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T-Bone

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Everything posted by T-Bone

  1. T-Bone

    Actual Errors in Genesis

    Hmmmm… ...impossible to have a meaningful conversation with me because I do not conform to your idea of what’s normal. Perhaps you’re right.
  2. T-Bone

    The Callousness of TWI...

    I think the callousness that’s so prevalent in TWI is empathy’s mortal enemy. There have been a number of threads discussing wierwille’s narcissism ...It’s pretty evident in his doctrine and practice that he was fixated on achieving some kind of power over others, gave off an air of superiority and among other things he never seemed willing to empathize with the feelings, wishes and needs of other people – it was always his way or the highway. As a person of great influence to those who were his biggest fans - I think it’s inevitable that a lot of those narcissistic traits would rub off onto others. What do you think ? I’m NOT saying that everyone who admired him and followed his example became a narcissist. Here’s what I think - no matter how much you were able to empathize with others, the unspoken protocol of TWI tended to squelch any personal observations or logical reasoning – “yeah, that’s just five-senses stuff anyway – because what people really need is the word”… right? How many times have you sat through a meeting on how to put a class together and heard something along the lines of “does it really matter if they can’t pay their bills, don’t have a job or have some hard-luck story ? Bottom line is they need to take the class because they’ll learn how to believe God to overcome any situation.” I had this dumb idea of what it took to be a successful “salesman” for whatever TWI wanted me to promote; it took real discipline and the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation (oh gag!) to suppress any natural rapport or compassion I might have toward others - and instead challenge the person to put God first – buying into whatever I was promoting…if I wanted to really tease them with the power of PFAL (double-gag in 2 barf bags!) I’d say something like “it may not feel right five-senses-wise right now, but spiritual-wise it will make a lot of sense to you later on” (ay-yai-yai 3 barf bags with a twist!). …Have you ever done something along those lines? Have you ever went against the grain of how you would have normally treated someone before you got into TWI – to try to motivate them to participate in something with The Way Ministry? Did you feel you had to wrap up your cold, clinical prescription of believing-the-word-is-the-answer-to-everything in something warm and fuzzy (whatever that means) so you could tell yourself you can still empathize with people? I think to be a really good leader in TWI – you had to be a really good salesman…a really good salesman will always find a way to circumvent any objection, reason, situation, or excuse you could throw at them in order that one way or another you wind up doing what they suggest. I think in the long run (depending on length of time and involvement) many folks (including myself) developed somewhat of a “callus” of variable thickness over a heart that was subjected to the friction and irritation from the hard-hearted unspoken protocol that our “dear” narcissistic leader "encouraged" us to follow. Perhaps one of the things that drives cult leaders to be insensitive and have a cruel disregard for others is the fear of losing control over some aspect of the person…just speculating here – but I would be interested in getting input from Grease Spotters on anything that I've said. love & peace T-Bone
  3. I watched “The Usual Suspects” again recently - and this time I was amazed by another great trick Verbal (Kaizer) was able to pull off; by his own deceitful narrative of past events Verbal manipulated the detective to think another member of their small band of criminals - Keaton (played by Gabriel Byrne) was actually Kaizer Soze. In his first post on this thread Skyrider talked about the subterfuge agenda hidden in PFAL , Defeating the Adversary class ...and I think it goes beyond that - into a deep level of deception sewn into the very fabric of a certain frame of thought - the TWI mindset - this acts like a blinders on a horse, you look at only what they direct you to look at. Like the character Verbal redirecting the detective’s attention - essentially shifting the blame off himself - wierwille, craig and other well trained illusionists were adept at avoidance, minimizing and blame shifting. If you had a problem with something they said or did or even an issue with a policy or practice - it was because YOU are walking in the flesh...going by your 5 senses ...letting the devilish or worldly influence of family/friends or the church you grew up in sway you...or they’d use some other intentionally obfuscating tactic...anything to get you to sever ties with the real world and your own better judgment. So-called benefits of the class tended to be nullified by one’s continued commitment to the principles of the class. The supposed development of more harmony in the home went out the window many times when a gung ho grad really took a stand on “the word” - some families and marriages suffered and split up...yeah like Kaizer Soze , manipulative cults like TWI always make greater and greater demands on your commitment and yet any familial, financial or social problems or damage caused by your “stand” are attributed to the world trying to hold you back...remember “when it comes to the word I have no friends. It’s “the word” vs the world”...yeeeccchhhh! Yeah I think one of the greatest lies by manipulators like wierwille and craig was that false teachers / wolves / predators did not exist in TWI.
  4. T-Bone

    Actual Errors in Genesis

    I think something happened to generate a narrative...granted, the narrative may be derivative, scientifically or historically inaccurate but nonetheless it is a story of what happened as interpreted through a Hebrew viewpoint.
  5. T-Bone

    The Way Biblical Research - New Slogans

    Marketing is the new witnessing
  6. T-Bone

    Actual Errors in Genesis

    With Raf saying “To think that the existence of Adam and Eve as historical figures is more certain than the existence of George Washington takes a level of denial of reality, history and scholarship…” I think he DID acknowledge TLC’s extreme level of certainty. However, one’s certainty on a matter does not necessarily make it true nor does it mean that one has made diligent inquiries with the highest degree of precision or used any scholarly standards...and I wonder...if one's certainty flies in the face of facts or reality - can it be labeled a delusion? But I'm not qualified to address matters of science and history - or epistemology for that matter - but I tend to think maybe TLC is relating more of an opinion. An opinion does not have to be based on fact or knowledge. == == == == == …Wikipedia says of certainty it “is perfect knowledge that has total security from error, or the mental state of being without doubt.Objectively defined, certainty is total continuity and validity of all foundational inquiry, to the highest degree of precision. Something is certain only if no skepticism can occur…Physicist Lawrence M. Krauss suggests that the need for identifying degrees of certainty is under-appreciated in various domains, including policy making and the understanding of science. This is because different goals require different degrees of certainty—and politicians are not always aware of (or do not make it clear) how much certainty we are working with.” It has taken a while for me to come to grips with the tension between faith and reason – not saying I’ve got it mastered – but I do have a better sense of what the issues are when it comes to science and scripture. And in that regard I’m a lot more open-minded than I used to be…matter of fact, about the only non-negotiable belief that I have - that I can think of right now - is that there is a creator. But that is a matter of faith and not reason. I cannot prove a creator exists nor can someone prove to me a creator does not exist. Speaking of Adam and Eve, I read an interesting book – still digesting it and will probably have to review it a few more times to better grasp the concepts - but it has some interesting ideas that I think relate to this portion of the discussion. It’s "The Evolution of Adam: What the Bible Does and Doesn’t Say About Human Origins" by Peter Enns On page xix Enns says that scripture and science speak two different languages…that alone is a big thing to think about…and as I’ve mulled over some key concepts of the book I find it is necessary for me to rethink a lot of the Bible – and mind you I’ve expressed elsewhere my tendency is to shoot for a synthesis – and in matters of faith and reason it might be more along the lines of deconstruction or something… I don’t know…but anyway, speaking about the issue I’ve encountered on my own journey…when I got involved in TWI – I found that to fit in and be accepted by the group - it was almost like I was presented a choice…to accept the pseudo-science of PFAL or else reject Christianity…and there’s probably a similar crux for many Christian groups – accept or believe in the inerrancy of the scripture even when it touches on matters of science and history – or else reject Christianity...I'm of the opinion there's more options when it comes to valid interpretations of the Bible. so I hear Grease Spot will be gone soon…that bums me out...because one of the great things I get out of it (and more so in Doctrinal than in About the Way forum...I post more in About the Way than Doctrinal - probably because I tend to listen or think more about what's said in Doctrinal ...cuz it seems I'm usually exploring new territory ) is a reevaluation – or maybe a recalibration of my own views of the Bible…One last point I wanted to share from Enns’ book on page 144 – “Understanding the nature of the Bible as analogous to the mystery of the incarnation helps us to adjust our expectations of what the Bible is prepared to deliver…There is a reason why Scripture looks the way it does, so human, so much a part of its world: it looks this way to exalt God’s power, not our power…”
  7. T-Bone

    The Way "Gift Ministries"

    yes - thanks for clarifying
  8. T-Bone

    The Way "Gift Ministries"

    Ok – I watched the video again…there's a lot of insight into the nature of politics and the dynamics of groups & organizations in this short clip! ...and perhaps you’re referring to the alpha chimpanzee being impartial when “settling disputes” - are you drawing some comparison with the Mormon’s treating women with respect / abuse is grounds for excommunication – versus wierwille and his ilk treating women like second class citizens? I dunno…just guessing here…once again – I’m sorry for going off-road on this thread.
  9. T-Bone

    The Way "Gift Ministries"

    So I need to master the bipedal swagger interesting video, thanks Rocky
  10. T-Bone

    The Way "Gift Ministries"

    The evangelists and pastors have disappeared, here: but we get miracle workers and healers instead, and great "helping and managing" gifts (as described in another version). This bunch of people never got a mention in Wierwillian theology. Wouldn't fit on the pentagon, I suppose. (Maybe you'd need a double pentagon?) Aha! Two pentagons! Established!! (well ... something's established!) Twinky brought up a good point… It’s difficult to remember any clear thoughts I had on “the gift ministries” – but I vaguely had the impression they were a big deal...almost like they were rock stars - and the rest of us were roadies and support crew for them...but that in all likelihood was just how I interpreted things anytime I heard something taught on them…I never saw myself as fitting into one of those roles – and probably should have made more of an effort to figure out “my voice” in spreading the Gospel - - in other words – what was my main role? maybe folks like me fail to see the value of what we offer. There’s another passage that goes along the lines of what Twinky shared: We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully…Romans 12: 6-8 NIV I remember something a corps work coordinator said when I was working in carpentry for a block – “you can lead from within the pack.”…maybe I took it wrong but I interpreted that to mean I didn’t have to be the Alpha dog – but I could set an example to others of the right way - - and with the right attitude to carry out a task; being exemplary. Now that inspired me! Even to this day I have never been ambitious to be a boss or manager during my work career – though I have had those roles many times throughout my livelihood. But something I have always taken great pride in was leading from within the pack. More or less leading by example - from within the ranks; for me a great reward was often just being designated as a trainer for the installation or service personnel…So perhaps a failure in my corps training was partly due to my dense head of not figuring out my strengths and deciding on personal goals and partly due to the pigeonhole thinking of the way corps coordinator, just wanting to pump out great sales reps. (and I wonder how many of us simply accepted what we were told our strengths were and what our personal goals should be ) I knew some corps who were great – in terms of really being into service instead of reigning as a Nazi over folks...but it seems like for some corps - the more the ministry pushed classes, abundant sharing, witnessing…whatever – they tended to bear down more on those under them…on that kind of trend I could never get into leading from within the pack…I would just brood over how unspiritual I must have been for not getting into it…I dunno – it was almost like a conspiracy to dull the souls of men & women on the ministry-hamster-wheel-of-unfulfilling-activity… I guess different folks are attracted to different things…some people get into being the big cheese. I had a boss who was former secret service… one of my favorite pep talks he ever gave us was along the lines of “there is no higher calling than service.”… And that makes me think of Jesus talking about leading from within the pack: Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”…Matthew 20: 25-28 NIV
  11. T-Bone

    Revival and Restoration

    Wow, Socks – you’ve really got me thinking there! Wasn’t it something along the lines of a transition out of necessity for the early Christians to start meeting in the homes – since the Gospel message wasn’t that welcome in the synagogues… …but as you said seeing something like what we read about in Acts as just one facet of a “functional guide as to how to proceed to build what is really described as a growing, dynamic living organism. We're really like a body…” so maybe there’s some formalism…or traditionalism in the thinking of some folks who have an excessive adherence to doing some things exactly as they did in the Bible. I guess it looks biblical. …different times, different cultures…and a lot more technology…the Internet, cell-phones, blogs, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, books, magazines, "planes, trains and automobiles" etc. help folks connect, focus, organize, meet, stay informed and not just the social aspect but even scripture/doctrine/research-wise…we’re light-years ahead of the printing press – online Bibles, commentaries, research tools, etc...that reminds me - I heard of a drive-thru church on the radio...I'm not kidding...that's just another amazing modern marvel . a few years ago there was a discussion on one thread where I mentioned something along the lines of Grease Spot being my church. In some ways it still is…granted, it’s a pretty diverse congregation with no special creed... I think there’s an ongoing healing service in the About the Way forum…well, it’s great therapy for me anyway…and I kinda see the Doctrinal forum as a multi-faith * council where Grease Spotters come together to exchange ideas and information and to have a dialog about biblical/spiritual/religious/philosophical and sometimes social issues. (* by “multi-faith” in this context I simply mean "faith" is whatever your beliefs are - I just used "faith" cuz it sounds churchy ). but - - - - even though the times and cultures may be different – I think you’ll still find the same basic concerns are present: family, safety & security, livelihood, social needs, the human condition…purpose and meaning in life...so I think the guts of your religion, philosophy...or whatever it is that you believe has the "timeless answers" - should be able to adapt to any given environment and conditions to meet those needs. Yikes ! Can I ramble or what?!?! Sorry about that…anyway bringing it back to some thoughts I’ve had pertinent to this thread: who wants to revive and restore things to “the good old days”...or however you fondly remember things...Not me…honestly, everyone has had different experiences…I prefer to pick and choose what to hold on to and what new direction or directions to explore...as far as the R and R folks go - - I guess I am a little very leery or cynical that a bunch of “old timers” who have no retirement benefits from TWI now want to start their own group purely for altruistic reasons…getting back to the good old days or whatever it is they're trying to resuscitate …yeah – right – that’s some noble-sounding bull$hit if you ask me.
  12. T-Bone

    Revival and Restoration

    Socks and WordWolf, true that! after this thread I might need some R and R ...rest and relaxation.
  13. T-Bone

    Revival and Restoration

    I think you've got an excellent point, Raf ! I've had some similar thoughts too - but haven't been able to articulate them...kudos to you !
  14. T-Bone

    Revival and Restoration

    mine has too...Vincent's Word Studies is great ! Shortly after I left TWI, I “discovered” a whole other world of perspectives at an estate sale of a pastor in my neighbor; I bought a few one day and after looking through them I went back the next day and got a few more…I got the biggest kick out of reading one commentary disagreeing with another author over the interpretation of a certain verse – giving other scripture references to back it up too…this really got me mulling over how in TWI it was more or less expected that you absorbed information and never questioned or challenged the teacher…these commentaries awakened something in my head…so besides baseball, maybe this too was a thinking man’s game . I have a few sets of commentaries on my bookshelf but I always come back to these three favorites – concise, technical but brief with good cross-references: The New Bible Commentary Revised Zondervan NIV Bible Commentary vol 1 & 2 The Bible Knowledge Commentary vol 1 & 2 Speaking of II Timothy 2:15, I like what The Bible Knowledge Commentary offers in vol 2 page 754: “Paul had spoken of shame before men (2 Tim. 1:8, 12, 16); far worse is shame before God. Timothy need not fear such shame if he would correctly handle the Word of truth (cf. Eph. 1:13; Col. 1:5; James 1:18), which for him included both the Old Testament Scripture and what he had heard orally from Paul. The Greek orthotomounta, “ correctly handling” found only here and in the Septuagint in Proverbs 3:6 and 11:5, means literally “to cut straight” but just what image Paul had in mind here is uncertain. Stone masons, plowers, road builders, tentmakers, and (least likely of all) surgeons have all been suggested, but a firm conclusion remains elusive. What is clear is that the shame of God’s disapproval awaits those who mishandle His Word.”
  15. T-Bone

    Revival and Restoration

    Well that’s just it - - I can’t ignore who the teachers are…maybe it’s helpful for you try to hold folks at arm’s length – but I like to take it all in - I still go by a simple principle: actions speak louder than words...I’m not convinced anything is any different than before…the thing about such hypocrisy and callousness is they slip by unnoticed when history, context or any personal dealings with these folks are ignored…I’ve already mentioned about Rico’s “great” PR work at TWI to dismiss charges of fraud and sexual abuse by TWI leadership in an earlier post here . And others have commented on certain R & R leaders here , here , and here. I’m probably jaded about these folks because it all sounds like what I’ve heard before - - when I was in…it looks to me like all they want to do is carry on the same old con of playing at church. What credentials or titles do any of them have other than what they got through TWI? What makes their spiel noteworthy? Yeah, and how about TWI’s “great” standards of excellence! They told me The Way College in Rome City was accredited…imagine my surprise when one of the staff at a professional resume company looked into that and informed me that it wasn’t – and so they recommended I leave that off my resume. I would probably have some respect if I’d hear them renounce the insidious…dishonest…manipulative…exploitative nature of wierwille’s teaching and practices...and come clean themselves…instead of regurgitating the same old BS…but I guess there is something comfortable about the same old BS - - there’s no great challenge to one’s thinking. I think the elephant in the room is wierwille…his insidious teachings and practices live on in TWI and beyond...granted some of it may have been sanitized by now but no one wants to talk about the creepy side of wierwille's legacy. Sorry to sound so negative – I guess my criteria for judging are different than yours. maybe I'm just old school ...We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don't try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this... II Corinthians 4: 2 NLT
  16. T-Bone

    Revival and Restoration

    link to Rico's teaching "obedience to the household of faith" was a link on this thread in Skyrider's Sept. 13th post - see below
  17. T-Bone

    Revival and Restoration

    That’s a lot of teachings - and don’t think it would be a fair assessment on my part unless I listened to them all - and to be honest, i think it would be a waste of my time - I mean, the topics look like they’re about the hope - I’m not that interested in some feel-good-pablum over one interpretation of the return of Christ...been there done that... ...my intention in referring to Rico’s teaching on the household of faith was to point out the same captivating or ensnaring technique that wierwille used to make “true followers “ feel duty bound to stick with his group. Manipulative! My point was when a teaching or doctrine is put into practice- when the rubber meets the road - when a theory or teaching is put to the test...how do they handle it when their teachings don’t jive with the real world or that their teachings are hypocritical? Or for that matter - how about asking if what they teach is consistent with the biblical data? Do they get into dispensationalism? I know this is not the doctrinal forum - but I think there’s a lot more debatable issues than what’s been lightly touched upon on this thread. I don’t want to steer you one way or the other on what to think...I’m merely pointing out something obvious in Rico’s teaching. Another thing that occurred to me by you wanting my feedback - I was wondering what other churches or teachings, Bible studies, etc. that you have checked out besides stuff from TWI or former TWI personnel.
  18. T-Bone

    Revival and Restoration

    I think this is comparing apples to oranges; Saul of Tarsus attacked the church from the outside - being a zealous Pharisee. Phonies like wierwille and Rico (supposedly Christian ministers who should have known better) have preyed or continue to prey upon those within “the household of faith “ ( that’s their distinction for those committed to following some form of wierwille’s teachings)...it’s an inside job - a royal scam ! Not an outside attack - but sabotage from within. i realize your comment was in reference to yourself and the R & R group - - but I would be very wary of anyone who associates with Rico or for that matter anyone as their teachings are put into practice - starts showing their true colors as being some form of wierwille’s teachings.
  19. T-Bone

    The Callousness of TWI...

    Twinky: I think you have always been an exceptional Christian minister. I certainly didn’t mean to suggest the insensitivity and stoicism of wierwille and those of his ilk tainted everyone in TWI. I certainly knew some good caring folks who served in some leadership capacity…guess I wasn’t clear enough in my post – but it was really me being more self-reflective – as is often my focus on Grease Spot. As I said “I think in the long run (depending on length of time and involvement) many folks (including myself) developed somewhat of a “callus” of variable thickness over a heart that was subjected to the friction and irritation from the hard-hearted unspoken protocol that our “dear” narcissistic leader "encouraged" us to follow.”…I guess my excuse - or reason - for adopting an almost dispassionate manner of interacting with those I wanted to help – was ignorance. I didn’t know much about the Bible (still don’t ) and figured The Way was teaching me the right approach. == == == Allan: I agree – I don’t think there’s anything more callous than a supposed servant of the Lord sexually assaulting women who also serve the same Lord; I did say that not everyone who admired wierwille would become a narcissist - - but I can certainly imagine sociopaths in the midst of an environment like TWI – with certain elements that are conducive or cater to their lifestyle, having a field day…I cannot even fathom how such predatory a$$holes must justify or rationalize their behavior…As I mentioned to Twinky, my post was somewhat of a confession as to how TWI’s insidious nature affected me…I did not become a sexually depraved criminal…no…it was more like putting my conscience on a slow morphine drip…as I expressed on a thread TWI's sedative to the conscience as I became more indoctrinated going through the way corps training program, the more my sense of right and wrong was dulled…To be honest – I’m glad I got out in time! Who knows – I don’t think I would have become a sexual predator, that’s definitely not in my DNA, but I could foresee a situation where I might be tempted to cheat on my wife a time or two…and rationalize the $hit out of it with wierwille’s licentious logic. == == == == Peruser: Yeah howdy ! it seems us common folk were the stiff-upper-lip-stoics while certain upper crust of the crusty butts (a$$hole hypocritical leaders) were living the epicurean life like it was going out of style…for some reason that brings to mind Jesus addressing the hypocritical leaders in Matthew 23:4 They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden…NLT == == == Infoabsorption: Yes – it was quite a startling realization for me when I first came to Grease Spot and found out what liars and thieving weasels there were in TWI! (it’s a shame Grease Spot is going to close down )…II Peter 2: 1-3 comes to mind - But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. == == == thanks all for some great input !!!
  20. T-Bone

    The Weasel Way Out

    Yeah Chockfull thanks for the weasel video I also thought this weasel fact might be applicable: A male weasel will mark his territory with a strong-smelling secretion produced from his anal scent glands ...sniff sniff sniff....hmmmm...smells like some of wierwille’s bull$hit...ahhhh, it’s gotta be from TWI or an offshoot !
  21. T-Bone

    Plagiarism on the road to success

    Hey Taxidev - sorry to burst any bubble but all that hits me as just being a marketing tactic to convey the idea that - like wierwille - they’re into finding the truth...so - sorry to disagree with you but I’ve heard enough about what’s really important to wierwille and craig when I was in the corps... but to the general public it would be wise to convey the idea that TWI was really open to true honest research - and the masses bought it - as you testify to that...Now I would have been really surprised if the person’s research contradicted something wierwille taught....perhaps if you could be more specific on what it was that craig shared about this research from someone... you should have heard craig go on a rant when it was time to work on our corps research papers; “don’t try to reinvent the wheel” he’d yell as he pounded on the podium “base your research paper on something from PFAL !” two things one could infer from his rant: 1. craig elevated PFAL to the status of something so revolutionary and mechanically essential as the wheel 2. In light of #1 , he probably would not have been very interested in hearing about anything that would contradict PFAL or even to correct it.
  22. T-Bone

    The Weasel Way Out

    Reminds me of the Duke of York nursery rhyme… When the weasels are out – they’re out And when the weasels are in – they’re in And when the weasels can’t make up their minds They’re neither out nor in. Ok…what else can I do with the Duke of York nursery rhyme There was a cult of yore That ripped off thousands of folks And weasels few fought for king of the hill Beneath invisibility cloaks But when you’re not in charge You’ll have to wait in the wings Disgruntled? yes, with this present mess Start a new cult and do your own thing alright so I don't get paid for my poems
  23. T-Bone

    Plagiarism on the road to success

    The fact that wierwille plagiarized so much should be enough to make one wonder what were his real intentions. If it was to help people understand the Bible - why not just be honest and build on the work of others that he thought were helpful - giving proper citation and then expand on that with his own insight. Surely he learned something of value in all his education that he could share with others. And besides the big plagiarism issue with wierwille - i think his “alibi” for plagiarism of wanting to “correct the error” in other people’s works - or that that “God showed him how to put it all together to get back to the original word of God” is laughable because of the way he mangled the stuff he stole from others - showing his incompetency with biblical hermeneutics and even in simply understanding the biblical languages. Makes me think of pirated software; when you buy it you’re probably NOT getting something that has all the major bugs worked out, access to critical security updates or tech support; I think through his own incompetency wierwille actually introduced some major “bugs” into some of the stuff he stole; as far as “updates” - I know wierwille claimed that TWI was a research and teaching ministry, and if their research actually found something that was different from what they’d been teaching then TWI would change what they teach... ...yeah - how many times has that happened? ...If you haven’t read it already - check out Penworks’ book “Undertow” - she worked in TWI’s research department - her book is a real eye-opener on how wierwille pressured the research department to align an interpretation of scripture with what he thought it should say - even when it was counter to what it said in the Greek text! How about tech support for when you find a problem in their doctrine or practice? Your concerns were usually dismissed due to your lack of believing, your immaturity, you’re going by your five senses, or you need to get rid of all that worldly stuff in your home because it’s giving devil spirits access into your life - I mean everything gives off something - any dummy knows that - The folks who pirate software probably don’t want you to know who they are - they just want your money... I’ll take a wild stab on what wierwille’s intentions might have been...he insisted on everyone to call him “doctor” and that PFAL was entirely his baby from all his hard work and personal experiences. So I think he wanted more than just the money from classes, books, etc. - - he wanted the “ fame” - the admiration for all that he had done...What a two-bit money-grubbing narcissistic phony!
  24. T-Bone

    TWI is NOT a supermassive black hole

    Taxidev: Elizabeth’s story is very moving – thanks for sharing that link…I was especially struck by her attitude after the ordeal – inspired by her mom’s advice to NOT let the kidnappers and all she went through for 9 months continue to have a hold on her; another amazing thing she talked about was forgiveness – and that it really was something for herself…she didn’t elaborate a whole lot on that point – but the relevancy to this thread really got me! Setting aside the contrast of her situation and former cult-followers (she was kidnapped vs folks who voluntarily join a cult – though at the time they may not have been aware of that) - - I think that forgiving oneself (whatever that may mean to you) is a large part of breaking the hold a cult may have had on the person; for me forgiveness meant not beating myself up for all the dumb decisions I'd made and all the dumb things I accepted without exercising any critical thinking skills. == == == Grace: I love it when you share details of your journey – exercising your critical thinking skills to not buy into everything while you were involved in TWI – but instead taking charge of your destiny – joining the Navy; I’m with you on your great point – to be thankful for the good people that I’d met in TWI; those sweet relationships were one of the toughest things we had to go against when we started thinking about leaving - see my comments to Rocky below. == == == Rocky: You’ve got some tremendous points on social ties and emotional support; Skyrider has started a number of great threads on the social ties – both the good and bad aspects of social ties; for me, one of the factors that weighed heavily in whether or not to leave TWI was the fear of losing contact with all of our friends…and in thinking about what I said to Grace, maybe there was a little bit of the Stockholm Syndrome in the way I felt torn about TWI. In ’86 my wife and I were pretty much the only ones who left our corps – it wasn’t until some years later that I was aware of a few others leaving; it’s not like we didn’t make an effort to reach out to our corps brethren and sistren - we were writing letters and even made some phone calls – but alas – we were on our own; the emotional support would have been nice – if folks weren’t so stuck in that mindset of thinking we were possessed, tricked by the devil, tripped out - - or all of the above - and more!...of course the emotional support from Grease Spot folks is a tremendously healing thing ! == == ==
  25. The Way International is NOT a supermassive black hole – though they do exert a sneaky "gravitational force" that keeps trying to pull you back in. This thread is all about the deceitful and manipulative ways that TWI uses to get new recruits as well as the underhanded methods they employ to retain them. Anyone that gets within their sphere of influence might get sucked in if they are unaware of what hides behind the treacherous attraction. TWI is almost like a black hole a region of space-time exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that nothing — not even particles and electromagnetic radiation such as light— can escape from inside it. Once you are sucked in to a cult it’s usually harder than hell to get out. And even after you’re out it might take some time to unravel and abandon the complicated mindset and habit patterns…and if you still enjoy reading the Bible like I do - - there’s also those familiar little “pop-ups” that come to mind when reading certain passages – wierwille’s phrases that were practically ingrained in my head through repeatedly listening to the PFAL class. But it all begins nice and easy - there is the love-bombing, talking up the benefits of the class, the excitement of being part of something bigger than myself. Given enough time and circumstances, I think the newness…the romance or honeymoon fades away. A follower slowly awakens to what they really married into – a legalistic, abusive, deceptive, manipulative, and exploitative organization. Now a different set of “mysterious forces” come into play. Lest you become tempted to “turn your back on God” (aka the ministry that taught you “the word”), by this time The Way International has already taken the necessary steps to wring a lifetime commitment out of you. If there’s anything to the theory of graviton particles - which speculates that they mediate gravitational interaction - then perhaps TWI’s “graviton particles” are the subtle implications of certain teachings that lay the groundwork for fear, guilt, and a host of other manipulating mechanisms. They set up followers to be compliance oriented. Recently I was thinking about the love-bombing thread as well as the other manipulative tactics that The Way International used to rope people in. Coincidentally I was listening to (repeatedly…uh oh ) a cover of Muse’s 2006 song “Supermassive Black Hole” done by 2 Cellos and featuring Naya Rivera (known for her breakthrough role on Glee). I love the music – it’s addictive…and goes perfectly with the theme of the song…thundering overpowering instruments that portend some catastrophic event. The song is about a toxic relationship – the person realizes the attraction to someone else is mostly based on a bunch of lies – and the person has a fatalistic attitude about it – like the immense power of supermassive black holes that wield incredible influence over their galaxies – to get sucked in was inevitable…trapped in a toxic relationship - with no foreseeable way to escape. I usually focus on the instrumentation of a tune – but the more I listened to it I kept wondering what did they say in this line or that – so I googled the lyrics and You Tube and after much constellations I felt expired to write this post (take that Norm Crosby fans ). The more I looked over the words to the song the more I saw similarities to being in a manipulative cult. I thought this particular clip would be entertaining and helpful since it has the words across the bottom: I think the sentiment in this song is applicable to anyone who’s been in TWI for a while and has become aware of their tactics of deception and manipulation; as seen in some of the song’s phrases I’ll comment on: “…You caught me under false pretenses…the queen of the superficial...how long before you tell the truth” folks get sucked into TWI by the love-bombing , the sales pitches for supposed benefits of their classes, the fabricated stories of phenomena, exaggerated or embellished stories of success as well as the sweet veneer of Christianity. “how long before you let me go?” – the feeling of being trapped and thinking of TWI as almost like a custodian of my fate. Whatever they say will happen to me are the supposed consequences of my believing - something to be feared ...nice little trick though - it really was a self-imposed mental prison - but I was not aware that I was the only one that could let myself go free...I can't really leave until they say it's ok to do so...which they never will, of course...especially if you were in the way corps - it's a lifetime commitment to Christian service. “Ooh, you set my soul alight” – is an interesting choice of words; it can have a double meaning – perhaps the songwriter meant it as such to convey the twofold tension in the attraction – I dunno – just guessing here …anyway …the word “alight” could mean to set the soul on fire - to be filled with passion or have an immense desire to achieve something – I think of when I first got involved – I was naïve and idealistic ...thought I could change the world with what I knew from PFAL … but “alight” can also mean to settle down or perch – as if the soul was in flight – on a journey – but has now settled down inside this supermassive black hole…I can relate to that too. I believe I’m on a journey through life – and my time in TWI was an unanticipated detour…or maybe it was more like a layover…12 fvcking years sitting at a crummy two bit airport. “Glaciers melting in the dead of night and the superstars sucked into the supermassive” the inevitability of succumbing to overwhelming forces…whether it’s slow and almost imperceptible like glaciers melting…the honeymoon phase of cult involvement – personal boundaries are softened, personal preferences and goals are slowly dissipated - giving way to the greater good – i.e. what does the ministry need me to do?...- If you’ve entered one of their programs (The Way Corps, WOW, Fellow Laborers, etc.) the indoctrination process was a lot quicker - like a superstar being sucked into a supermassive black hole! As my father-in-law (who was in the Seabees) would often say when there was something that needed to be done or maybe he just wanted something done “get with the program”. Part of the indoctrination process of any of their programs also reinforced blind obedience..."going with the flow" is allowing gravity to take over...it's all downhill from there == == == == == == == Toward my later years in TWI, I think one of the strongest “gravitational pulls” that kept me in line was a fear of what would happen to me if I left…”tripped out”. Many of us have heard wierwille’s go-to passage for instilling fear in followers. In John 13 Jesus predicts his betrayal during an evening meal with the disciples, then “As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.” (verse 30) wierwille twisted the double meaning of “it was night” - stating unequivocally that the only alternative to the ministry that taught you the rightly divided word was oblivion...so when I thought of my future – I would never picture myself ever leaving the ministry. The possibility of tripping out was not an option as far as I was concerned. Thinking of a scenario like that was almost like entertaining thoughts of suicide. My life, my dreams, my identity, my hopes were all wrapped up in the ministry. I dare say, the opposite of what wierwille said may be closer to the truth. Wierwille/TWI ARE the oblivion - a supermassive black hole - once you are sucked in – you are unaware of reality…oblivious to what matters because you are stuck inside a grand delusion – wierwille’s delusion…a real oblivion – a realm that is void of truth and reality – a parasitic vacuum that sucks all the resources out of anything that gets within its gravitational pull. “Even light cannot escape” ? – well, I wouldn’t go that far in applying this analogy – but I will say this – thinking about wierwille’s scripture twisting to suit his own agenda - very little light or truth was able to escape his lips…and woe unto anyone who accepts his viewpoint…As Jesus once said “If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6: 23). In other words, if you think wierwille has enlightened you – then you really are in a heap of supermassive darkness. New York Translation: you’re totally fvcked, dude ! One of the many great things about Grease Spot is that it truly is a light for those wanting to escape the dark netherworld of The Way International. Grease Spot tells the other side of the story…this has been another slice of my story…I was wondering if anyone else has anything to add…feel free to chime in…need a little direction? What was it that first got you thinking there might be a life for you beyond TWI? Besides any strong social bonds with family and friends in TWI – what was it that kept you from leaving when you first began to realize the ministry was not what it seemed? Were you ever afraid that bad things would happen and your life would fall apart if you left? If you’re still involved with TWI I would like to say there is still hope…there’s always hope…perhaps you’ve read things on other threads that resonate with you…have you thought about leaving? What is it that’s holding you back from taking the first few courageous steps to leave?
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