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T-Bone last won the day on May 17

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  1. Excellent points to think about, WordWolf! In my opinion those visible changes reflected a tightening up of the PFAL support system (aka the Twig fellowships). I noticed a distinct difference in the two fellowships I was involved with my first year in the ministry (1974 New York). The girl I was dating took me to her Twig on Long Island run by Sammy P. It was very lively, loving, engaging, and inspiring. But after I took the class the branch coordinator Donald L. talked to me about a new Twig starting up in Queens closer to my home and said they could use my help. That second Twig was run by the book. And when I say it was run by the book, I mean by strict adherence to the PFAL book. Fellowship usual felt more mechanical and perfunctory. When I went into the Family corps in 1984 it was disappointingly reminiscent of that second Twig. The curriculum revolved around PFAL. The unvarnished truth is that ministry-wide PFAL was considered the touchstone of truth (FYI that’s a metaphor for any physical or intellectual measure by which the validity or merit of a concept can be tested – similar to saying “acid test” or “litmus test”…and btw, I didn’t make up that idea – I actually read it in a Way Mag !). Your statements: “And the people that grew twi were generally quality Christians. Once they were gone, there was the twi that you knew- mechanistic and controlling” – speak to me of TWI’s ever-encroaching nature – that would stifle inspiration and thoughtful reflection. The restrictive mindset that PFAL encouraged…promoted tended to pigeonhole a grad as a PFAL-loop – continuing a certain process…the end of which is connected to the beginning – now as a grad, you go out there and get another person in the class…each one reach one. Similar to the secret message decoded in the movie A Christmas Story fyi boys and girls using the Grease Spot Secret Decoder Ring you’ll find out the hidden message in PFAL is "Take More PFAL". I have no doubt there were many genuine, loving, inspiring Christians in TWI. But I also believe there was a symbiotic relationship involving interaction between two different entities – perhaps neither one fully realizing that…I think it’s possible for a genuine Christian to be deceived by a pseudo-Christian cult-leader and in some Bizarro way the relationship is mutually “beneficial”. The Christian gets to play church and feel special and needed and the cult reaps the benefits of their time, money, talents, resources. To be honest, I never pictured myself as a leader in TWI – but I dutifully followed the TWI-playbook: go WOW, go in the corps, run PFAL classes, teach PFAL stuff, until death do us part. Sorry slipped into my old TWI-marriage vows…yes, it’s true – I married TWI…but as of 1986 I am officially divorced…and to the Twig coordinator of my second Twig I bear no animosity – I kind of identify with him in some ways. Pushed into doing something unfamiliar…uninteresting…unfulfilling because that’s the way we do it in The Way.
  2. Maybe not for him…but if he offered Lois Lane a Brazilian…I mean a Kryptonian Bikini waxing…Yikes! Cue Bruno Mars' song: I'm too hot (hot damn), uh Called a police and a fireman I'm too hot (hot damn) Make a dragon wanna retire, man
  3. Imagine Horshack wanting to give his interpretation of a Rorschach test… FYI: this video clip could also be used for a Welcome Back PFAL episode when Horshack was so excited to answer a Listening with a Purpose question.
  4. Removal of agency – it almost sounds like we’re circling back to Scripture interprets itself…splatter the paint, allow materials to fall and be placed according to chance…paintings paint themselves…that’s the greatest secret in the art world today…what do you think his palette looked like? Doesn’t matter, he wasn’t involved.
  5. I agree… …there’s also a rumor Salvador Dali took the class…and it’s been said that one of his most famous paintings was originally titled The Persistence of Retemories Allow me to provide the Greasy Tour Guide interpretation: It’s obvious the demise of the Way Tree is due to it being rooted on top of “the teacher’s desk” from the PFAL class. The melting clocks symbolize how much of your time and life disappear unobtrusively during your involvement in The Way International. Camp Gunnison is featured way in the background and has the appearance of being a mirage – an experiential illusion of you living on a mountain top… vicariously of course, through the cult-leader… or perhaps the mirage is a reference to The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Vegas representing the PFAL promises of glitz and glamour that beckons one to gamble away their soul. And lastly, the face-melting central to the picture depicts all that is left after the constant exposure to TWI-leadership’s frequent reproofs, hissy fits, diatribes…the melted clock on the melted face also symbolizes how much of your time and life disappear unobtrusively during your involvement in The Way International. It is believed Dali captured the essence of the persistence of retemorizing Bible verses and by extension the obstinate continuance of the TWI-mindset which ultimately render one’s time and life easily accessible for cult abuse in the near future.
  6. Makes me think of Picasso’s blue period…I heard he almost took the class.
  7. Coincidentally we’ve seen that happening on a high shelf on our back porch – it has become the birthing center for dove…makes us nervous when they start trying their wings – and we have to keep the dogs at bay.
  8. Leave it to pseudo-Christian cult-leaders to turn a sacred cow into a cash cow.
  9. Maybe they just think it’s regurgitatable
  10. I’ll read the minutes from our last meeting: Various analyses of the Kool-Aid, Waysider proposed a permanent ban on stretched-coffee, motion put forward to designate a driver for the steering committee for the thread So, what's the best way to store moonshine? , a petition was started to take violence, sexual abuse, and money laundering off the big screen and put it back in the cults where it belongs, and there was a tie on the voting to allow posters to use emoji to interject a personal insult during a heated discussion. ( – if you ask me, I think whoever suggested that is an idiot).
  11. that gave me a good laugh this morning, thanks JustThinking !
  12. One day the tree of knowledge of good and evil fell on the tree of life. Adam: what was all that racket?!?! Eve: there’s good news and there’s bad news. Adam: that’s life.
  13. Great questions…and I like the bead you draw on doubt – overall great posts, Nathan Jr ! I’ve had a fulfilling career as a technician and have always had a passion to learn how stuff works. But understanding how the mind works is a whole other mysterious intangible thing to me. So, I like to check out stuff on psychology and philosophy and of course discussions on Grease Spot are indispensable as well. Just going to throw my 2 cents on belief – and at the end of my post I left a few hyperlinks where I got some of my 2 cents – some of it might only be worth a penny – don’t know what the equivalence would be in cryptocurrency or Krypton-Currency (that’s super-bucks!)…so take the following with a grain of salt – the ideas below are from various articles and books but the wording is my own undoing in response to your posts…some of it reflects what I believe now - and some of it continues to evolve …anyway…here goes: I believe people have an innate desire to make sense of the world. Maybe that has something to do with why we choose a certain path. Since no one has all the answers we occasionally find ourselves making allowances for shortcomings, failures, the mysterious, and the unknown while on our chosen path. Our beliefs help us make sense of the world. From what I’ve read online, some experts think our beliefs are somewhat like a software program always running in the background as we take in information and examine its source – checking for compatibility or conflicts with our existing beliefs. Our beliefs help form and/or modify a mental model for understanding the world, our self and others. And our beliefs - along with experience, observations, and reason even attempt to predict the future. Bertrand Russell once said, “believing is the most mental thing we do”. It has also been said that our thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions, respond not to the world as it actually is (for we never know reality directly) but to the world as we believe it to be. Our beliefs tell us who we think we are, mark our place in the world and are essentially an ongoing personal narrative that anchors us to various places, situations, and events across our lifetimes…Our brains have no direct contact with the outside world. Our only information about what is going on outside of our bodies comes to us from our five senses. Perception in psychology is defined as the analysis of sensory information within the brain. Through perception we obtain a description of our surroundings and what they mean. Because of that, we can’t always assume that our perceptions are reality – if anything they just might be our own interpretation of reality. That’s why it’s important to respect the perceptions of others – they might be more accurate than ours. It takes real courage to admit we’re wrong and let go of certain perceptions. Sometimes it’s advantageous to seek out validation from experts or at least from other credible people who are outside of our circle of friends or religious group. We tend to base our beliefs on trusted sources. In 1986 there was a major crisis in my belief system after a series of events which happened to dust off some old red flags. I began to suspect that TWI which I had trusted for 12 years had not been well grounded, accurate or truthful. I like mystery novels and movies. My slow exit of leaving TWI was like a mystery script. Following up on old leads (red flags), investigating wierwille’s credentials and talking to other disenchanted followers. I was trying to unravel the convoluted mess of not only a cult’s doctrine but also their policies, practice, and control tactics. Jean Shinoda Bolen's insightful book "The Tao of Psychology: Synchronicity and the Self" made reference to Agatha Christie's novels about her detective characters often using an intuitive approach asking what is the meaning of this event, what were the circumstances surrounding it, and what are the possibilities implicit within the event ? But in order to see the whole picture Bolen says intuition's counterpart is also necessary - which is a straight forward logical approach of the situation - what details of the circumstances do the five senses take in? I think the mystery / detective / crime drama trope echoes your mention of Grease Spot arising out of religious and spiritual abuse. 2006 was a great watershed “moment” for me – that’s when I joined Grease Spot – and ran into a whole bunch of witnesses and victims of TWI’s crimes. I like what you got into with doubting Thomas in John 20: 24 – 29 and thought I’d share a relevant note from my Life Application Study Bible cuz I relate to having lots of questions and doubts : “Jesus wasn’t hard on Thomas for his doubts. Despite his skepticism, Thomas was still loyal to the believers and to Jesus himself. Some people need to doubt before they believe. If doubt leads to questions, and questions lead to answers, and if the answers are accepted, then doubt has done good work.” End of excerpt ~ ~ ~ Theories and ideas are put to the test when our efforts make contact with reality – that’s the acid test. We need a way to distinguish our internal thoughts, feelings, and ideas from external events. In other words, we need the ability to see a situation for what it really is, rather than what we hope - or fear - it might be. This is important because we then can distinguish between what is real and what isn’t. It will allow us to better judge situations. It might even give us a basis for comparison and help us improve how we react to certain situations…The phrase “the acid test” alludes to a chemical test to prove the pureness of gold. This test was developed in the late 18th century and used nitric acid, which dissolves other metals more readily than gold. So, the amount of metal dissolved would prove the pureness of the gold. The acid test was used to distinguish gold from copper or some other metal. The term came to mean a process to prove the value of something, or the standard that something must meet to prove its value, a sure or decisive experiment. 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 you mentioned in your post – which is a lot of observation and experimentation. Flying a plane or 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 truth. Therefore, what is needed is another definition of truth for the metaphysical realm. In reading up on philosophy, I lean toward one theory of what truth is – it’s called the correspondence theory of truth. “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.” From Wikipedia – correspondence theory of truth Of course this is just my opinion but as an example of how I look at things using the correspondence theory of truth – I consider the story of the fall of mankind and mankind’s redemption through Jesus Christ seems to corroborate the problem of sin and evil in the world…but that’s just my opinion – I could be wrong. ~ ~ ~ ~ As promised, here’s a few of my sources: Psychology Today: We Are Our Beliefs Psychology Today: What Actually is a Belief and Why Is It So Hard to Change? the 5 most powerful beliefs that ignite human behavior The Debunking Handbook by Cook and Lewandowsky Why We Fall for Conspiracies: How do conspiracies spread, and why do we believe them? The Tao of Psychology: Synchronicity and the Self
  14. Not sure if you had this Key & Peele’s Obama's Anger Translator in mind Then I got to thinking – uh oh …it might be helpful if there was a bull$hit translator that ran simultaneously with PFAL – a split screen kind of a thing. For example: “the teacher”: do you believe God can heal you? Now raise your arm. BS Translator: I do believe there’s someone with a question. You sir, with your hand up. ~ ~ ~ ~ “the teacher”: millions now smoking BS Translator: millions now smoking crack
  15. Yeah – I think you have something there…according to the following article: "Humans have a tendency to see patterns everywhere. That’s important when making decisions and judgments and acquiring knowledge; we tend to be uneasy with chaos and chance (Gilovich, 1991). Unfortunately, that same tendency to see patterns in everything can lead to seeing things that don’t exist… …in Shermer’s 2000 book How We Believe, he argues that our brains have evolved as pattern recognition machines. Our brains create meaning from patterns we see or at least think we see in nature (Shermer, 2008). Often, the patterns are real, while other times they are manifestations of chance. Pattern recognition tells us something valuable about the environment from which we can make predictions that help us with survival and reproduction. Pattern recognition is imperative to learning… …Research studies have demonstrated that when people believe that two variables are correlated, they will see a connection even in data where they are totally unrelated. It is not unusual for clinicians to see correlations “in response patterns because they believe they are there, not because they are actually present in the pattern of responses being observed“ (Stanovich, 2007, p. 169)… …Our pattern-detecting ability serves us well in many instances, but it also can lead to seeing something when there is nothing there. In the words of Rudolf Flesch: Instead of the black and-white, single-track, everyone-knows-that-this-is-due-to-that approach, get used to the idea that this is a world of multiple causes, imperfect correlations, and sheer, unpredictable chance. It is true that the scientists, with their statistics and their probabilities, have made a stab at the harnessing of chance. But they know very well that certainty is unattainable. A high degree of probability is the best we can ever get…" End of excerpts From: Psych Central - patterns the need for order
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