted that buzzwords do not simply appear, they are created by a group of people working within a business as a means to generate hype. Buzzwords are most closely associated with management and have become the vocabulary that is known as "management speak": Using a pompous or magisterial term, of or relating to a particular subject employed to impress those outside of the field of expertise. It could also be called buzz phrase or loaded word. What this means is that when a manager uses a said buzzword, most other people do not hear the meaning, and instead just see it as a buzzword. However, it has been said that buzzwords are almost a "necessary evil" of management, as a way to inspire their team, but also stroke their own egos. With that being said, a buzzword is not necessarily a bad thing, as many disciplines thrive with the introduction of new terms which can be called buzzwords. These can also cross over into pop culture and indeed even into everyday life. With media channels now operating through many media, such as television, radio, print and increasingly digital (especially with the rise of social media), a "buzzword" can catch on and rapidly be adapted through the world.” From: Wikipedia - buzzwords = = = = = = = == = = = = In a June 14th 2021 article by “Cultish” author Amanda Montell - talks about as she finished the final draft, she shared some of her thoughts on buzzwords, the power of language and peoples’ desire to belong (if you're interested in reading the complete article - click on the link following these excerpts): "In late 2020, a time of cultural high-highs and low-lows (Trump would soon be out of office, but the COVID pandemic was wreaking havoc), my Instagram algorithm could not have been more confused. Locked away in my bedroom like I’d been all year, looping a playlist of Mariah Carey Christmas music (an attempt at *joy*), I found myself going Jack-Nicholson-in-The-Shining-style mad, as I finished the final draft of Cultish, my new nonfiction book about the language of “cults,” from Scientology to SoulCycle. Amid all the QAnoners, multi-level marketing recruiters, impassioned start-ups, and other fanatical fringe groups I’d been analyzing (read: social media stalking) over the past year, my Explore page couldn’t seem to tell whether I was genuinely interested in shopping for Flat Earth T-shirts while entertaining the theory that 5G cell phone towers were responsible for the coronavirus, or just anthropologically interested. Either way, I was eyeballs deep in the peculiar universe of shady social media gurus, when I thumbed past the perfect case study in contemporary cult language: an account called @activationvibration… …Language change and cultural change have always gone hand-in-hand, and this is by no means the “dawn” of New Age vernacular in the United States. We saw something similar in the 1960s and ’70s, another era of American socio-political turbulence. At the time, Americans were craving community and spirituality more than ever, but were resisting traditional religious organizations, so, new “alternative” movements — everything from Christian offshoots like Jews for Jesus to pseudo-Buddhist groups like Shambhala to sci-fi-type fellowships like Scientology — arose to fill the void. Like now, spiritual seekers of the time were mostly young, white, countercultural types who felt that mainstream church, government, and healthcare had failed them, so they began looking toward the East and the occult to inspire individualistic quests for enlightenment. Naturally accompanying the rise of New Age culture, talk of “vibrations” and “mind-body connections” surged…. …That said, this hazy metaphysical-meets-scientific-sounding speech does come with risks. We often take for granted the material power of language, largely because it’s invisible and seemingly harmless — sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you, right? Well, not quite. Having spent the past two years researching the social science of cult influence, I’ve learned that more than physical violence or some vague concept of “brainwashing,” language is the key means by which all degrees of cult-like influence occur. With emotionally charged buzzwords and euphemisms, renamings, chants, mantras, and even hashtags, pernicious gurus are able to instill ideology, establish an “us” and a “them,” justify questionable behavior, inspire fear, gaslight followers into questioning their own reality… essentially everything a cult needs to do in order to gain and maintain power… …“Some words are used not for their meaning, but for what the word says about the person who uses it,” wrote Lutheranism scholar Kendall Davis (@hispterlutheran) on his blog. Commenting on how millennial megachurches in particular exploit this New Age rhetoric as an unctuous marketing tactic, Davis writes: “The hipster church down the street isn’t calling itself an ‘intentional and authentic community of missional Christ followers’ because each of those words carry a specific meaning, but because each of those words/phrases identify this group of Christians as not like those other Christians, those Christians who are presumably part of an ‘accidental and inauthentic hermitage of anti-missional Christ deserters.’” The words’ precise definitions are not important — in fact, they don’t even exist. Instead, says David, it’s the social capital they carry. It’s their ability to instill a sense of unearned, us-versus-them elitism in followers who know how to use the language, while ostracizing or villainizing those who don’t. At its very worst, New Age language conflates science and metaphysics in a way that misrepresents and delegitimizes data, ushering in a wave of hazardous anti-science thinking. Since the New Age boom in the ‘60s and ‘70s, so many notorious figures — from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard to NXIVM’s Keith Rainere — have co-opted technical terms from scientific fields like psychology and astrophysics, infusing them with vague spiritual meanings as a way to convince their followers that they’re tapped into knowledge that transcends science. Because New Age ideas and conspiracy theories have overlapped in such inauspicious ways over the past decade — giving us a whole new category of cultish belief termed “conspirituality” (think: anti-vaxx yogis, Pastel QAnoners, etc.) — this imprecise, mystical verbiage can serve as an on-ramp leading to much more destructive conspiratorial thinking. Many of QAnon’s central buzzwords fall into this very same category of New Age vernacular: “paradigm shift,” “5D consciousness,” “awakening.” This is no accident: The familiar, innocent-sounding words work to reel in and bond recruits without revealing too much. Akin to a horoscope, the generic rhetoric allows participants to project whatever they want to believe onto the language, all the while camouflaging the fact that much more ominous, fact-phobic, anti-Semitic ideas might await them deeper down the rabbit hole. …Of course, New Age–speak is not inherently treacherous. But its sheer ubiquity says something profound about this uniquely cultish time in history. Keeping our ears attuned to deceptive buzzwords dressed up as the language of enlightenment can help us all make sure we don’t slip and fall into the wrong ideological whirlpool — whether we’re at church, work, spin class, or perusing our Explore page.” From: Refinery 29 website - Cult Language = = = = = = = === = = = = == = = = And here’s some excerpts from an interview Maylin Tu had with Amanda Montell, August 13th 2021 (again, if you're interested in reading the complete article, click on the link following these excerpts): “… Montell knows a thing or two about the human thirst for belonging and the extremes it can drive us to. She grew up listening to her dad's stories about Synanon, a notorious Bay Area cult he was part of as a teenager. But it wasn't just her dad's stories. Montell heard cultish language everywhere she went, sensing that it "imbues our everyday lives." So, she set out to figure out how cults and cultish groups use language to influence people. The result is Cultish, her latest book.”: Maylin Tu: There's been so much interest in your book and I think part of it is how nonchalant it is about the central premise: Cultishness is everywhere. * * * Amanda Montell: I'm inspired by the work of Mary Roach (the popular science writer) who takes this darkly funny, curious, enthusiastic, sometimes slightly irreverent approach to topics like death and war and digestion. I did try to do a lot of work towards the beginning of the book to establish this edgy idea that cults aren't just the Jonestowns and the Heaven's Gates. There is no objective, hard and fast, singular definition for what a cult is — and there never has been. Cultishness is a spectrum and none of us are totally absolved of it. * * * Maylin Tu: Was there a direction that your research went that you weren't expecting? * * * Amanda Montell: The first major turn it took was finding out the phenomenon of brainwashing doesn't even exist. Brainwashing is just a metaphor, nothing more. It's not a scientific or testable phenomenon. I was like, "Okay, how does language work to brainwash us?" It's literally just a metaphor that's used to pass judgment: "You're brainwashed, no, you're brainwashed, they're brainwashed." And I think the book also caused me to develop a real sense of empathy. I was concerned that by the end I would just become a cynical misanthrope and wouldn't ever want to get involved with any kind of group ever again. But really, throughout the process I learned that humans are spiritual, irrational and cultish by nature, and that that doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. You just have to make sure that the groups that you're involved in aren't exploiting your power and your identity. * * * Maylin Tu: This idea that people are brainwashed is almost comforting. That people who believe harmful ideas want to believe them — something about that feels disturbing. * * * Amanda Montell: That was the spooky thing. Nobody can convince someone to believe something wacky or dangerous that they don't on some level want to believe. You can't just blame a cultish leader for your beliefs. You can only really exploit the beliefs and proclivities that someone already has and push them into a more and more extreme version of that. And you get them into a position where their already existing human reasoning flaws start to kick in, like confirmation bias and sunk cost fallacy. But it is never too late to resist if you want to push back. * * * Maylin Tu: Did writing this book during a pandemic give you any special insight into the average person's need for community? * * * Amanda Montell: Oh, definitely. I went into this book trying really hard to withhold judgment, but I'm only human. And then over the course of the pandemic, I realized exactly how much I too need community, connection, answers and closure during crisis ridden times. And when there are certain people on the internet who are speaking with a lot of confidence, claiming to have the answers, and using these buzzwords, hashtags and euphemisms, it can get really easy to just hand over your loyalty. And this is happening not just during the pandemic, but during the Black Lives Matter movement. You want someone to tell you what to believe and what to say. And I completely found myself succumbing to the influence of the loudest, most confident, most charismatic person on my feed, when really what is needed is a lot of nuance and private, careful consideration. Well — during Black Lives Matter what was also needed was immediate action and voices. But it does also leave room for people who have ill intentions to slide in and exploit that. * * * Maylin Tu: What would you like to see groups do along the lines of consent that they're not doing? * * * Amanda Montell: I think groups need to leave space for questioning and to have a dialogue where you're not immediately shut down or made to feel like if you speak up, you're going to be ostracized. Groups need to make their members feel like you can participate casually. You can have one foot in and one foot out the door. And they need to be upfront about what membership requires. And if you're starting a group — and by starting a group, I don't mean, are you building a socialist commune in the woods somewhere? I'm saying everything from a company to a social media space. You need to be thinking about those things too. Because it's the ethical thing to do. It's the empathetic thing to do. But also, none of us are absolved of cultish influence. And if you have a certain lust for power, then you're not absolved of responsibility either. From: Rewire org – cultish language
  9. Holy what-ifs Bolshevik !!!!! I think I understand what you were getting at (you can correct me if I’m way off) – how over time cult jargon could be diluted – original meanings and purposes change – and that could weaken or diminish the harmful and controlling effect of the jargon. Your idea resonates with me…I thought a lot about that this morning and how, in my humble opinion, it relates to one of the most highly specialized buzzwords in TWI – “The Word”. I’ll also mention what I had to do to break the spell of one of wierwille’s most captivating terms. I can still remember the first time I took PFAL and was fascinated by wierwille’s enthusiasm about – of all things – The Bible…Only he didn’t say “The Bible”. He kept using the phrase “The Word”… …you’re welcome to say I’m being picayune on this and maybe I am – but I don’t recall many places in The Bible where “The Word” is used all by itself, other than in John 1 - and it is interesting to note the transition in verse 14 it says " The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us " and thereafter it's all about Jesus Christ! Most of the occurrences I can think of, that refers to a message from God, Scripture, passage, the entire Old and New Testament, etc. there are more words involved, in order to emphasize more details. For example looking at the call of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1 : "The words of Jeremiah son of Hilkiah, one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. 2 The word of the Lord came to him in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon king of Judah, 3 and through the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, down to the fifth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, when the people of Jerusalem went into exile. 4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” It’s not just “The Word” that came to Jeremiah – it reads “the word of the Lord came to me…” What’s the difference? With the addition “of the Lord” a genitive of origin is noted – in other words, the word which came from or originated from the Lord. The Bible even has an expansive vocabulary for referring to Scripture in different ways in order to emphasize some quality or aspect. For example, in Ephesians 1 “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit” “The message of truth” is the genitive of content – the message which contains the truth…”The gospel of your salvation” is the genitive of relation – the gospel pertaining to your salvation...I bet it would be an interesting Bible study to find all the ways that it refers to itself - and to note all the adjectives and genitive of relation, content, etc. that are associated with it....who knows maybe we'll discover some holy buzzwords Now let’s step it up a notch in analyzing one of wierwille’s signature buzzwords. I still remember wierwille driving home the point of making a big deal of “The Word” in PFAL. Remember these classics: “It’s The Word, The Word, The Word and nothing but The Word!” “The Word takes the place of the absent Christ.” “When it comes to The Word, I have no friends.” If they have a cult-jargon dictionary or Buzzwords For Dummies book, I think they should have an entry for “coin a phrase” and next to it a picture of wierwille with a text bubble of him saying “The Word, The Word, The Word!” some pictures are worth a thousand words – but that picture is worth only three cents – just a penny for each “The Word”…I believe wierwille’s use of “The Word” had an insidious three-pronged effect: 1. wierwille (whether it was his intention I don’t know) co-opted a word from the Bible and while under the guise of sounding biblical, through the repeated abuse of twisting Scripture, ignoring context, proof-texting, mangling definitions in the original languages and logical fallacies, wierwille imbued “The Word” with all the authority of an Apostle-Paul-wannabe. But wierwille-followers don’t understand it that way. They believe wierwille always 'rightly-divided' “The Word” – whatever that means. 2. wierwille encouraged followers to be know-it-alls and to procrastinate…I recall a pretty cool slogan that was used in some Christian groups - WWJD – or what would Jesus do? I always thought it was very compelling – a moral imperative – a reminder to act in a way that demonstrated the love, compassion and kindness of Jesus Christ…You would never hear anyone in TWI use WWJD…Nope – “remember class, The Word takes the place of the absent Christ.” And so a moral imperative to follow Jesus Christ’s example - which should be compelling enough for Christians was eclipsed by wierwille's intellectual directive to study “The Word”…Maybe that’s what led me to have a cold…clinical…book-knowledge approach to Christianity rather than pursuing a deeper…personally immersive experience through Jesus Christ…wierwille-followers were duped into the idea that sitting on their duff studying “The Word”, thinking about “The Word”, pontificating all out of proportion from their knowledge of “The Word” was doing “The Word” – maybe something along the lines of WWWD = what would wierwille do? Why, nothing of course – he’d sit there on his duff, drink Drambuie, plagiarize ideas, brutalize Scripture, commercialize religion, cauterize the conscience, destabilize logic, patronize followers and militarize the wierwille-wannabes i.e. way corps for managing his little Nazi regime...I believe a lot of wierwille-followers were just kidding themselves (myself included when I was in) with this idea of " doing The Word" when all it really amounts to is mental assent...Assent is where you agree or approve of something...You don't really have to get involved and do something.... Hey, I heard you run a Way-fellowship in your home - would you and your fellowship be interested in helping our church run a food drive for the homeless and needy? "mmmmm...sounds tempting but...we're real busy moving The Word - we're running Bible classes and excellor sessions...you know how it is." 3. wierwille encouraged closed-mindedness besides the fact that bearhugging “The Word” was a boon to fundamentalism.... “I have no friends when it comes to The Word…I don’t want to hear your opinion of that verse. I know what The Word says. It says the world was created in literally six days. I don’t want to hear about your radiocarbon dating, evolutionary developmental biology, blah-dee blah blah…I get my information from The Word and nothing but The Word." What I had to do to break the spell of one of wierwille’s most captivating terms “The Word” , was to get in the habit of referring to The Bible, or Scriptures…Not that using the term “The Word” is wrong. Nope. Probably “The Word” has about the same ‘weight’ as “The Bible” or “The Scriptures” to some unreligious person who is somewhat familiar with those terms and realizes you’re probably talking about that book you might find in the drawer of a nightstand in some hotels – placed there by The Gideons – those sneaky buggers…But for me – there’s too much mental baggage that comes with the phrase “The Word”…I’m not gonna get all anti-The Word on anyone here that uses the term – just saying if I hear it – you know I’m going to run it through my secret-buzzword-decoder ring I always carry in my shirt pocket – right behind my cluster-fvck-of-confusion medals I was awarded fair and square by TWI for staying awake some of the time – my Advanced Class nametag, my WOW pin and round WOW nametag, and my Way Corps nametag. My silly method of avoiding use of “The Word” is merely something that works for me by avoiding the loaded language that was used to indoctrinate me…I’m no longer brainwashed…but my soul still bears the scar tissue from the harm and control of TWI…and folks, don’t try to guilt me into liking the term just because you like it…I don’t care – use it all you want…but I don’t see any reason why I should use “The Word” when there are plenty of other ways to refer to the book that is at the top of my favorite books list. Matter of fact, I'm gonna put all my cards on the table and admit I believe The Bible is The Word of God. And I believe The Word became flesh and as Jesus Christ he walked the earth - and now is seated at the right hand of God. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and I cherish my relationship with him...so please don't get all judgmental and fundamental if people like me don't interpret The Bible...or "The Word"...exactly the same way as you do. ...and have a little courtesy...a little empathy for a cult survivor who doesn't think "The Word" is such a peachy keen phrase....Don't expect me to get excited about it like you do...That’s like expecting some woman who was molested or raped by a guy named Victor – and then a few years down the road, she has a child with her husband Fred and she wants to name the child Victor because of all the "fond memories" she has that are associated with that name…now don't get me wrong - I happen to think Victor is a cool name – but then again, I was never raped or molested by a guy named Victor.
  10. You could change the conditional clause: If you can’t stop associating “If” with LCM, then try the old-cult-jargon-switcheroo…in other words "if" = LCM so for example used in a sentence “LCM it starts raining and thundering, you better seek shelter fast.” Ah but that could be confusing… It could mean either there’s a big storm coming or you're giving Craig instructions if a storm comes...or ...Craig is about to unleash another tirade....well, anyway you look at it there's a big storm coming. Or make a hybrid-jargon…for example, To inculcate the certainty of eliminating LCM from memory, try chanting “There’s no ifs, craigs or butts about it!” …if that doesn’t work, try “there’s no place like home”. If LCM is still hanging around, try watching A Beautiful Mind the biographical story of mathematician John Nash who endured paranoid schizophrenia and delusional episodes – sometimes visits by three imaginary people – it took some two decades for Nash to work on ignoring his hallucinations – but he eventually got back into teaching and in 1994 won the Nobel Prize for his revolutionary work on game theory. At the ceremony in Stockholm after he receives the prize and leaves the auditorium he sees the three imaginary characters – after a quick glance at them Nash departs with his wife and son…Great movie – I watched it just the other day as a matter of fact. Or nix the word-play and try believing images of victory…for example, If you can’t stop associating “If” with LCM, imagine every time he taps on the board with the pointer, you hold the mouse over his brow and repeatedly tap the “delete” key
  11. Sorry – this is all too vague for my taste…need some clarification on WHAT, HOW, WHEN, and WHY changes are made…so here’s my offering: WHAT: Are you referring to modifying or substituting terms and phrases and turning them into cult jargon? see Wikipedia – Scientology terminology Decision Making Confidence website – cult tactics – loaded language HOW and WHEN: I think you have a valid point – IF from the get-go, you alter the meaning of a verbal expression – and IF it catches on within a certain group, studies have shown that language has the power to reshape perceptions, knowledge, expectations and behavior. see Psychology Today - Language has the power to make the invisible appear real WHY: The loaded language of harmful and controlling cults is multi-purposed. Used within the group, it helps solidify a tight social bond and provides a heightened sense of feeling special…different…better than outsiders. Cult language is almost like a script for how to act in certain situations and who to defer to if certain critical decisions are needed…overall, I think the harm and control in loaded language is that it puts the kibosh on critical and creative thinking, leaves people floundering in complex situations and isolates the cult-follower by keeping them from finding solutions in outside influences and options not approved by the group.
  12. So I’m on TWI’s website and was looking around…went into “connect and grow” to check out the way corps program – here: The Way connect and grow - the way corps I watched a video by Dr. Chandler Greene – I thought he did a good presentation, but I was distracted by the fact that he would never look at the camera – I guess they’re doing that trendy thing with interviews where the interviewer and the one being interviewed do not look at the camera but at each other when they speak…which is ok when there is at least two more persons involved in the interview…so Greene’s talk comes across like he’s talking to me but he won’t look at me…ya see, that’s a trigger to my inferiority complex …. but seriously, it seemed totally gimmicky and I almost went back to watching Friends on HBO Max – we’re up to Season 9 episode 1 – man, Joey and Phoebe can really make situations so confusing……and then I realized that The Way Corps Coordinator’s first name is also Chandler but his last name is Greene with an E and not just G-R-E-E-N (sans last E) like Rachel Green…hmmmm it’s like connecting all the dots on a polka dotted tie…matter of fact, it’s too easy….it’s gotta be a trap….they just want me to think they’re my Friends… so I read further down after I watched the video of The Way Corps coordinator explaining the heart of The Way Corps training program…and I saw this : “The Life of a Way Corps Minister Upon graduation, Way Corps ministers can expect their lives to be full and rewarding. They can be confident that God will continue to enrich their lives and supply their every need as they believe, because God’s Word works every time it is believed. When students complete their in-residence training, their role is a big one—in the vanguard and as stewards of the Mystery, Christ in you, the hope of glory. The Way Corps is a sacred trust, given by God’s mercy and grace, to care for His people with His Word. With “It Is Written” engraved upon their hearts, The Way Corps carry out their lifetime commitment one day at a time with perseverance, faithfulness, and dedication.” A few thoughts crossed my mind. Why does it refer to the way corps graduate as a minister? “Minister” by definition is a member of the clergy, especially in Protestant churches…synonyms: clergyman · clergywoman · cleric · ecclesiastic · pastor · vicar · rector · priest · parson · father · man/woman of the cloth · man/woman of God · churchman · churchwoman · curate · chaplain · curé · divine · evangelist · preacher…. I mean…throwing around terms like “minister” and “lifetime commitment” – are they just blowing smoke up yer a$$? Is everyone ordained now, when they go through the way corps program? And another thing - is the way corps program accredited? I started wondering what the requirements for ordination in other churches are…so I Googled that – if interested you can read about some of them in the following links: career paths - ordination process Denominations grouped by ordination requirements ordination by denomination I noticed in some denominations there is a requirement of 4 years of college and an M.Div. from an accredited seminary…seems to me TWI is continuing the fine art of the wierwille-rinky-dink-route-diploma-mill. I wonder how long they can maintain the façade. Does anyone care? …if so, I want their name and address and I will personally send them a chain letter with the standard superfluous biblical sounding greetings and salutations, several emotionally manipulative stories of my own way corps experience of hearing PFAL taught over and over and over again, 25 get-destitute-quick-pyramid schemes for those trying to mooch raise sponsorship, as well as subliminally exploiting their fears of disobeying God or being tricked by the Adversary by guaranteeing some bad $hit will happen if they don’t make a bunch of copies of my letter and send them to every one who thinks TWI is peachy keen.
  13. I'm sorry, is that a question for me? I did say I was interested in Cultish, the book Rocky mentioned...I did not mean to suggest in any way, the idea that "by changing the language you change the cult" Now what I have been suggesting on this thread is that it's possible for a cult to transition into something less harmful and controlling IF they genuinely change the way they treat people...maybe changing the language might help some - but I take deeds over words, as proof of real change any day of the week ...and that's just my opinion...I wanted this thread to be like an open-ended question - there is no definitive answer to the question I put forth: Can a cult make a transition into something less harmful and controlling?
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